What Community Development Can Teach Us About Self-Development
Posted on Wednesday, February 07, 2018 by Yakov Danishefsky
Reposted with thanks to jcfs.org. This repost regarding our passions for change is valid in every season.
Leadership, at its best, is fueled by a fervent desire for change and the ardent commitment to a dream. But zealotry, whatever its worth, is not leadership. Leadership consultant, Marty Linsky, writes that “Leadership is disappointing your people at a rate they can absorb.” If the leader expresses too much passion, she loses her people. Too little passion, and she loses herself and her cause. Being passionate enough to dedicate your life to social-change advocacy, and yet patient and even-keeled enough to do so successfully, is not simple.
Over the last year, in my role as a Jewish Child and Family Services (JCFS) intern, I’ve had the opportunity to see firsthand how challenging it can be to maintain the careful balance between passion and patience. Community Services offers intervention, education and prevention for child abuse, substance addictions, domestic violence and refugee assistance – all are examples of fields where leaders and their communities are sometimes challenged by that balance. Here are five operating principles that help to address those challenges:
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Yakov Danishefsky, an alum of the Wexner Graduate Fellowship (Class 26), lives in Chicago with his wife, Dana, and children, Baruch, Shalom and Leah. He teaches Judaic Studies at Ida Crown Jewish Academy and serves as the Director of the Midwest Center for Jewish Learning, a branch of Yeshiva University Kollel in Chicago. He earned rabbinic ordination at the Rabbi Isaac Elchonon Theological Seminary and a Masters in Jewish Philosophy from the Bernard Revel Graduate school. He is also currently pursuing a Masters in Social Work. He is a self-described modern-Chassid and hopes to perpetuate the emotional and intellectual passion of this great movement. Yakov's dream is to be an offensive coordinator in the NFL and he is starting his coaching career as the assistant coach of the Ida Crown Varsity Aces.