JYA Leadership Academy
Compassionate Leadership in an Uncertain World
The JYA Leadership Academy is a cohort-based leadership program for young Jewish adults in Silicon Valley desiring to level up personally and professionally. The Academy is designed to create a network of passionate, skilled, and ethical emerging leaders who will make their own organizations more successful, and the Jewish community even stronger and more vibrant.
The Need For Leadership Training Has Never Been Greater
We’re in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the resulting economic downturn and widespread human rights protests. The speed and scope of these challenges has created extraordinary challenges for all leaders today. The need for compassionate, impactful leadership has never been greater. Our local community and the world urgently need young adults to step up and lead. But the type of leadership needed is different than what was required before. Leaders in this new world must be adaptable, ethical, responsive, courageous and make decisions rooted in core values. We are pleased to offer – for the first-time ever – the JYA Leadership Academy, Compassionate Leadership in an Uncertain World.
9 Month Virtual Program, World-Class Leadership Experts
The program kicks off from 9 am to 3 pm on Sunday, September 13, 2020 with a full day of sessions. Then starting on October 7th, we’ll meet every other week from 7 to 9 pm on the first and third Wednesday nights. Over the nine months of the Academy, there will be 35 hours of curated Academy sessions led by dozens of leadership experts and highly-regarded business and community leaders
Engaging Interactive Experience, Meaningful Impact
The 2020-2021 JYA Leadership Academy cohort will be limited to 18 participants to create a personal and engaging experience. Teams of 4 to 5 participants will select and engage in projects that re-enforces Academy concepts and skills. Through community impact projects, participants will make a direct and positive impact within the Silicon Valley Jewish community.
Designed For Young Adults, Lifelong Connections
The JYA Leadership Academy has been designed for young adult professionals, post-grad thru 32 years old, who live or work in Silicon Valley, CA. Develop life-long friendships through expertly-planned engaging and immersive learning activities. Participants will experience a program that is meaningful, life-changing, impactful and fun.
Over the course of monthly evening sessions held over 9 months, participants will increase awareness of their own values, personal leadership style, and strengths. Sessions topics include:
- Jewish ethical leadership
- Vision and goal setting
- Stress and Time Management
- The Power of Storytelling
- Understanding Your Own Strengths Through A Personality Assessment
- Emotional intelligence
- Team Building
- Creating a Healthy Organization
- Responsive Leadership
- Pattern Recognition
- Effective Communications
- Building a High Performing Team
- Influencing Skills
- Running Effective Meetings
- Fireside Chats with Top Business and Community leaders
We believe that it is up to each of us to become the best person we can be, and do our best to make the world a better place. As Rabbi Tarfon said in Pirke Avot 2:21 “It is not your responsibility to finish the work of perfecting the world, but you are not free to desist from it either.” We’re committed to fostering the next generation of compassionate, impactful Jewish leaders who will use their influence to help their own teams and organizations be even more successful, and to help ensure a thriving Jewish community.
The JYA Leadership Academy will be a life-changing opportunity. Participants will learn and grow to more effectively lead others and be a force for positive change in their organization and the larger community. They’ll meet people who will become partners for future endeavors. Members of the cohort will make friends they’ll have for the rest of their life.
Applications are no longer being accepted for the JYA Leadership Academy.
Our Leadership Philosophy
- Everyone can be a leader. Leadership is learned.
- Leadership development begins with a commitment to continual self-discovery and learning.
- Leaders promote change and create the environment in which change can take place.
- Leaders are individuals who work with others to create positive change.
Academy Flow of Topics
A fundamental principle of leadership development is you can’t lead others until you can lead yourself. Why would others want to follow and engage with someone who doesn’t have his or her own life together? Based on this premise, the Academy program starts by focusing on leading from our best self, and then builds on this foundation to how we can most effectively lead others.
Academy Presenters & Leadership
(not a complete list)
For over 25 years, Beth Davies has delivered cutting-edge talent management and learning solutions as an employee of Tesla, Microsoft, Apple, and Gap, and as a consultant. She has acquired expertise in culture-focused onboarding, leadership development, sales and product training, manufacturing training, compliance programs, media-enabled learning, and new learning technologies. Currently, Beth serves as an advisor to EdTech startups, hosts the Career Curves podcast, and teaches in the Talent Development & Human Resources master’s program at IE University.
