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December 8, 2016 / 8 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘leadership’

Egypt Coptic Christian Leadership Condemns Western Media Coverage

Tuesday, August 20th, 2013

In the face of an unprecedented wave of violence directed against Coptic Christians amid the turmoil in Egypt that has left hundred’s dead, the church’s leadership issued a statement condemning the Western media’s biased coverage of the events in Egypt.

“We strongly denounce the fallacies broadcasted by the Western media and invite them to review the facts objectively regarding these bloody radical organizations and their affiliates instead of legitimizing them with global support and political protection while they attempt to spread devastation and destruction in our dear land,” reads the statement, according to a Google translation.

“We request that the international and western media adhere to providing a comprehensive account of all events with truth, accuracy, and honesty,” the statement added.

The Coptic Church also reaffirmed its support for the military-backed government, calling on the army and security forces to continue their fight against the “armed violent groups and black terrorism.”

One of the oldest communities in Christianity, Coptic Christians have survived numerous persecutions in the past. But the recent violence is unprecedented. The Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR), an independent human rights organization, has documented 39 attacks against Coptic Christian churches, schools, monasteries and businesses since late last week, NPR reported.

Coptic Christians constituted a majority of Egypt’s population until the Middle Ages, when Islam, introduced by the Arab invasions in the 7th century, eclipsed their religion. Today, Coptic Christianity comprises nearly 10 percent of Egypt’s 85 million people, making it the largest single Christian community remaining in the Middle East.

JNS News Service

Chief Rabbis & Politics

Monday, August 5th, 2013

I have never been a fan of chief rabbis. Anyone appointed by committees, politicians, or bureaucrats is suspect in my eyes. Perhaps my antipathy is rooted in the days when both Napoleon and the czar appointed state chief rabbis whom they approved of because they were likely to support their agendas. I can say with confidence that, in general, the greatest rabbis, whether intellectually or spiritually, have never been interested in public appointments.

I don’t mean to say that all chief rabbis have been duds. Israel’s Chief Rabbis Abraham Isaac Kook, Isaac Herzog, and Uziel were great men by any criteria. Chief Rabbi Goren was a dynamic overachiever and a fearless innovator. Some, like Ovadiah Yosef, have been great scholars but poor spokesmen. But there have been too many others who were undiplomatic, corrupt, or ineffective. The reason can simply be put down to politics. When appointments are made by groups of political appointees (or self-appointed grandees) they invariably make the wrong decisions. Neither is public acclaim a reliable test of the best person for the job. Those who seek or need public recognition are rarely willing or able to take the tough and controversial stands that are the mark of genuine leadership.

Israel recently appointed two chief rabbis, both the sons of previous chief rabbis. I do not know either of them. But remarks I have seen attributed to them leave me deeply depressed that they will reflect a xenophobic, narrow perspective and shrink from trying to humanize the rabbinate. The political maneuvering, the arm twisting, the deals behind closed doors all point to a corrupt system. And once gain the innovative, the exciting have lost out. If a good man ever emerges it is despite the system not because of it. Nepotism is a poor way of producing great leaders. Yet throughout Jewish religious institutions nepotism is the norm rather than the exception. Yeshivot nowadays are often big family businesses (as indeed are most Chasidic dynasties).

Israel has two chief rabbis, one Ashkenazi and the other Sefardi. This in itself is evidence of how flawed the system is, that in a small religion such as ours religious leadership cannot work together. In addition, in Israel, there is a huge disconnect between the religious leadership and the common person, between the state rabbinate and the Charedi world, which has its own authorities. Indeed the Charedi world always rubbished and abused the state rabbinate until, in the desperate search for jobs for the boys and power, it began to infiltrate and then take much of it over. Once again it has ensured that its candidates have got the jobs.

One of the first words in Ivrit I learnt was “protektsia” (yes, I know it comes from Russian). “Vitamin P” meant you could not get anywhere in Israeli life, from top to bottom, religious or secular, without knowing someone or having someone pull strings in your behalf. So it was and so it largely remains. When this disease infects religion, it loses its moral authority.

