Jewish Federation Institute Will Focus on Volunteer Leadership Development as Part of Strategic Plan

PITTSBURGH — The Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh today announced that a new leadership development institute will nurture the next generation of Jewish Pittsburgh’s volunteer leaders.

The institute is an outgrowth of research that the Federation conducted during development of the organization’s new strategic plan, which the nonprofit adopted in 2021. “Volunteer leaders are the power behind the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh and other Jewish agencies and synagogues,” explained Jeffrey H. Finkelstein, president and CEO of the Jewish Federation. “Research showed us that the best way the Federation can serve the whole community is by offering leadership development in the context of the Federation’s strategic plan.”

The Jewish Federation secured multiyear financial support to create the new institute. In addition to providing leadership development, the institute will be a force in evolving volunteerism in general.

In alignment with the evolving perspective on volunteerism, the Jewish Federation Volunteer Center will cease operation. Both strategic realignment and funding changes external to the Jewish Federation prompted this change.

The Jewish Federation Volunteer Center came to Pittsburgh in 2011 as the result of funding from the United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania and a private foundation. These funds no longer exist to support the center’s work.

The Jewish Federation plans to continue Mitzvah Day, an annual day of service that has been a highlight of Pittsburgh’s volunteer calendar for 21 years. In the last year before the pandemic moved the event online, the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh’s Mitzvah Day sent more than 1,000 volunteers to locations throughout Greater Pittsburgh.

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