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Growing up, I had many Israeli heroes. Moshe Dayan captivated me, and my D’var Torah at my Bar Mitzvah was focused on him. Golda Meier was the powerful leader who was tough and stood her ground. The one who is truly imbedded in my mind is Menachem Begin. It was Begin I saw on the news every night as he took risks in making peace with Egypt. It was Begin who was the tough Israeli doing whatever was needed to keep Israel safe and to make peace with her Arab neighbors. Begin, Sadat, and Carter together at Camp David seems like yesterday to me.

The way that Begin captivated me makes it even more exciting that the Federation will be showing Upheaval – The Journey of Menachem Begin on Sunday, October 24th at the Orlando Science Center as a fundraiser for our Jerome J. Bornstein leadership program. Both Jonathan Gruber, the director of the film, and our own Bruce Gould, the producer, will speak after the movie and answer questions. Begin is an icon when it comes to leadership, and so is the Federation’s Jerome J. Bornstein Leadership program.

Bornstein is entering its 30th year, having graduated 188 members. Impressively, over 30% of Bornstein graduates are currently committed leaders in our community and beyond. More than 60% are past leaders in the Orlando Jewish community. The Bornstein program has and continues to ensure outstanding leaders throughout the Orlando Jewish community. I can’t think of something more important in ensuring we have a vibrant Jewish community for the future than training leaders.

Our most recent class of 2020 was filled with amazing people who are already making significant impacts throughout the community, serving on boards and committees and changing Jewish Orlando with their passion and impact. The class of 2022 is in the midst of forming, and I am so excited about the current applicants and what they will do for our community.

I recently came across a powerful statement about leadership:

The best leaders are passionate about developing emerging LEADERS, because true leaders don’t create more followers, they create more LEADERS.

That’s what the Federation does. That’s what the Federation is. And that’s what the Jerome J. Bornstein Leadership program does. Sponsorships of Upheaval are available, and all funds raised support the Jerome J. Bornstein endowment.

I hope you join us, and if you haven’t explored the Bornstein program, I hope you do.

Shabbat Shalom,
Keith