Our Stories

Effective Mid-Career Cohort-Based Professional Development Experiences

Published on jimjosephfoundation.org – July 11, 2023

by Heather Wolfson, Seth Linden, Gamal J. Palmer, and Jenna Hanauer

As the Jim Joseph Foundation works toward developing “dynamic, pioneering leaders and educators,” the Foundation wants to learn about the most effective professional development experiences. To this end, about a year and a half ago, the Foundation launched an initiative to test new models of connection, learning, and leadership development in cohort settings for mid-career professionals within the Jewish community. The Foundation hired Heather Wolfson, along with Seth Linden and Gamal J. Palmer, to help guide this work (Rachel Brodie, z’’l, was also a key partner in the first phase of this work). Together, we have been testing cohort models to understand what makes these experiences so powerful and which design elements contribute to their success: increasing retention and supporting career growth and feelings of connectedness and belonging.