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The JCC East Bay's Leadership Development Fellowship for Young Professionals is an extraordinary opportunity to enhance your skills and explore your passions as a future leader in the Jewish community.

Be part of a cohort experience with other inspiring young professionals in the Bay Area.

Monthly sessions with important leaders in the local community as guest speakers provide education on leadership.

Fellows have the opportunity to be matched with a mentor who is a seasoned community leader to grow from their expertise and guidance.

Capstone projects give fellows a platform on which to give back to the community while building their resumes.

The graduation ceremony will celebrate fellows' accomplishments, and long after, fellows will receive ongoing support and community with the JCC as they continue on their leadership journey. 



Grounding in History

Introducing the history of the Bay Area Jewish community with a deep-dive into current demographics.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Covering identities, biases, common DEI issues in Jewish communal spaces, and tips for creating an inclusive space, shared from the perspective of people who have identified and addressed issues in their own communities.

Types of Leaders

Personality assessment, with a focus on how each group prefers their communication and how to compliment one another’s work styles.

Healthy Boundaries

How to communicate your needs while helping others through their own stress whether those are the people/communities you serve, or your own coworkers.

Serving Our Community Through Philanthropy

Workshop allowing Jewish texts, traditions, and values to inform best practices for leaders today. How can we define our passions and be a leader for our community? Exploring Jewish responsibility in the Jewish community. Defining how to connect one’s passions with what one wants to focus on in leadership.

Creating Connections

Organizational speed dating, featuring many of the local and national Jewish organizations that serve young professionals, as well as many of the local Jewish organizations that serve the broader community.


Defining the building blocks for resilience so a leader can contribute their best self, and by extension, foster resilient communities.

Bonus session - Tools for Self Empowerment

Professional development tips on writing resumes, writing cover letters, networking, informational interviews, etc.



We are excited to present our 2021-22 Leadership Development Fellows! Visit this page again later to learn about the capstone projects they will be creating to help support our local Jewish community. 

Michael Bruell

Having moved to the Bay Area this past year, Michael is excited to be part of the JCC East Bay Leadership Development Fellowship! He is a senior associate at P4G Capital, a private equity firm focused on investing in the industrials and business services sectors. A Midwest native, Michael graduated from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University. Michael brings a love of Jewish life and experience with many different Jewish organizations throughout the years to the table.

Talia Citron

Talia Citron is from Orinda, California and grew up going to Temple Isaiah in Lafayette. For college, she attended U.C. Santa Barbara where she double majored in Political Science and Global Studies. After working at a law firm in Los Angeles for two years, Talia moved to Washington DC for law school at the George Washington University Law School. Since graduating in May, Talia has moved back to the East Bay to work as a legal research clerk for the San Francisco Superior Court in their criminal division. Talia is passionate about health and wellness, and enjoys exercising, doing crossword puzzles, and spending time with her family, friends and boyfriend.

Amy Fischer Smith

Ms. Fischer Smith is a public relations professional who resides in the East Bay. She is a Board Member at Temple Isaiah in Lafayette, where she serves as Co-Chair of the Gan Ilan Preschool Parent Association. She is currently part of her Temple's Adult B'nai Mitzvah cohort and will become bat mitzvah in December of 2022. In her spare time, she enjoys painting watercolors, traveling, cooking, and spending time with her husband and three boys.

Andrew Goldblatt

Andrew Muchin Goldblatt (He/They) is the Assistant Program Manager for the Progressive Jewish Fund of the New Israel Fund. They moved to Oakland after graduating with a BA in Judaic Studies from Tufts University. Andrew grew up in the Lincoln Park neighborhood of Chicago and they enjoy playing guitar and appreciating comedy in their free time.

Aliza Herzberg

Aliza Herzberg grew up in the Bay Area Jewish community and is a graduate of Cal Poly University with a Bachelor of Science in Anthropology and Geography and a Minor in City and Regional Planning. She currently works as a Program Manager/Environmental Educator at Kids for the Bay. She has a wide range of international experiences, such as working in Berlin, Germany supporting psychosocial programs for refugees, studying abroad in Chiang Mai, Thailand and serving in Lod, Israel as a Yahel Israel Social Change Fellow. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, gardening, reading, yoga and hiking.

