Strengthening Sephardi Communities: A Professional Development Series (Virtual)

Growing strong Sephardi and Mizrahi leaders, institutions, and communal partnerships to reinforce our shared interests and unite us in our commonalities.

What tools must we, as committed Jewish leaders of historically marginalized Jewish communities, gain to help our communities thrive into the future? What knowledge, skills, and support systems could we benefit from both personally and professionally?

Based on data collected from over 200 Sephardi leaders in the United States, this six-session series aims to answer these questions by meeting the pressing needs of Jewish professionals and lay leaders who have dedicated their lives to Sephardi communities and Jewish causes. While we have a diversity of backgrounds, we share in the need to learn, to engage, and to grow as individuals and as a community of Sephardi and Mizrahi Jews.

An unprecedented learning opportunity for Sephardi and Mizrahi Jewish communal professionals, lay leaders, organizations, and institutions, addressing our diverse needs.

Building intra-communal capacities and connectedness is essential to reinforce our Sephardi values for ourselves, for the communities we serve, and for the larger Jewish communal ecosystem in North America. The Sephardic Leadership Institute has curated an exclusive offering of leadership development training sessions to arm you with the tools necessary to develop thriving organizations, lasting alliances with your fellow Sephardi communal leaders, and to create the solid foundation needed to uplift and empower our diverse Sephardi and Mizrahi leaders and communities.

Aimed at: This program is designed for Jewish professionals and lay leaders of Sephardi, Mizrahi, and Middle Eastern Jewish communities, including administrators, rabbis, activists, educators, nonprofit professionals, social entrepreneurs, board members, and volunteers.

Structure: A series of seven virtual sessions from July to December 2022. To receive the full benefit of this series, we encourage participants to attend as many sessions as possible.

Facilitated by: Each session will be facilitated by highly regarded leaders in their fields. Each facilitator brings years of experience and knowledge to the program as well as insights into the unique challenges and opportunities facing Sephardi and Mizrahi leaders.

Program Details

Dates: From July 2022 to December 2022

Location: Online. Zoom link provided upon registration.

“Action without study–even action is lacking, since it is a branch without roots. And study without action is a root without a branch.”

– Rabbi Benzion Uziel, Sephardic Chief Rabbi of Israel from 1939 to 1953


Learning Arc

July 2022: Social Media 101

The Sephardic Leadership Institute is pleased to invite you to the kick-off session of a year-long professional development program aimed at building strong Sephardi leaders, institutions, and communal partnerships.

During the first session, participants will have the opportunity to learn social media basics and best practices from digital influencer Hen Mazzig. Although he now makes his home in London, Hen grew up in Israel, the son of Jewish refugees from Iraq and Tunisia. Over 100 million users have interacted with his online content, and much of his messaging is grounded in the experiences of his family. Hen has been featured on the BBC, SkyNews, and NBC, and in the Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, International Business Times, Newsweek, and many Jewish publications. In 2019, he co-founded the Tel Aviv Institute, a nonprofit dedicated to using data-driven social media strategies to stand up for Jewish people online. As the Institute’s senior fellow, he has trained a dynamic roster of Jewish advocates in messaging and social media.

Date and Time: Tuesday, July 12th from 11:30AM to 1PM Pacific/2:30 to 4PM Eastern.

August 2022: Strategic Communications

During the second session we will explore how strategic communications are a tool to be utilized in advancing diverse Sephardi organizations,  institutions, and leaders. We will learn about message development, public relations, branding, communications processes, and how our communal messages must be crafted for specific target audiences.

This session will be facilitated by the founder and CEO of an award-winning strategic communications firm that works at the intersection of business, diplomacy, and social impact.

Date and Time: Wednesday, August 19th from 11:30AM to 1PM Pacific/2:30 to 4PM Eastern

August 2022: Sephardi & Mizrahi Jews and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

This session will help participants build foundational language and knowledge around diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) and Sephardi Jewish Americans. The scholar facilitating this session will untangle some of the ideas, social constructs, and language about how Sephardi and Mizrahi Jews are defined and categorized in the Jewish community and more broadly. Participants will walk away with new language, knowledge, and  fresh perspectives on complicated issues of race, ethnicity, and heritage in North America.

Date and Time: Thursday, August 25th from 11:30AM to 1PM Pacific/2:30 to 4PM Eastern

September 2022: Strategic Planning

In the middle of the professional development series, we welcome you to learn how to transform your institution through strategic planning. Facilitated by the founders of Plan A Advisors, this session will focus on the impactful role strategic planning can play in helping your institution reach its highest potential. We will learn the basics of strategic planning and how to design a process that is data-driven yet highly personalized toward the goals and vision of you and your organization.

This session is a must for social entrepreneurs and those working in synagogues and community organizations!

Date and Time: Thursday, September 22nd from 11:30AM to 1PM Pacific/2:30 to 4PM Eastern

October 2022: Advocacy and Government Relations

During this gathering we will learn the basics of advocacy and government relations. Building upon lessons from the beginning of the series, we will gain basic tools on how to implement effective advocacy campaigns related to federal and state policy. We will explore best practices in working with our elected officials and discuss the unique challenges and limitations our Sephardi and Mizrahi communities face when advocating for diverse issues of importance to our communities.

Date and Time: Wednesday, October 19th from 11:30AM to 1PM Pacific/2:30 to 4PM Eastern

November 2022: Revitalizing Sephardic Synagogues

During this session select members of the Sephardic Leadership Institute’s Rabbinical Committee will share personal insights into their successes and challenges in revitalizing Sephardi synagogues from coast to coast. We will discuss unique opportunities for designing and redesigning Sephardic synagogues of the future.

We highly encourage synagogue board members, rabbis, and synagogue staff and volunteers to join us for what is sure to be an engaging conversation on the future of Sephardi Judaism in the United States.

Date and Time: Tuesday, November 15th from 11:30AM to 1PM Pacific/2:30 to 4PM Eastern

December 2022: Fundraising 101

Our learning series will conclude with a session focused on the basics of fundraising in 2022/23. This session will provide an overview of traditional and contemporary methods of fundraising, such as online giving. We will explore fundraising basics such as budgeting, grant writing, and fundraising resources for Jewish professionals and causes.

This final course will provide a segue into the second leadership development series, beginning in January 2023, which will take a deeper dive into fundraising specifics relevant to Sephardi and Mizrahi communities.

Date and Time: Thursday, December 8th from 11:30AM to 1PM Pacific/2:30 to 4PM Eastern



Cost: Thanks to a generous grant from the Jewish Community Response and Impact Fund this program is free. Please register below for the first session and you will receive subsequent zoom links for each session that follows.

We encourage your full participation as this will be an opportunity to learn and to meet other Sephardic and Mizrahi leaders throughout the United States.

Questions About the Program?

For more information or any questions you might have, please contact Ty Alhadeff at