Polina Edmunds, Olympian
San Jose, CA native Polina Edmunds is a two-time U.S. silver medalist, world team member, Olympic skater and Four Continents 2015 Gold medalist. In 2014, Polina was named “San Jose Sports Hall of Fame Female High School Athlete of the Year” by the San Jose Sports Authority. She is an Athlete Ambassador for Right To Play USA, councilor for Camp Kessem and is very active with Kristi Yamaguchi’s Always Dream Foundation.
Ira is a recognized leader in the venture capital industry, having served on the Board, Executive Committee, and as Annual Meeting Chairman of the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA). He currently serves as the President of the Western Association of Venture Capitalists (WAVC) and as the Chairman of the VCNetwork, the largest and most active California venture capital organization. In 2007, he was named one of the “Top 50 Most Influential Men Under 45″. Ira has invested in a wide range of companies, including SpaceX, and serves on the board of Tesla Motors (NASDAQ: TSLA) and numerous other companies.
Robyn Sue Fisher, Founder & Chief Brrrista, Smitten Ice Cream
Robyn Sue Fisher is an ice cream fanatic who set out to create the freshest, most flavorful ice cream around, founding Smitten Ice Cream in 2009. She invented and patented a machine, fondly named Brrr™, to perfect the art of churning pure, fresh scoops to-order in about 90 seconds using liquid nitrogen and only the very best ingredients. She’s re-thinking ice cream. Before starting Smitten, Robyn attended the Stanford Graduate School of Business and worked as a consultant in the corporate world. In Robyn’s words, “I’d rather try my hardest and fail than play it safe and ask, ‘What if?’”
Kevin is a valued and sought-after ambassador of Duarte and their vision to transform people and organizations through unparalleled communication. For over 20 years, Kevin worked in the social sector developing people and programs to serve their communities. Since joining Duarte in 2011, Kevin has influenced thinking and promoted revolutionary change, leading over 500 workshops with over 100 brands and thousands of individuals across the world. He helps awaken natural talents, build confidence, and drive influence in speakers and communicators of all experience levels.
Arnnon Geshuri is the chief people officer at Livongo. In this role, he is responsible for recruiting, onboarding, workforce development, and culture. Previously, Arnnon was the vice president of human resources (CHRO) at Tesla and was responsible for driving people and workplace operations and global recruitment efforts. During his tenure from 2009 through 2017, he oversaw the growth of Tesla from a 400-person, scrappy startup to an integrated, sustainable-energy company with more than 35,000 employees around the globe. Previously, Arnnon was director of staffing operations for Google, where he designed the company’s legendary recruitment organization and talent acquisition strategy.
Harold Goldberg is an experienced Silicon Valley software executive specializing in go to market strategy and execution for software and technology companies. Harold has more than 30 years of experience in senior marketing, strategy and sales roles at top-tier software companies. Most recently Harold was the CMO for Kony Inc helping the company accelerate its growth rate and expand its global market presence. Prior to Kony, Harold was the CMO and Vice President of Strategy for Merced System where he was responsible for Marketing, Product Management and Strategy.
For over 20 years, Scott Greenberg has captivated audiences with his high-energy presentations on leadership and peak performance mindset. His diverse client list includes Nike, Coffee Beanery, the Wyndham Hotel Group, the U.S. Air Force and countless other businesses, schools and associations. He’s presented in all 50 U.S. states, as well as in Canada, Ecuador, Jamaica, Aruba and Saudi Arabia. He challenges conventional thinking and gets people immediately focused on the ideas and action that matter most.
Oded Hermoni is an early stage investor and entrepreneur and works for Rhodium, an early stage investment firm investing in Israel and US companies. Rhodium has invested in companies such Outbrain, Face.com, HopStop, Zooz, Yotpo, Start up Genome and others. Oded is a general partner and co-founder of J-Angels, a community and a VC fund of Jewish-American and Israeli investors in Silicon Valley and San Francisco.
