Adaptive Leadership for Jewish Educators

Join Dr. Tali Zelkowicz, Director of Curriculum & Research at The Wexner Foundation, for a two-part series on how to create intentional change in Jewish Education with the key tools and tactics of Adaptive Leadership.

Together, we will learn the principles of Adaptive Leadership and practice harnessing creative thinking as we embark on this year’s work. We will also study text with a nationally recognized scholar and re-energize to go forward after such a long and tiring summer.

Dates: October 20 & 27, 2021
9:30 – 11:30 am
 $72 by September 1, $100 afterwards
Register By: October 11, 2021
Main Contact: Deb Massey,
Subsidy Information: All trainings at Jewish LearningWorks are subsidized by our generous donors. To arrange a cost adjustment, please email

About the Program

Covid is devastating in so many ways that it will take us time to understand, process, mourn, and hopefully heal. Quite suddenly, almost the entire landscape of normative practice became wet cement. The amount and type of cultural change and experimentation that we’ve just seen and experienced in education alone would otherwise take years, or decades, if anyone had thought to  question those norms at all.

When it is safe for the reasons that externally necessitated these changes to gradually and safely lift, how might we as leaders continue to be intentionally adaptive, as our super-human Covid-time adaptability returns to normal, human proportions?

Adaptive Leadership offers one rich framework for response.

As long-time teachers of the model, Ron Heifetz, Alexander Grashow and Marty Linsky put it, Adaptive Leadership is the activity of holding people through a sustained period of disequilibrium during which they identify what cultural DNA to conserve and discard, invent or discover, that will enable them to thrive anew.

The Wexner Foundation has taught Adaptive Leadership to several generations of both lay and professional Jewish communal leaders in North America and Israel. Join Dr. Tali Zelkowicz, Director of Curriculum & Research at TWF, for a two-part series seeking to apply key tools and tactics of Adaptive Leadership to intentional change in Jewish Education.

As we emerge from places we never imagined we’d go, join us to explore how we might continue to boldly go where we’ve never been, but this time, on purpose.

More About Dr. Tali Zelkowicz

A native of the Pacific Northwest, Dr. Tali Zelkowicz completed her undergraduate work in Sociology on the Dean’s List at the University of British Columbia before attending Hebrew Union College in Los Angeles, where she received rabbinical ordination and an MA in Jewish Education from the Rhea Hirsch School. She earned her doctorate at New York University’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, as a Wexner Graduate Fellow. She received a Young Scholar’s Award from the Network for Research in Jewish Education and was granted a Writing Dissertation Fellowship from the National Foundation for Jewish Culture. Her articles and chapters on identity formation appear in a variety of journals, magazines and anthologies.

As a sociologist of Jewish education, Tali is endlessly fascinated by cultural straddling and the ways we manage the tensions that are produced by being a part of and apart from American life, as Jews. In 2016, after a decade of research, writing and teaching graduate students in rabbinical, educational and non-profit management degree programs at HUC in Los Angeles, Tali was fortunate to be able to translate her research on integration and identity work into practice at Columbus Jewish Day School, where she served as Head of School. Tali is delighted to be able to integrate sociology, education and Judaism as The Wexner Foundation’s first Director of Curriculum and Research.

Tali lives in Columbus with her film-animating and children’s-book-authoring husband, Benny, and their two children, Gavriela and Asher. When she is not integrating disciplines, she loves scuba diving, softball, board games, traveling, table tennis and is determined to coordinate a recreational Kosher Iron Chef competition one day soon.