Leadership Academy

JRA was founded in 2000 by then 20-something Marc Erlbaum, a group of his friends, and mentor Rabbi Menachem Schmidt, who were eager to make a direct impact locally by providing food for those who needed it most. JRA began as an organization energized by young professionals.

JRA’s Leadership Academy empowers young adults with heart and talent to take action against hunger in Philadelphia, through understanding our mission and values, enhancing leadership skills, and prioritizing a philanthropic mindset.

We have developed a hands-on learning curriculum to impart lessons in leadership and an inside view of JRA, with the aim of enhancing leadership skills and giving participants access to a network of successful people who care. Participants will learn what made JRA a start-up sensation and, now, a mature category leader. Most importantly, Leadership Academy members will add meaning to their lives - learning to drive and not just to follow - and one in which giving and gaining become remarkably intermingled.

Program Details: 


The JRA Leadership Academy is a 9-month, interactive learning experience. Our goal is to help you find your passion within the framework of JRA and give you the tools you will need to take on a future committee or board leadership role. From finance to logistics to community engagement.. you will see it all through the JRA Leadership Academy.

  • Attendance at each of the monthly Leadership Academy activities is required.
  • Complimentary attendance at JRA’s annual event for you and a guest ($360 value).
  • Each Leadership Academy participant will be matched with a Board Member, JRA staff member, or previous Leadership Academy participant.
  • Examples of program workshops include: creating a hunger free Philadelphia, Board governance, philanthropy with impact, and fundraising.


Applications for the 2019-2020 cohort are now closed. Please check back Fall 2020 for information about the 2020-2021 class.


Please direct any questions to Elvera Gurevich at elvera@jewishrelief.org.