New Leadership Venture, “Bereishit,” Starts at the Beginning

A consortium of five Jewish Federations has announced a new initiative aimed at building a new generation of Jewish leaders – starting before birth. “Bereishit” is believed to be the first pre-natal leadership training program in the United States.

“Look, we know the indicators for outstanding Jewish leaders,” said demographer Seamus Katz. “Their parents are Jewishly active, well-connected, and can afford to give them Jewish experiences like dayschools, summer camp, and trips to Israel. And we have that information before their children are born. So why not act on it now and avoid years of needless delay?”

The new program will draw on previous training programs for the very young such as “Baby Einstein” and “TeleTubbies,” but it will go further. It will include MP3 recordings that can be played to the baby in the womb, repeating words like “campaign” and “committee” together with cooing and laughing.

Stuart Little, president of the Tri-City Jewish Federation, offered an optimistic prediction. “It often takes about ten years for a young Jewish leader to become an active donor,” he observed. “Thanks to this program, we can look for leadership gifts to our campaigns by the age of ten. We’re thrilled.”

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