Idea of the Day: Enough leaders, we need followers

JTA is soliciting readers’ ideas for reversing the tide of Jewish assimilation in America. Here’s today’s featured idea:

What we do not need are more leaders, whether assigned or self-appointed. What we really need are followers. Most people are happy to be followers: They are looking for guidance, direction and inspiration. We don’t come to Kol Nidre expecting to lead the service or deliver the sermon; we want to belong.

Leadership needs to mean more than infighting one’s way to the top. Anyone who wants to be recognized as a leader should show up with a busload of people ready to participate.

Finally, let’s abandon the bromide of “young leadership.” Leaders are leaders, whatever their age, and many of our community’s “young leaders” are neither young nor leaders.

Shai Franklin

White Plains, N.Y.

Read more ideas for stemming the tide of American Jewish disengagement here.

To share your idea, send an email describing one concrete idea in 200 words or less to jewishfuture@jta.org (include your full name, city, and state or country). Our favorites will be featured online.

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