Selah Leadership Program

Any questions about the Selah Leadership Program can be directed to Graie Hagans, Chief Vision Officer, at [email protected].


Selah in 2022 & 2023

In 2014, Bend the Arc made the decision to dedicate four Selah cohorts to Jewish People of Color (JPOC) to invest deeply in the leadership of Jews of Color.

The final JPOC Cohort ended in February 2022, and took the remainder of 2022 to evaluate if the four JPOC cohorts achieved their goals. The evaluation process was conducted by Tiyuv, a Jewish women of color-led evaluation consulting firm.

Selah’s History

In 2002, Rockwood Leadership Institute partnered with Bend the Arc: A Jewish Partnership for Justice to co-create Bend the Arc’s Selah Leadership Program — the first leadership training program designed specifically for Jewish leaders working across the social change field. Selah draws on the core elements of Rockwood’s transformative leadership development curriculum and infuses the program with Jewish practice and wisdom to support leaders’ ability to work effectively, sustainably, and collaboratively for social change within and beyond the Jewish community. Rockwood has provided both content and training expertise to Selah from its inception, and continues to influence Selah’s evolution and impact.

In 2015, after thirteen cohorts with a majority of white Jews, Selah launched its first cohort specifically for Jewish Leaders of Color. We made this decision because while the American Jewish community is multiracial — current estimates are that between 10-20% of the American Jewish community identify as Jews of Color — there continues to be only a few prominent Jewish Leaders of Color in Jewish mainstream organizations.

Through four Selah Cohorts for Jewish Leaders of Color, participants have built deep, interdependent relationships to advance and support each other in their leadership inside and outside the Jewish community.

Since its founding in 2002, Selah has trained more than 400 leaders from over 200 organizations.

  • The core pillars of Selah—Purpose, Vision, Resourcefulness, Partnership, and Performance—have become my organizational life blood. I use the teachings of each of these pillars in everything that I do, whether it be motivating staff, writing performance evaluations, public speaking, or fundraising.  

    Robert Bank, Cohort 2: East Coast, 2005; and Cohort 7: Organizational, 2009

  • Before I discovered Selah, I could not find a program that combined the concrete skills, experienced peers, program design and level of time commitment that convinced me to take the leap.

    Andrea Levere, Cohort 9

  • Selah was not only an incredible experience to help me focus my energy on how to be the best professional I could be, it also helped me fully evaluate my personal ecology and purpose and vision for my life.

    Lacey Schwartz, Cohort 5: National

  • The Selah program gave me concrete tools to use in my everyday life to help me to maximize my potential as a rabbi.

    Rabbi Felicia Sol, Cohort 1: East Coast, 2004

  • I recommend Selah for anyone who is prepared to challenge all of his assumptions, take ownership of and responsibility for her personal and professional power, and commit fully to relationships with some of the finest human beings in the community.

    Shawn Landres, Cohort 4: National, 2007

  • Since participating in Selah, I have begun a regular practice of rest and reflection. This practice has made my social change work more sustainable.

    Quito Ziegler, Cohort 2: East Coast, 2005

  • The people in my cohort are wonderful—activists/leaders/artists—people who will make a difference. Selah helps us connect to each other and deepen our understanding of each other's work.

    Heather Booth, Cohort 4: National, 2007

  • Who ever thought being pushed to acknowledge the full complement of my strengths and my obstacles to success could be so rewarding and so enjoyable! The relationships I have built in Selah have proved invaluable, personally and professionally.

    Elissa Barrett, Cohort 5: National, 2008; and Cohort 7: Organizational, 2009

  • It is rare to find a leadership program that effectively balances training, intentional relationship-building, and strategic thinking for the movement. I consistently find that I refer back to the practices that I learned at Selah.

    Jaime Rapaport Barry, Cohort 4: National, 2007

  • Selah has equipped me with the tools, concepts and language that have just begun to deepen my skills and ownership of my leadership and personal power for the benefit of my community. Executive leadership is incredibly demanding and Selah has bolstered my ability and confidence to more effectively address the challenges I encounter in my work.

    April Baskin, Selah Cohort 10: National