Reposted with thanks to

A little over a year ago, I started my role at the Wiener Center for Leadership and Learning at UJA-Federation of New York as Director of Learning and Development.  I became a professional in the Jewish nonprofit sector after spending more than 10 years in corporate America working in human resources, with a specific focus on learning and development.  I decided to switch gears and join the Jewish nonprofit sector to give back to the community that gave me so much.  Since I made the switch, I couldn’t be happier to be in this meaningful role and to have an opportunity to make a real impact.  During my time here so far, I’ve talked to many people, including executives, learning program participants, and even people who chose not to be part of the programs.  I made a few observations about the emphasis on learning and development in Jewish organizations that I thought would be worthwhile to share.

To read more about Yelena’s experience at the Wiener Center for Leadership, click here.

Yelena Kutikova, a member of the NY RSJ 16 cohort, was born and grew up in Kiev, Ukraine and immigrated to United States in 1999 together with her parents and sister. Yelena received her BA in Psychology from Brooklyn College and an MA in Organizational Psychology from Columbia University. She is Director of Learning and Development for UJA Federation where she oversees professional and lay leadership learning and development. Yelena has broad leadership development experience from her previous work in major corporations such as Estee Lauder, Mitsubishi, Accenture and AIG.  Yelena is actively involved in Jewish life and passionate about building strong Jewish community. She was leading the Mazel Day School Parent Association for 2 years and is a co-founder and Governance Committee member of the Jewish Parent Academy (JPA) for Russian Jewish parents.