Shlomi Kofman began his appointment as Israel’s Consul General to the Pacific Northwest in August 2017. He most recently served as a Policy Advisor to the Deputy Foreign Ministers based in Jerusalem, Israel. Over the course of his 20-year diplomatic career, Kofman has served as Israel’s Deputy Consul General in New York City, Chief of Staff to Ambassadors in Washington D.C., Deputy Ambassador in Thailand and Deputy Consul General in Shanghai. His past domestic Foreign Ministry positions include Director of North American Economic Affairs, Policy Advisor to the Deputy Foreign Minister, Diplomatic Advisor & Director of the International Department in the Parliament and Ministry of National Infrastructure, and the Head of the Northeast Asia sector.
Driven by a genuine delight in seeing teams and leaders succeed, I partner with leaders to make their organizational health become a competitive advantage. Executives and leaders have achieved productivity breakthroughs by honestly assessing their team health, leveraging their team’s strengths, and boldly addressing the “elephants in the room” to combat politics and hit commitments. Using concepts from best-selling author Patrick Lencioni, I employ a simple, highly collaborative, results-oriented approach.
Laura Lauder is venture philanthropist in Silicon Valley, focused on leadership, education, and Jewish community areas. She joined her husband Gary in their venture capital partnership, Lauder Partners in 1992, specializing in Internet and cable-related investments. Laura now mainly focuses on their family foundation and nonprofit work, serving on nearly a dozen non-profit boards. She has served on the board of the National Public Radio Foundation, is active with YPO/WPO, in on the Board of the National Constitution Center of Philadelphia, and is a fellow of the Council on Foreign Relations.
Craig Newmark is a Web pioneer, philanthropist, and leading advocate. Most commonly known for founding the online classified ads service craigslist, Newmark works to support and connect people and drive broad civic engagement. In 2016, he founded Craig Newmark Philanthropies to advance people and grassroots organizations that are “getting stuff done” in areas that include trustworthy journalism & the information ecosystem, voter protection, women in technology, and veterans & military families.
Joanne Pasternack, Strategic Sports + Entertainment Corporate Social Justice + Responsibility (CSJR) Engagement Executive
Joanne Pasternack is a dynamic and visionary philanthropic impact strategist who, over the past two decades, has galvanized community engagement with internationally recognized brands including the Golden State Warriors, San Francisco 49ers, ServiceNow, City of Mountain View, and Special Olympics. As the President + Chief Impact Officer (CImO) of Oliver+Rose, she works with professional athletes, legends, entertainers, philanthropists, corporate executives and high net worth individuals to amplify their impact to inspire change around their areas of passion, commitment and expertise. Joanne is also the Executive Director of the Golden Heart Fund, serving 49ers alumni who are in need of financial, medical, physiological or emotional support.
Tina Rosenblum helps people solve problems by thinking analytically and creatively. She brings principles from the academic world of cognitive psychology into real-world everyday solutions. Tina has taught at all levels in academia – elementary through college – and worked twenty years in corporate America, consulting with Fortune 500 companies to enhance their employee engagement and communication.
Rabbi Hugh Seid-Valencia is the Director of Collaborative Leadership and Jewish Engagement at the Addison-Penzak Jewish Community Center of Silicon Valley. He previously served as Jewish Community Liaison for VITAS Healthcare and, prior to that, spent ten years teaching Jewish Studies at Kehillah Jewish High School in Palo Alto. He earned a B.A. with Highest Honors in English Literature from UC Berkeley and received his rabbinical training from the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College. He has completed both the Rabbinic Leadership Training Program and the Tikkun Middot Training Program of the Institute for Jewish Spirituality.
Lindsay serves as a sport psychologist and psychophysiologist meeting the performance and clinical needs of both summer and winter National Team athletes. She was a student athlete at UPenn, and has her Masters and Doctoral degrees from Boston University in Counseling Psychology, with a specialization in sport performance. She serves an as adjunct faculty member at the University of Denver’s Graduate School of Professional Psychology. Dr. Shaw has authored numerous peer reviewed journals, book chapters, and other publications. She frequently presents her work to professional associations. Dr. Shaw has developed, advised and provided training for psychophysiology labs in elite athlete training centers and National Olympic Committees domestically and abroad.
