[by Shiela Steinman Wallace]
There is a group of young adults in Louisville who look at our Jewish community and have ideas for making it better and stronger.
They want to be part of the decision-making process, and they know that means assuming leadership responsibilities.
To ensure they have the tools they will need to become effective leaders and the connections with other emerging Jewish leaders, the Jewish Community of Louisville is putting together a newly revamped and updated Young Leadership Development program, and Shannon Levine and Scott Weinberg are co-chairing the class.
Levine and Weinberg stress that this YLD class will have a strong social component, so participants can expect the experience to be fun and exciting, while still providing participants with the skills they need. “We want to give people the opportunity to contribute to the community as our future leaders,” said Levine.
This year’s program, Weinberg explained, will be “comprised of four to six sessions, and will include a partially subsidized trip to Las Vegas for the national Young Leadership Conference.” After this year of preparation, second-year YLD class members will “do an internship on an agency board or committee.”
The program culminates with an opportunity to go to Israel, specifically tailored for this group to combine fun and excitement with the opportunity to connect with the Jewish State and our Western Galilee Partnership with Israel region. The JCL is investing in these future leaders by subsidizing this trip as well, to ensure that all YLD class members can have this unparalleled experience.
YLD will provide participants “with the opportunity to give feedback” about our community today, “take a role in the community and effectuate the changes they want to see,” Weinberg said.
From recent research, Levine said, “we know there is a need for this program that may not have been filled in the past,” This YLD program is being designed with the emerging YAD leaders in mind to be meaningful, informative, empowering and fun.
“A lot has happened in the last year since the merger [of the Jewish Community Federation and the Jewish Community Center]. This isn’t your old YLD. This new YLD program is part of the change we know people are looking for.”
Hands-on experience is important, too, so Levine and Weinberg are incorporating a day of community service activities that YLD class members will help plan.
“We want to provide the community with effective future leaders,” Weinberg added, so when they join boards and committees, they will “know the right questions to ask and be able to make sure the agencies are run the way they should be run.” The YLD program will help achieve that goal.
Both Levine and Weinberg, Louisville natives, are already able young leaders who are contributing to the strength of the Louisville Jewish community.
Professionally, Levine is marketing manager for the Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts. She has been with the Kentucky Center for seven years. She nurtures young people, serving as the BBYO (B’nai B’rith Youth Organization) adviser for the Jay Levine BBG chapter at the Jewish Community Center (JCC). She is a JCL Board member and has been a frequent contributor to Community’s JCL Update column. She’s also a Gilda’s Club Associate Board member and a Jewish Hospital Foundation Board member.
Levine grew up in Louisville and has taken advantage of the leadership development opportunities available to her. As a teen, she participated in Kesher Kentucky, and as an adult, she served as assistant director of the program. As both a participant and chaperone, she went with Kesher to Israel. She is a graduate of an earlier YLD program and interned on the Jewish Community Federation Board. She is also a graduate of Leadership Louisville’s Ignite Louisville Class of 2009.
She has a B.A. in journalism and political science from Indiana University.
Weinberg is an attorney with Lynch, Cox, Gilman & Goodman, P.S.C., and specializes in business organizations, tax planning and estate planning. He recently returned to Louisville after spending three years with a firm in Chicago.
Weinberg, too, enjoys working with youth and is a BBYO advisor for Louisville’s Drew Corson AZA chapter. He’s been a BBYO adviser for 12 years. In addition, he is currently serving on the Keneseth Israel Board and has served on the Jewish Family & Career Services Boards. He was also a member of the JCL’s Program Review Subcommittee that looked at programming for young adults, and in the past, served on the JCC Board.
He has been to Israel three times, including once as a participant in the March of the Living, a program that brings teens from North America and around the world to the death camps in Poland for Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day, and then to Israel for Yom HaAtzmaut and a week of touring.
Weinberg has a BA from Emory University and a JD from the University of Louisville.
He is married to Hunter, and the Weinbergs have a two-year-old daughter, Anne Miriam.