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, leadership skills and give 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.
The JRA Leadership Academy is a leadership development program for young professionals (post-graduates) passionate about doing good in our community. 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. The program is scheduled to run January - August 2024.
Applications for JRA's 2024 cohort are now closed.
Please direct any questions to Elvera Schwartz at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I'm a Senior Manager, Compliance Remediation for Comcast. I was involved with JRA as a volunteer for a few years, before applying to its Leadership Academy Program. I really enjoyed learning more about the warehouse operations and how to operate in the different areas of the Food Distribution. Since graduating from the Leadership Academy, I was nominated to join the JRA Board of Directors and serve as the Chair of the HR Committee and serve on a number of other working committees. My advice for a potential participant is not to be shy and ask lots of questions. The JRA staff and Board are extremely inviting and gracious of all volunteers. The Leadership Academy is really the future of this organization."
- Hal Leshner, Aleph Class Alumni
"I work in Sales for my family's privately-owned company. I first become involved with JRA's Leadership Academy after an introduction from a Board Member but had previously volunteered with The Chevra. My favorite part of the Leadership Academy was getting to work amongst and learning from a fantastic group of people, including JRA Board Members, the staff, and other participants in my cohort. Since graduating from the Bet Class, I am the Co-Chair for the Leadership Academy Committee and continue to volunteer, delivering food to JRA recipients. My advice for future participants in this program is to enrich yourself in the valuable opportunity of learning about the ins and outs of a nonprofit."
- Mark Margulies, Bet Class Alumni