Ilana Koka

Ilana Koka is the embodiment of her name, meaning tree as she is constantly growing and shifting with the seasons of life. Ilana intentionally creates community anywhere she goes and is dedicated to increasing the wellbeing of people through community connection. Ilana is a passionate certified functional wellness coach and nutritionist and shares her gifts within her private practice. She is joyful about being part of the inaugural cohort and looks forward to growing with the larger JCC community!

Max Moy-Borgen

Max Moy-Borgen was born and raised in the Bay Area and has had a lifelong commitment to the practices of tikkun olam and social justice. This is exemplified through Max's background in direct service, nonprofit management, community organizing, teaching, and advocacy. Max is deeply passionate about promoting the economic empowerment of diverse, low-income communities. Max recently started nursing school and looks forward to starting a new career focused on healing. Max has an interest in becoming a meaningful leader in the local Jewish community specifically focusing on diversity, equity, and inclusion as well as interfaith involvement to respond to local issues such as affordable housing, homelessness, hunger, poverty, and more.

Sapir Taib

Sapir Taib is the Program Director of JIMENA (Jews Indigenous to the Middle East and North Africa). JIMENA is a Jewish non-profit organization based in San Francisco whose mission is to achieve universal recognition for the heritage and history of almost one million Jewish refugees from the Middle East and North Africa and their descendants. Sapir was born and raised in Israel, and her family is from Tunisia and Libya. She graduated from Bar Ilan University and received her B.A. with honors in Political and Social Science. Since moving to the Bay Area from Israel in 2017, Sapir oversees several Bay Area social media groups for local Jewish events and participated in several leadership programs, including the Shalom Hartman Bay Area Fellowship, WZO board, and IAC Gvanim leadership.

Liana Thomason

Liana Thomason is the Community Outreach Manager at Shalom Bayit, the Bay Area's foremost voice on gender-based violence in the Jewish community. Liana got her start in this work in 2014, when she co-founded Berkeley High School Stop Harassing, an award-winning youth movement designed to combat sexual harassment at the high school level. After college, she participated in Avodah's year of service in Washington, DC, where she educated women on their workplace rights related to sexual harassment and domestic violence. Liana feels most connected with her Judaism when she is engaging in activism of any type.

Sam Tobis

Sam Tobis lives in Oakland. Sam runs Grand Bakery with the mission to provide and celebrate classic Jewish comfort food. Outside of work, Sam enjoys yoga, running, sauna and wilderness backpacking.


Who can apply?

All young professionals who have an interest in becoming meaningful leaders in the local Jewish community are welcome to apply! Young professionals generally refers to the "post-college, pre-family" stage of life; that said, those who did not attend college and/or who do not plan to start a family are of course welcome as well.

The JCC East Bay promotes an environment of equal opportunity and will make fellowship acceptance decisions on the basis of merit. The JCC East Bay policy prohibits unlawful discrimination in accordance with federal, state, and local laws and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its activities or operations. The JCC East Bay complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act and is committed to providing reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities. If you require particular accommodations during the application and interview process, please inform us of your needs so that we can provide accordingly.

Is this virtual or in person?

This fellowship will be virtual over zoom until we can safely gather in person, in the East Bay.

Does it cost money to participate?

No - this fellowship is entirely free, and in addition to skills and resume building, you will get JCC East Bay swag as well! 

What is the schedule and time commitment?

This fellowship begins in October and has a graduation ceremony in June, featuring one two-hour session each month on a weeknight (the day of the week is chosen according to fellows' availability). There will be an optional bonus session in late June, featuring professional development. There will also be a capstone project that can take an investment in time to complete. The capstone must be finished within two months of graduation.

Is there homework?

Aside from occasional articles to read in advance of a session, there is no actual homework for this fellowship. That said, fellows will be encouraged to read supplemental materials and attend community events throughout the fellowship in order to learn further and to immerse themselves in the local Jewish community.

What does the mentorship component entail?

On the application, you will have the opportunity to choose to be matched with a mentor. Pulling from our extensive network of important seasoned leaders in the Jewish community, we will do our best to match you with a mentor who can relate to your leadership interests and aspirations.

What is the deadline to apply?

We are no longer accepting applications for the 2021-22 cohort.

Who can I contact if I have more questions?

Email our Program Manager, Alystar Sacks, at with any questions.