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Insight into Leadership

Back row (from left) Richard Stein, Terry Shlomo, Norman Kaye, Arne Rabuchin, Marina Hazan, Shelley Sharon, Irith Langer. Barbara Kliner and Brenda Katten Front row (from left) Carolyn Cappone, Li-Or Goldman, Carole Kaye and Juliet Rostowsky

ESRA organized a leadership training course open to all. Twelve participants completed the course of which five were newcomers to ESRA. It was facilitated by Brenda Katten and Juliet Rostowsky.

The initial workshop took place in November of last year and, at the request of the participants, a follow-up workshop was held in May of this year

Below are the comments of two participants – one a chairperson of an active ESRA branch and the second a newcomer to ESRA.

The view of an ESRA chairperson

We arrived, a diverse group of participants, not knowing what to expect. Some, like me, were already involved in ESRA but a number were drawn to the subject matter rather than ESRA as an organization.

The journey of discovery began and en route we discovered one another.

The course embraced counselling techniques, such as the Johari Window Model, which became self-explanatory as we progressed, combined with practical skills, such as preparing and delivering a talk and giving a vote of thanks. These formed the basis of the workshop guidelines.

Through the dynamics of role play, we experienced the good, the bad, and the indifferent chairperson, which proved to be both a learning and fun experience.

Breaking into small groups, we observed each other and appreciated the significance of listening; how to criticize in a positive manner; how to deal with negativity; how to encourage involvement and when to be assertive.

At the final "feedback" session, it was fascinating to find that we had become a close knit group prepared to share our inner reactions in an open and courageous fashion.

We left with a positive feeling, appreciating that our newly acquired leadership skills could be put to good use in everyday situations.

Terry Shlomo

Chairperson ESRA Ramat Aviv

A newcomer's thoughts

The course was enjoyable from the beginning to the end.

A group of people came together to improve their leadership abilities. Some were already involved in ESRA while others were attending the course because the topic interested them.

It was valuable to learn how important it is to listen attentively and how to respond appropriately; to know when to praise and when to give constructive criticism in a way such as not to offend. Early on, one could recognize the significance of group dynamics.

As a relative newcomer to ESRA, I found it impressive to discover how much time and know-how the volunteers invest in ESRA's varied and fascinating projects.

I also became aware of the necessary effort and skill involved in planning an event.

The workshop helped to develop self-confidence.

On the last day of the four day course, every participant gave a short presentation. Besides the significant improvement over the presentations given at the beginning of the course, it was moving to hear personal stories.

The final session enabled participants to express what impact the experience had had on them as individuals. All agreed that it had been positive and felt they had come away with newly acquired skills.

The group grew together during the course and we all felt sorry that the workshop had come to an end.

At a personal level, the course motivated me to wish to contribute more to the fabulous ESRA organization.

My appreciation goes to Brenda and Juliet who, with great skill, led the group. In addition, warm thanks to the whole lovely group of participants. It was a wonderful experience. My hope is more such workshops will follow.

Irith Langer 



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