But surely, you will say, Judaism requires one to respect one’s religious leaders. In theory this is so. The Torah commands respect for princes and scholars. Our liturgy is full of references to their importance. But there are two very distinct types of leadership in our tradition. The prophet and the judge emerged through merit. That’s probably why there were women judges and prophets. Rabbis as a rule were the result of meritocracy (the rabbinic dynasties that began with Hillel wanted to have their cake and eat it). On the other hand, the priesthood and the monarchy were both hereditary, and both failed. Most of the Jewish kings were idolatrous, evil men, and most priests showed more interest in money and power than Divine service.

Moshe typified the meritocracy. This was why he always defended himself by referring to his spotless record. It is true we say that in each generation we must accept the leader, Jephtah in his generation as the equivalent of Samuel in his. But I believe that has another meaning, of the need to accept the best we can get.

“Pray for the welfare of the ruling powers because otherwise humans would swallow each other up,” says the Mishna. That very Hobbesian idea underpins our modern secular states. But as Locke argued, if the king failed to do his job, you could and should get rid of him. This is why we pray for the State wherever we live, even as we may try our best to vote out whoever the current prime minister is. We in the West have recently experienced the irrational hysteria over a royal baby. I have no interest in ordinary people being elevated to positions of power or even symbolic authority simply on the basis of birth. There are enough inequalities in life of rank and wealth. I like the fact that we can vote people out of office as much as in. If I choose to respect someone, it is on the basis of the respect he or she earns, not the position they have been given. The diploma should be greater than the diaper.

I look forward to Elijah’s arrival. I hope he will not try to reinstate the monarchy. But I am pretty sure he will not insist on two kings, one Ashkenazi and the other Sefardi.

One of the reasons for so much disillusion with religion is precisely this disconnect between how its leaders too often behave and speak and their own purported religious values. The more we see how susceptible religious leadership is to money, power, and fame, the less good the religion they represent looks. I don’t care too much what politicians like Spitzer or Weiner get up to, and if people want to vote for them that’s their problem. But when religious leadership behaves like political leadership, something is very wrong.

Jeremy Rosen

The Best Job for 2013 and Beyond

Tuesday, December 11th, 2012

U.S. News and World Report advises that if you want a “hot career,” you should become a registered nurse, software developer, or pharmacist. But they’re wrong. They are missing what America needs the most today, and will need even more tomorrow.

Which job will always be in demand, assure job satisfaction, impact the world, and may even make you rich?

To answer that question, look at the job market the same way an entrepreneur examines the commercial situation. Look for the biggest hole and then find the tools needed to fill it. Look around your workplace, look at your colleagues, and even at your bosses. What do you see?

The demise of leadership.

Leadership is a job

Sadly, people today, especially those just entering the workforce, lack the skills to lead their fellow workers. Having grown up in a society of entitlement, they learned that someone else is responsible for fixing every problem.

No job? The government should fix it. No health insurance? Other taxpayers should pay. Child fails in school? Blame the teacher. Declaring bankruptcy? It’s the bank’s fault for lending you the money.

The list goes on and on. We have a crisis of leadership because today’s young adults grew up in a society where they watched their parents blame others for every problem, and where they themselves never had to work hard. Without mentors and examples to lead the path of leadership, how will today’s youth grow into leaders?

What is a leader?

A leader is a dreamer. He must believe in himself and in others. He must love to teach and learn. He listens and speaks sparingly. He sets standards for himself and he values character. He’s a giver, not a taker.

The demise of leadership in the past 25 years has created fabulous job opportunities. Companies without visionary leaders will eventually fail. So don’t train yourself for a job qualification, because all you will do is work for one of the destined-to-fail firms. Rather, learn how to become a leader and you will find companies not looking to give you a job, but begging you to guide them.

Countless books have been written about how to become a leader. Others have been written about the benefits of having great leaders. Two of my favorites are Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter by Liz Wiseman and Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap… And Others Don’t  by Jim Collins.

I can tell you that as a financial adviser on Wall Street for over 20 years, I have witnessed the decline of quality leaders both in business and politics. If you can fill the shoes of the great men and women who led us in the previous generation, then you will change the world.

And that’s not a job. It’s a life.

