Austinites Connect with National and International Jewish Community Through National Young Leadership Cabinet

Austinites Connect with National and International Jewish Community Through National Young Leadership Cabinet

National Young Leadership Cabinet Members represented Austin at the summer retreat in Toronto: Jewel Sud, Ben Kogut, and Amy Kline. Courtesy of NYLC.

By Amy Hyman

Local community leaders, Amy Kline, National Young Leadership Cabinet 6th Year; Jewel Sud, NYLC 3rd Year; and Ben Kogut, NYLC 1st Year, recently returned from the annual NYLC Retreat held in Toronto, Canada, in July. NYLC, the premier leadership development program of The Jewish Federations of North America, educates and connects the next generation of global Jewish leaders and philanthropists. Its goal is to create a community of young business and philanthropic-minded Jewish professionals to be leaders in the Jewish Federation movement.

Through education, skill development and exclusive programming, these leaders are exposed to a deeper understanding of local, national and global Jewish community needs. As the primary pipeline for leadership across major Jewish organizations, members often go on to long-term senior level leadership and local and national levels, within Federation and throughout the Jewish world. Shalom Austin, which encompasses the Jewish Federation, is fortunate to have these aspiring leaders.

Kline, the most senior cabinet member representing Austin, recently served on a recruitment committee at the national level. She felt compelled to do so.

“Cabinet has given me the opportunity to learn about the incredible work of JFNA and its partner agencies, while making lifelong friends. Because of what I have experienced, I would love to continue recruiting members in Austin so they can see what Federation and its partner agencies do to help Jewish communities worldwide,” she explained.

Kline was instrumental in recruiting Kogut, a local leader and first-year cabinet member.

Kogut explained his decision to join NYLC. He said, “I was looking for a new way to get more involved and give back to the community. I have already served on nearly every board and I heard that the NYLC was the best way to access leadership opportunities on a national level. Also, I saw pictures and heard stories about some epic mission trips the group took to incredible places around the world. My commercial real estate career was also in mind because the cabinet has a sub-group who meets once a year in Colorado to network and share best practices.”

Recapping his experience of his first retreat, he said, “I had high expectations for the Toronto retreat, and I was surprised to find out how much more inspired and energized I was to be around so many incredible leaders with shared values and a genuine desire to connect with each other. I'm very excited to start this five-year journey as we all invest in our collective Jewish future and am very proud to represent Austin!”

One of the highlights of the cabinet experience is the annual study mission that provides a unique perspective on global Jewish life and how Federation dollars create a lasting impact. This past spring, mission locations were Russia and Georgia. Past locations include Greece, Sweden, Azerbaijan, Turkey, Romania, Hungary, Germany, Israel and India.

Jewel Sud and Shawn Golan (Houston) at the JCC in St. Petersburg visiting their Tikvateinu program for Jewish young adults who have mental and physical disabilities. They provide them with a safe place where they can come during the week to socialize, learn new skills, make beautiful art, and feel a part of the community. Sud and Golan even met a fellow Longhorn fan. Courtesy of NYLC.

Jewel Sud and Shawn Golan (Houston) at the JCC in St. Petersburg visiting their Tikvateinu program for Jewish young adults who have mental and physical disabilities. They provide them with a safe place where they can come during the week to socialize, learn new skills, make beautiful art, and feel a part of the community. Sud and Golan even met a fellow Longhorn fan. Courtesy of NYLC.

Sud shared that her most impactful moment was doing a home visit in Georgia.

"I had the privilege of meeting Harry and his wife at their home in Tbilisi. They are both brilliant scientists and Harry worked for 50 years in geophysics, biology, and as a chief researcher. In a Western country, someone with his experience and position would be financially secure. In Georgia, he can’t even cover his basic needs. The Jewish Federation, through its partner agency, the Joint Distribution Committee, makes sure he and his wife have enough to eat and help cover the costs for his diabetes medicine,” she said.

Sud emphasized the impact of participating in NYLC and contributing philanthropically.

She said, “it was incredible to see how the dollars we raise here in Austin go to make sure all Jews, like Harry, are taken care of and can live out their final years with dignity. As I sat there with Harry, I was overcome with emotion, this is why I give, this is cabinet.”

To serve on NYLC, candidates must be between the ages of 30 and 40 the year they apply, contribute a minimum of $5,000 to their local Federation's Annual Campaign, demonstrate leadership and be eager for future growth.  

To learn more, please contact Amy Hyman at amy.hyman@shalomaustin.org or 512-735-8078. ■

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