DSLTI Jewish Habits of Mind and Heart

DSLTI envisions Jewish educational leaders who express their Jewish identities in broad and varied ways. Graduates’ Jewish lives and their leadership reflect diverse expressions of Jewish learning and living. DSLTI aspires for its graduates, as the champions and “chief models” of the mission and vision of their schools, to lead Jewish lives of meaning, responsibility and active engagement with Judaism. DSLTI aims to create opportunities for participants to engage in personal and communal learning and reflection about Judaism and their personal Jewish identities.

In an effort to make a process of reflecting on personal Jewish identity more explicit and to develop a shared language for talking and learning about “Jewishly purposeful” leadership, below are five “pillars” of Judaism. DSLTI aspires for Jewish educational leaders to be reflective, intentional and growth-oriented about how these pillars play out in their lives.

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Life Long Learning

Jewish educational leaders see the Jewish intellectual tradition and Torah in its broadest sense - classical and modern – as sophisticated, relevant and alive; Jewish learning is a regular part of their lives and they strive to find intellectual, moral and spiritual relevance, meaning and inspiration this learning.

Jewish Living and Practice

Jewish educational leaders build Jewish practice and the rhythm of the Jewish calendar into their lives in thoughtful, meaningful ways as a regular part of their lives.


Jewish educational leaders feel a sense of belonging and connection, and sense of obligation to the Jewish People, history and culture, Hebrew language, and Israel as homeland and Modern Jewish state.

Character, Values, Spirituality

Jewish educational leaders are reflective and growth-oriented about their inner and outer lives, and see Judaism as a source of ethical and spiritual meaning and obligation; they have strong moral character and make life choices and leadership decisions that are informed by Jewish ethics and values; they value and display commitment to Tikkun Ha’Adam (self-improvement) and Tikkun Olam (repairing the world).

Jewish Role Modeling

Jewish educational leaders are the “Chief Jewish Learners and Livers”, and “Chief Educational Officers” of their schools. They understand that “the students (and teachers, administrators, and parents) are watching” and they model commitment to and enthusiasm about Judaism and the role it plays in their lives.