Yom Kippur - URJ Kutz Camp
Yom Kippur: Generational Leadership
and Finding Balance
The philosophy of Generational Leadership, Hanhagah L’dorot, is a cornerstone of our Reform Jewish teen
leadership experience. Derived from the Torah portion that we read in Reform and Progressive congregations
worldwide on Yom Kippur morning, this model asks leaders to think about their unique leadership opportunity,
and work to find balance during that finite experience by having a respect and understanding for the past, while
working to ensure a vibrant future. The analogy is as simple as a see-saw. If one were to stand with their feet next
to one another directly over the fulcrum, the point where the center of the plank of the see saw meets the
supporting weight underneath, it is impossible to maneuver the plank parallel to the ground. However, if one
spreads their feet out ever so slightly in each direction, having ‘one foot in the past and the other in the future’,
with work, patience, and tenacity, one can balance the plank parallel to the ground – and, by extension, find
balance in a leadership role that touches both the past and the present. The guiding questions below can help
frame an action plan for the year that helps to ensure our past, present, and future, one leadership role at a time.
• What do I want to share that is of value to others?
• Am I balancing the needs and traditions of the community?
• Am I working to ensure the next generation of members and leaders?
• Am I balancing my own needs in the process?
• What are my aspirational goals?
• If, at the end of my term, my aspirational goals are wildly successful,
what do the benchmarks of success look like?
• What have I inherited from my
predecessors that is of value to me?
• What lessons have I learned by their
• And, what have I learned from their
• What lessons will I leave because of my
• What do I hope others will learn from
• How will my legacy make a lasting,
URJ Kutz Camp: The center of Reform Jewish Teen Leadership | kutzcamp.org
Resource developed by teen leaders at URJ Kutz Camp.