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What keeps leaders up at night?


Every community needs its leaders – and every leader has a responsibility to develop themselves and their skills for the good of the community.

The Bildner-Wilson Leadership Succession Initiative (LSI) is Federation’s effort to cultivate the next generation of community leadership for Jewish Federation of Palm Beach County.

13 leaders joined together at the Marriott on Singer Island in August for a retreat opportunity, where they discussed Federation’s function and their role as leaders. This was the fourth in a series of five programs for the participants, including a program to Israel.


A group from LSI – the Bildner-Wilson Leadership Succession Initiative – hearing from an IDF soldier on his definition of leadership, during their 2014 program in Israel.

“Many of these people are already well-established as business and community leaders,” said Dr. Helene Lotman, Executive Vice President/Chief Talent Officer at Federation and the leader of LSI. “The challenge they now face is creating a plan to build beyond themselves and bring others into the community and leadership.”

LSI participants were joined at the retreat by a star in the Jewish philanthropy world: Jerry Silverman, President & CEO of Jewish Federations of North America.

“Mr. Silverman discussed with the leaders about the commonalities among all Federations,” said Dr. Lotman. “How can we collaborate with one another? What’s our direction? And how does Jewish Federation of Palm Beach County fit into all of that? The leaders and Mr. Silverman responded to these important questions in detail.”

Also joining the LSI participants was Jewish Federation of Palm Beach County’s President & CEO David Phillips.


“I got to tell the group what keeps me up at night – the challenges we face now and in the future at Federation,” said Phillips. “Based on my observations of LSI, we will see dynamic outcomes and a stronger leadership pipeline for the future.”

The leaders who participated in the retreat decided on two major projects they will now take on. First, they will work to close outstanding gifts in order to meet Federation’s fundraising goal for 2014. They are also exploring initiatives that focus on community building.

LSI’s final dinner will be held on October 13.

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