Developing the Next Generation of Leaders

Posted on 03/08/2024 @ 05:00 AM

Tags: Diller Teen Fellows, Teen Education & Engagement

Recently, Diller Miami Cohort 11 spent the weekend learning and growing as leaders and Jews during their “Leadership Shabbaton,” which the Fellows planned almost entirely by themselves.


Diller Fellows are all in 10th or 11th grade and commit to a year-long exploration of leadership skills, Jewish values, tikkun olam, and connection to Israel.


To prepare for the Shabbaton, they were divided into groups and given responsibility for planning the programming that makes up the weekend, including pluralistic Shabbat experiences, team building, and text study.


The Leadership Shabbaton is an opportunity for the Fellows to put the lessons they have learned about navigating different communication styles, self-management, and facilitation into action.


Through preparing for their Diller weekend, they have to practice balancing their busy schedules and work together in a group to produce programming for their peers that is meaningful, engaging, and thought provoking.

 “This weekend helped me learn that working in a collaborative group helps prevent mistakes and brings out the best ideas from everyone. Our group learned from each other and became better leaders together.”


- Guillermina Sibestein Podesta

Cohort 11

The Fellows were able to highlight their own unique talents in their programming, such as including origami, creative puzzles, and different summer camp traditions.


During the Leadership Shabbaton, the Fellows take time to reflect on how they want to grow as a leader and set goals with accountability partners.


At the end of the weekend, our Diller Teens 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 styles, leadership, and working as a team.

“The Leadership Shabbaton helped me increase my confidence speaking in front of the room and empowered me to take on more responsibility in the future.”


- Julia Chemerinski

Cohort 11

The Diller Teen Fellows program is recognized as a premier leadership development program for Jewish teens. It 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.

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 12 of Diller Teen Fellows Miami will open at the end of April 2024 - for more information and to apply, visit


If you know a current 9th or 10th grader who would be an exceptional candidate for the program, please email Ashley Schulman, Diller Teen Fellows Coordinator, at