Doug Goldstein, CFP®

Julie Menin Announces Campaign for Manhattan Borough President

Wednesday, December 5th, 2012

Julie Menin, former Chair of Community Board 1 in Lower Manhattan, today announced her candidacy for the Democratic nomination for Manhattan Borough President endorsed by more than 200 grassroots community leaders from communities across the length and breadth of the borough.

“I’m running for borough president because I believe my strong track record of leadership and solution driven approach is what is needed in the challenging times our borough faces. As Manhattan builds – and rebuilds – we should create good jobs and affordable housing for people who live in every part of the borough.

“Every parent should be able to send their child to a nearby school that meets their needs. Every family should have access to great parks and playgrounds in their own neighborhood.

“Every New Yorker should have a voice in decisions that affect their community.”

She added: “Making sure that our growth benefits every neighborhood will take leadership, common-sense solutions and the ability to bring people together. That’s been my record as a lawyer, small business owner and community leader, standing up for what’s right and getting results.”

Menin is a community leader and mother of three young children who is known for helping lead downtown Manhattan’s recovery after 9/11, helping lead the charge to build three new schools, exposing government waste and taking on the big battles to protect our democratic principles.

Having completed fundraising for the 2013 race, Menin’s campaign launch is focused on her grassroots support. She has announced a schedule of 200 “Menin Meet-Ups” and will be drawing on a volunteer list that is already over a thousand New Yorkers long.

Jewish Press News Briefs

ADL Commemorates its Centennial by Honoring Bain Capital Executive

Tuesday, November 27th, 2012

On its 100th year, the Anti-Defamation League  is recognizing Lavine’s immense civic leadership and influence to affect positive change in our community. Their press release states: Lavine believes strongly in giving back to his community. Together with his wife Jeannie, Lavine has helped create, grow and sustain numerous organizations focused on improving the lives of children and families around the world.

“It is fitting that we commemorate ADL’s centennial in New England by honoring Jonathan Lavine, who embodies the very principles that have defined ADL since 1913,” said ADL National Director Abraham Foxman. “He is a champion for those who need support, and for those who may be bullied or discriminated against. We are delighted to have this opportunity to honor and thank him, to acknowledge his exemplary leadership, and inspire others to follow his extraordinary example of service to the community.”

Lavine is Managing Partner and Chief Investment Officer of Sankaty Advisors, the fixed income and credit affiliate of Bain Capital, one of the leading global credit and distressed debt managers, with approximately $19 billion of assets under management.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Tension in Shas after Deri Demand to Supervise All Nominations

Monday, November 26th, 2012

Those who suggested it was only a matter of time before Aryeh Deri began his move to the absolute leadership of Shas, having been assigned to a co-leadership with Interior Minister Eli Yishai, can point to a case of a frozen appointment this week as the first eruption of hostilities between the charismatic ex-con Deri and the Shas leadership that stayed out of jail in his absence.

Kikar HaShabbat reported that Deri tried to prevent or suspend the appointment of a senior figure in Shas, causing tension in the Haredi-Sephardi party.

The belittled official was one Rafi Malachi who serves as chairman of the Shas delegation to the Histadrut national workers union and is a deputy of Histadrut chairman Ofer Eini. Malachi was planning to appoint Yisrael Amitai, who is close to the Shas leadership and to Eli Yishai, to a major position in the union. But at the last minute Malachi received a phone call from Shas treasurer Yehuda Ochana, who had jumped ship from Yishai’s to Deri’s deck, telling him the appointment is fozen for now and that future appointments must be run through Aryeh Deri.

Deri will attempt to calm the sudden tension he caused in a face to face meeting with Amitai on Tuesday. But many in Shas view the move as a signal that Deri intends to be in charge of patronage in the party.

Stay tuned.

Yori Yanover

Group Effort

Friday, November 23rd, 2012

These IDF soldiers decided to express how they felt about their political leadership using their most precious possessions: their uniform-clad bodies.

So they got together and formed the words “Bibi Loser” in the sand.

It’s grammatically incomplete, and the use of Hebrew letters to write an English statement is questionable, but there’s no doubt about the clarity of their message.

Took the words right out of my mouth.

Yori Yanover

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/photos/group-effort/2012/11/23/

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