Miki serves as a Vice President at Valor and is responsible for overseeing performance monitoring and metrics across Valor’s portfolio companies. Prior to joining Valor, Miki served in a variety of sales and operations positions at Tesla over a period of seven years. As Director of Worldwide Deliveries, she grew a small, local team into a global customer service and logistics organization, scaling Tesla’s vehicle delivery operation to match a five-fold increase in production. Miki also helped pioneer Tesla’s early sales model, training new recruits and leading dozens of store openings during the company’s period of rapid retail expansion.
To drive growth I unlock companies’ best kept secrets–their high-potential leaders just below the executive level. In succession planning meetings they are often deemed “ready in two years,” where they may stay indefinitely. Through targeted programs and proven leadership tools and strategies, plus one-on-one coaching, I help high-potential leaders become “ready now.” Leaders get the skills they need to contribute more to the business, and the company gets a stronger, more capable leadership bench at all levels.
Scott Winter has over 30 years of experience in leadership training and facilitation with a diverse range of clients in the United States and abroad. Currently, he serves as an Adjunct Faculty member for the Schools of Leadership Development at two large federal agencies in Washington, D.C. In addition to his faculty roles, he is a Senior Consultant and Master Facilitator for the United States Olympic Committee, where he leads training programs for their Elite Leader Program and assists with the development of the Functional Area Teams prior to the Olympic Games.
Academy Associate Director
Academy Assistant Director
Academy Executive Director
The small groups process uses project-based learning to re-enforce Academy concepts and skills for participants, strengthen the JYA’s ability to deliver on its vision, and provide a positive impact to the larger Silicon Valley Jewish community. Small groups are a critical component of the Academy. Small groups (groups of 4-5) will select their own a community impact project. A mentor – selected from the Leadership Academy Advisory Board – will be provided to support each small group with their project. Small groups will do most of their work on their project outside of regular Academy sessions.
Fireside chats provide an opportunity to have a conversation with successful leaders from a range of sectors, including start-ups, large companies, government, VCs, and non-profits. These sessions include introductory remarks from our VIP guest, followed by Q and A, with the questions coming from cohort participants.
“If I am not for myself, who is for me? And being for my own self, what am ‘I’? And if not now, when?” –Hillel the Elder
Foundational to the JYA Leadership Academy is using Jewish core values as a ethical compass. A values-based approach to Jewish leadership includes:
- Continuous self-reflection (heshbon hanefesh) in service of self-improvement
- Self-improvement (tikkun atzmi) as a necessary first step towards improving the world (tikkun olam)
- Recognition that the choices we make (nekudot bechirah) have important consequences for ourselves and others.
Senior Communications Manager at LinkedIn
Founder, working with consumer and B2B technology companies with a focus on autonomous technology, SAAS and travel/hospitality. Trained in international communications, with experience in content creation, business development, creative campaign planning and more.
Manager, Advanced Powertrain at BMW of North America, LLC
An engineering professional with a passion for research and development, Michelle manages a diverse engineering team at BMW working at the forefront of electric vehicle technology. In her free time, Michelle serves on the board of the Jewish High Tech Community and the committee for the JHTC Mentorship Program.
Mid-Market Account Manager at Malwarebytes
Experienced Account Executive / Manager with 6 years of selling experience in the computer software industry. Skilled in Sales, Account Management, Customer Success,Cyber Security, and Software as a Service (SaaS). Strong sales professional with a Bachelors of Science focused in Business Administration with an option in Marketing from California State University-Chico.
Speech Language Pathologist at Peninsula Associates
Abigail Gavens is Speech Language Pathologist. She received a masters’ degree from San Jose State University in Speech Language Pathology. Before going back to school, she worked as a special-education teacher for several years and served as a Peace Corps volunteer in South Africa. Abigail has grown up immersed in the Jewish community. She serves as a board member on the Jewish Federation of Silicon Valley. From attending local Jewish day schools to serving as a regional board member for USY, volunteering has always been central to Abigail’s core.
