Building Teen Leaders in the 21st Century

Posted on 03/11/2022 @ 07:00 AM

Tags: Diller Teen Fellows, Teen Education & Engagement

Recently, Diller Miami Cohort 9 spent the weekend learning and growing as leaders and Jews in a “Leadership Shabbaton.”

This gathering was planned almost entirely by the Fellows themselves. 

They had the opportunity to work in committees to plan the programming that would make up the weekend, including pluralistic and creative Shabbat programs, team building, and more. 

The teens worked together navigating different communication styles, time constraints, and busy schedules to experience what it takes to work as a group and produce programming for their peers that would be meaningful, engaging, and thought-provoking!

“The leadership Shabbaton 
helped me build deeper relationships with all of the other fellows and with my junior counselors. Planning, communicating, and facilitating as a team with my committee helped me to really understand the roles of a leader and of a team member in a new way.”
- Jonathan Mikanovsky, Cohort 9 Fellow

The Fellows explored how the impact of their communication styles influence their leadership and reflected on what type of leader they are and want to be. 
This exploration occurred through discussions, feedback sessions, and staff-led processing sessions. At the end of the weekend, the Fellows were not only more closely bonded as a group, but reflected on the fun and incredible time they had during the Shabbaton and the many lessons that they learned about communication, leadership, and working as a team.

“The Leadership Shabbaton process 
helped me feel more confident about my leadership skills, planning, and organizing on my own.
- Lily Marcovich, Cohort 9 Fellow

Spread the word to all current 9th and 10th graders and their parents that applications for Cohort 10 will open at the end of this month! 

The Diller Teen Fellows is recognized as a premier leadership development program for Jewish teens. The program provides a unique model for experiencing Jewish pluralism and Peoplehood. The program has graduated over 5,800 alumni -leaders actively engaged in improving the future of their communities, Israel, and the Jewish people.

Only 20 high school students each year are accepted into each local program, making it a favorite of guidance counselors and college admissions professionals since it is so selective. 

Evaluative studies show that:

  • Fellows become EMPOWERED TEENS, equipped to discover their own journeys and guide others.
  • Fellows form STRONGER JEWISH IDENTITIES and continue a lifelong exploration of their culture, history, and heritage.
  • Fellows become ACTIVATED LEADERS OF TIKKUN OLAM / SOCIAL ACTION, viewing it as their responsibility and opportunity to make the world a better place.

Applications for Cohort 10 of Diller Teen Fellows Miami will open at the end of March 2022 on
If you know a current 9th or 10th grader who would be an exceptional candidate for the program, please email Lindsay Spiegelman, Diller Teen Fellows Coordinator, at