Leading from the front: LEAD participants discover benefits of teamwork


ORT’s annual program aimed at nurturing the next generation of leaders across our educational network has kicked off with an in-depth seminar in London.

The course opened the annual LEAD Program which gives a group of outstanding ORT teachers and professionals the opportunity to develop their leadership and management skills, invest in their potential as future educational leaders and senior managers.

It is the fourth year of the program and the seminar saw the ORT-affiliated Scheiber Sándor Gimnázium in Budapest, Hungary, send a delegate for the first time.

In total, 20 participants from 12 countries joined the program, with Argentina, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, France, Israel, Italy, Mexico, Russia, Singapore, Spain, and Ukraine also represented.

Covering leadership, understanding of communication and motivation, the program includes online training and support throughout the year.

The participants receive the skills needed to lead teams of teachers and implement ORT’s vision in our schools.

Two facilitators from UCL’s Institute of Education delivered sessions at ORT House. Participants learnt best practices for working together, being part of an effective team and understanding more about the roles different people can play in a team.

Teamwork makes the dream work

Sessions also looked at behavior and how to deal with conflict, as well as elements of motivation, trust and how to coach colleagues and team members.

Diana Segre, Deputy Principal of the Scuola Della Comunita Ebraica in Milan, Italy, said the seminar had been “intellectually elevating”. The work was so interesting she wished she could have spent longer each day in sessions in order to learn more, she said.

Matej Dostál, Head of Languages Department at the Lauder Schools of Prague, Czech Republic, said: “This is the first training in years that has exceeded my expectations by far. I hope that I will keep the momentum when go back to Prague.”

Participants in the 2019 LEAD Program

The UCL program challenges delegates to increase their ability to lead, manage and develop people in their teams, while at the same time helping them plan their own personal leadership development.

The seminar closed with a visit to Europe’s largest Jewish school, JFS in London. Delegates and ORT staff spent two hours touring the school and having a question and answer session with headteacher Rachel Fink. She explained the school’s management structure and JFS’s history, as well as looking at how professional development is encouraged and offered to all staff.

Barbara Jasik, Head of Humanities Department at the ORT-affiliated Scheiber Sándor Gimnázium, Hungary, said: “This is the first time our school has participated and I am really grateful to have been here. I have learned a lot from all the participants. I’m really grateful to be able to share all I learned with my colleagues when I get back.”

Sessions looked at how to deal with conflict, and motivation

Aviva Cohen, Principal of the Yitzchak Rabin Junior High and High School in Kiryat Yam, Israel, said: “I have known about ORT’s work for 10 years, but to be here this week and to be able to actually feel it has been so exciting. That ORT is thinking to develop leadership in its schools in this way is so important.

“I have been on many leadership courses but what I have experienced here this week has really opened my mind.”

Daniel Tysman, Head of ORT’s Education Department, said: “We would like to express our thanks to the Wingate family and to the Trustees of the Harold Hyam Wingate Foundation, and also to Dr Louanne Smolin and David Eaton. Their sponsorship of this seminar series demonstrates their support of our organization and their faith in our ability to continue to make a difference.”