Sales Engineer at WeVideo
Throughout my entire collegiate career, I was immersed in extremely difficult courses that pushed me to my limits. Each quarter I was required to learn new material at an accelerated rate that constantly tested my ability to efficiently complete all of my assignments while still managing my other responsibilities. After graduating from University of California, Santa Cruz with a B.S. in Computer Science, I began my professional career as a Sales Engineer. I am excited about my current position and look forward to the future.
Education Community Manager at WeVideo
Jeremie Gluckman is passionate about delivering excellent digital experiences. They’re a marketing professional who helps companies unlock the networked value of their customer base by humanizing products and making them accessible to all.
A friendly, independent, goal-driven individual who’s looking to gain professional experience and knowledge in the hospitality industry. I have an incredibly strong passion when given tasks and projects.
Market Researcher at RDN, Inc.
Evan is an avid skateboarder, fountain pen enthusiast, and Bitcoin HODLer. He spent the first part of 2020 studying abroad in Norway before being sent home early due to Covid-19. Upon returning, Evan rejoined the team at Robert D. Niehaus, Inc., where he conducted housing market research for the Department of Defense. In his free time, Evan began immersing himself in the world of Amazon FBA, and plans to launch his first company, GoodDay Puzzles, in the coming months. Evan is a senior at UC Santa Barbara studying economics, and can be found in YouTube comedy videos where he interviews students for The Black Sheep Online.
QA Engineer at MarkLogic
Andrea Levy is a hardworking, ambitious QA Engineer at MarkLogic working to stress test features of the database. She works to improve the database by giving insight to the teams working on various features. Outside of work, she is on the board of ENGAJ, which works to create a vibrant community of young adults on the Peninsula.
Tax Senior at BPM LLP
Jeff is an accountant with BPM. He graduated from Cal Poly SLO with a degree in business administration, with a focus on accounting.
Program Manager at Google (Contract)
Always creating opportunities to help others and learn, I sincerely believe that great success comes from perseverance, constantly expanding one’s comfort zone, and a great team.
Alexander was born in Ukraine and raised in the Bay Area. He graduated from Santa Clara University with a BS in Electrical Engineering and an interest in the future of sustainable energy generation, transmission, and storage. Alexander is moving onto bigger and better opportunities; recently exiting his position as a Field Service Engineering to focus on starting his own business. He has been a life-long fan of hockey, including playing and coaching for the last 19 years.
Senior Software Engineer at SRI International
Victor is a senior software engineer by day and an experimenting chef/science fiction reader by night. He has been programming computers for over 20 years. He cut his teeth programming a computer to help with quadratics and conic sections for his math homework. He now works for a non-profit building and programming autonomous motorcycle racing robots, super suits, surgical robots, robotic hands, mining robots, and robotic kites.
Product Manager at Equinix
Edward is currently a Product Manager at Equinix. Prior to this, Edward worked at a self-driving car company called Zoox where he helped create, test, and design tools used for remote human interactions with autonomous vehicles. He holds a BS from UC Davis, with majors in Technology Management and Business Economics.
Technical Project Manager at SSL, a MAXAR company
Eddy Seetho is a technical project manager in the space industry, working as a primary interface with global suppliers to design and develop mission-critical products that change the way we communicate, connect, and see the world. Aside from bringing teams together to tinker on hardware tests and requirements definitions, Eddy relishes long chats about public policy, wines, and photography techniques.
Software Engineer at Credit Karma
The stories of ingenuity, critical thinking and creativity my grandfather told me of his work as a hydraulic engineer fascinated me from the time I was a kid. Growing up I found a similar calling and fulfillment in a digital age through becoming a full stack web engineer, using the power of code to create meaningful experiences for others one byte at a time.
Electrical Engineer at Gener8
Ben is an engineer from Phoenix AZ who came to the valley to hone his craft and meet other like-minded holistic and conversation-driven people. In his free time he enjoys cooking up a storm, taking things apart and putting them back together in a different way, and playing music on guitar and other stringed instruments.
Product Marketing at Splunk
Judith works in Product Marketing Management at Splunk. She is interested in marketing strategy and product development, and enjoys creating cross-functional processes to improve collaboration across teams. She holds an Economics undergraduate degree from UC Berkeley, where she discovered her interest in the intersection of business and social good.
