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Joint Study Day: Leadership in Times of Crisis

Conducted remotely, the study day for fellows of the Mandel Leadership Institute's programs examined the main challenges faced by fellows in their fields of action

Joint Study Day: Leadership in Times of Crisis

​Under the shadow of the coronavirus crisis, the fellows of the leadership programs of the Mandel Leadership Institute met online for their second joint study day of the year, which explored macro questions and forecasts relating to the future of the world, and examined the most pressing issues faced by the fellows in their professional fields.

The day began with two lectures from guest experts. Professor Yuli Tamir – professor of philosophy, incoming president of Beit Berl College, and former minister of education – spoke about the central role of the nation-state in the current crisis and about the fundamental political assumptions regarding questions of national sovereignty in a local context: What does nationalism look like during the pandemic and in the post-corona reality? How will our public systems be altered? What can we learn from this crisis about the future forces that will shape our world? (To view a video of her Hebrew presentation, click here.)

Nadav Eyal, chief international correspondent for Reshet News, presented the most recent scientific research regarding the coronavirus pandemic and the different strategies taken to respond to it across the globe, and proposed several key questions about the post-corona world: How will the world change? What opportunities will arise for individuals and organizations? What is Israel’s standing relative to the rest of the world in the current situation, and what will the implications and challenges be for the future? (To view a video of his Hebrew presentation, click here.)

Next, the fellows split into mixed groups made up of fellows from the different programs and learned about the diverse areas of impact that the programs address: 

  • The Mandel Program for Leadership Development in the Haredi Community, led by faculty member Dr. Lior Alperovitch, presented the public's behavior during the efforts to combat the spread of the virus, and highlighted the different coping strategies adopted by Haredi society.

  • Miki Nevo, director of the Mandel Youth Leadership Program, together with the program fellows, presented the crisis experienced by informal education organizations, as they faced the complex challenge of maintaining educational and values-based work with youth from all walks of Israeli life.

  • The fellows of the Mandel Program for Leadership in Jewish Culture, together with program director Mishael Zion, described the challenges the pandemic has posed to the world of culture and community as culture suddenly entered a deep freeze, and discussed the opportunities and enterprises that arose as a result.

  • The Mandel IDF Educational Leadership Program, led by program director Lior Peri, explored the issue of leadership in emergencies and extreme circumstances as an integral part of the leadership required of IDF commanders.

The fellows reported that the study day made them explore their own conceptions of leadership, as well as different ways of thinking that challenge their existing conceptions. They stressed that it is important to be able to look at things from different perspectives, especially during times of crisis such as the one that we are currently experiencing. The fellows also emphasized the importance of taking a systemic approach, and of facilitating collaborations between different areas of impact. One of the fellows summed up by saying: “In light of the expected changes, it is becoming clear that leaders and social activists will need to cast their nets wide and to make the most of opportunities as they present themselves.”