Tobin Board Leadership Completes First Year; Graduates Inaugural Class

After six months working together to develop and enhance skills designed to help lead and further the Jewish community, the inaugural class of the Tobin Board Leadership Program graduated 19 participants this May. 

The Program, funded by The Saul Tobin Fund for Jewish Continuity, honors the legacy of the man for which it is named. According to its purpose statement, the fund was established as a testament to Tobin, “a champion of humanitarian causes,” and a man “deeply concerned about the future and the legacy our generation will leave to its successors.”

“In this spirit, the Tobin Board Leadership Program empowers and educates participants to collaborate, spark change, and guide our synagogues, agencies, and organizations with skill, tact, and a well-founded understanding of what it takes to succeed,” said Jacob Meyer, Program facilitator and Jewish Philanthropies of Southern Arizona (JPSA) Community Impact Manager. He continued “this program gives participants the tools they need to transfer their passion for Jewish community into impact for their organizations.”

Program participants benefited from the knowledge and experience of presenters including Amy Glass, Vice President of Strategy & Community Impact at JPSA; Paula Van Ness, Director at the Center for Healthy Nonprofits at Community Foundation for Southern Arizona; Rose Snyder, Leadership and Mental Fitness Coach; Patti Caldwell, Organizational Development Specialist; Todd Rockoff, President and CEO at the Tucson JCC; Betsy Wallace, Organizational Consultant; and Joan Hueble, Owner Hubele Accounting and Consulting. These presenters guided participants through activities, simulations, and other real-world applications of leadership in Jewish institutions.

The extensive program curriculum covered topics such as Roles and Responsibilities of Nonprofit Boards, Nonprofit Finances, Leadership, Board Service as a Jewish Value, Communication Styles, SRE, Nonprofit Board Health, Change Management, and Succession Planning. 

On the last evening of the program, participants were divided into groups to tackle a role-playing exercise that challenged them to consider how to honor donor intent for an educational program, while aligning it with the current needs of the community. Playing their preassigned roles, participants engaged in honest, insightful, and sometimes charged conversation about how best to address the dilemma presented. After the activity, Van Ness led the group through a debrief and discussion

“It was an honor and a pleasure to work with this group,” said Meyer. “This program has been a long time in the making, and it truly warmed my heart to see their dedication to and engagement with both the content and each other. This is an absolutely stellar group of current and future leaders. Kol Ha Havod (all the honor) to our participants, facilitators, and supporters.”

The participants of the 2023 Tobin Board Leadership Program are as follows, bestowed nicknames (in quotes) at graduation by Meyer:

  • Ann Revelle (Congregation Chaverim): “Guiding Light of Congregational Connection” 
  • Kala Phelps (Congregation Anshei Israel): “Beaming Beacon of Lifelong Learning” 
  • Zachary Cohen (Tucson Hebrew Academy): “The Statute Sage of Day School Direction” 
  • Eric Natter (UArizona Hillel): “The Treasury Trailblazer of a Happy Hillel” 
  • Patrick Emerson McCormick (Jewish Family & Children’s Services): “The Benevolent Beacon of Family and Children’s Advocacy” 
  • Katie Stellitano Rosen (Tucson Hebrew Academy): “The Scholarly Shepard of Day School Dedication” 
  • Michael Hoffman (Tucson Hebrew Academy): “The Commanding Custodian of Nonprofit Nurturing” 
  • Jeff Artzi (JPSA): “The Dedicated Driver of Fun-Filled Philanthropy” 
  • Rina Fox (Dedicated Community Leader): “The Steadfast Scholar of Immense Initiative” 
  • Eric Smith (Tucson JCC): “The Steadfast Servant of Kinder Connections” 
  • Laurie Kassman (Kol Ami Synagogue): “The Endowment Enchanter of Synagogue Stewardship” 
  • Joel Black (Congregation Anshei Israel): “The Balance Sheet Beacon of Synagogue Service” 
  • Tom Brannock (JPSA: Young Leadership Board): “The Compassionate Cavalier of Emerging Leadership” 
  • Isaac Rothschild (JPSA): “The Nexus Navigator of Harmonious Leadership” 
  • Danielle Kaplan (Tucson JCC): “The Fresh Face of Tucson Jewish Community Connection” 
  • Todd Glick Jr. (Tucson Jewish Museum & Holocaust Center): “The Preservation Pioneer of Jewish History and Remembrance” 
  • Danielle Larcom (Congregation Anshei Israel): “The Leading Luminary of Anshei’s Awesomeness” 
  • Jason Fox (Dedicated Community Leader): “The Careful Catalyst of Eternal Excellence” 
  • Sarah Tobin Artzi (Dedicated Community Leader): “The Beaming Beacon of Empathetic Engagement” 

If you are interested in learning more about this program, please contact Jacob Meyer.  Details about applying for the next Tobin Board Leadership cohort will be shared as soon as they are available.