Graphic Designer/Illustrator, Financial Professional, and Entrepreneur
Highly detail-oriented and analytical business professional with experience in accounting, graphic design, and education. Committed to Jewish values and passionate about helping others and making a difference. Started own graphic design/illustration business and bookkeeping business.
Senior Partnership and Affiliate Manager at Udemy
In my career, I have specialized growing businesses from the ground-up and love working in fast paced environments. I enjoy running a wide variety of marketing programs to help businesses succeed. In my spare time, my hobbies include training for triathlons, cooking, and fostering dogs.
New Product Management | Packaging Development
I am a creative, passionate program manager with a unique perspective on multi-disciplinary teams, combining technical expertise and external partnerships (from start-ups to global companies). My strengths include enthusiasm for sustainability and leveraging emerging technologies and consumer/user insight to inform the product design, functionality and experience.
Recent College Graduate
Anya Wiegel was born in Russia. She came to this country as an immigrant, and feels an incredible sense of debt of gratitude for the support her family and she have received from the Jewish community. Anya has a degree in sociology & behavioral science. She is inspired to give back to the community, that’s been so good to her.
The Leadership Academy is a program of JYA – Jewish Young Adults. The JYA’s purpose is: “to enhance the lives of young Jewish professionals in Silicon Valley through leadership development, networking and educational activities. JYA accomplishes this purpose by: building and sustaining an inspiring, healthy, and thriving community of engaged Silicon Valley Jewish young professionals that provides….
- Opportunities for young Jewish adults to accelerate their leadership skills
- Professional networking events to make life and career-changing connections
- Skill development and educational workshops that enhance personal and professional lives
JYA Executive Committee
- Andrew Gelman, President
- Josh Chazin, VP of Events
- Kylie Greenhut, VP of Professional Events
- Jeff Levy, VP of Finance
- David Nassau, VP of Leadership
- Anya Wiegel, VP of Marketing
The JYA is one of the programs of the JHTC. The JHTC’s mission is to “Inform, connect and educate Silicon Valley Jewish professionals through engaging programs and events.” More info on JHTC can be found on the organization’s website.
JHTC Board of Directors
We hope that this first cohort will be the first of many. We have designed the JYA Leadership Academy from a decidedly Silicon Valley perspective. This first year is our pilot project. Based on this first Academy experience -including feedback from participants and the larger community, we’ll assess the need and opportunity for future Leadership Academy programs.
The Leadership Academy Board of Advisory provide strategic advice to the Academy leadership. Some advisory board members will serve as presenters, facilitators, and small group mentors. We are deeply thankful to our advisory board members for their support.
The JYA Leadership Academy is made possible through partnerships and support from the following organizations:
The Consulate General of Israel is the official representative of the State of Israel that serves the Pacific Northwest Region of the United States: Alaska, Northern California (Districts 1-21), Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington. The Consulate is responsible for coordinating relationships between the State of Israel and national, state & local organizations, businesses, offices of public officials, and citizens within the U.S. Pacific Northwest.
The mission of the Jewish Federation of Silicon Valley is to strengthen and enrich the Jewish community locally, in Israel and throughout the world. Our efforts support educational, social service and charitable programs that exemplify the Jewish values of K’lal Yisrael (taking responsibility for one another), Tzedakah (charity and righteousness), and Tikkun Olam (repairing the world).
A Moishe House is a place where young adults in their 20s come together and create vibrant Jewish communities. There are more than 100 communities in over 25 countries around the world. Moishe House Silicon Valley is located between San Francisco and Santa Cruz, in the heart of Silicon Valley. You can find us adventuring outdoors, putting googley eyes on inanimate objects, having a L’chaim, and helping out in our community.
Pixelmixer powers knowledge communities by empowering individuals within your organization to create video content.
Do you have questions about the JYA Leadership Academy? We invite you to attend an info session on Zoom from 7 to 8 pm on July 15 or August 13. Click the date to register for the session and get the login details. You are also welcome to directly contact either Academy director David Nassau (email@example.com) or Academy Executive Director Peter Hoffman (firstname.lastname@example.org).