Thoughts on the Leadership Program Experience

A letter from Nancy Schechter Schwartz
Participant of the 2014-15 Jewish Federation of Fort Worth & Tarrant County Leadership Program

This Leadership Program has been instrumental in providing the opportunity to help me become more active within the Jewish community. Through the stories and discussions of various leaders from the Federation and other Jewish organizations, I've developed a better understanding of outreach, social responsibility, and fundraising to support local Jewish initiatives. 

Specifically, the trip to Israel engendered a deep connection to Israel, the country and the people, as well as to the other participants within this leadership group. Growing up, Israel was a more abstract concept, something at the forefront of Rabbi sermons, but often distant and difficult to relate to, other than a shared ancestry and religion. This trip brought Israel to life for me, through exposure to the history, personal stories of the people, and cultural sharing. Meeting members of the Western Galilee Partnership2Gether Program was very interesting as they described their community and programs designed to foster connections; I look forward to actively contributing to this partnership and helping facilitate opportunities for our home community to engage with them. The interaction with the reporters provided a real-world point of view of the political challenges and complexities of the Arab-Israeli conflict; it enhanced my understanding of the situation and view points I hadn't considered.

Every city, person met, and meal shared during our trip helped build a range of exposure to Israel. It made me understand how much support the Jewish Federations across the world provide to the country, and how critical it is to give Jewishly. It made me realize that it is my home too, and there is more I can and should be doing to support Israel. A truly life-changing opportunity, and one I look forward to sharing.

Additionally, these shared experiences among our leadership group will lead to life-long relationships, which can only serve to foster better Fort Worth & Tarrant County community collaboration.

Thanks for all your leadership over the course of this program.