The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences

Mini-Grants Recap: J Street U Winter Leadership Institute

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Students reflect on the opportunities provided to them by the Rockefeller Center's Mini-Grants program through this ongoing series. The Mini-Grants program funds registration fees for students attending conferences relevant to the Rockefeller Center's mission as well as the costs of bringing speakers to the Dartmouth campus.

Asher Mayerson '15 and other J Street U leaders engage with Rabbi Steve Wernick, CEO of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism.

The J Street U Winter Leadership Institute was almost entirely focused on self-interest: the self-interest of ourselves, of other student leaders, and of political and communal leaders. Much more so than before, I was able to interrogate my own self-interest in incredibly productive ways. More than ever before, I can articulate why I do the things I do and why I care about the things I care about.

Asher Mayerson '15 with two other J Street U Leaders.

I also thought it was valuable to learn from other student leaders, each of whom had a set of unique skills and experiences to learn from. When other students model the leadership qualities I hope to develop, I begin to learn how to emulate those qualities. That process of learning from one another and growing together was incredibly special, and I know that the weekend will have lasting impacts on how I think about my self as a leader, and how I hope to develop.

J Street U leaders strategizing outdoors.

As always, I appreciated the opportunity to delve into strategy and tactics with other students. Making meaningful change on issues facing our world is important to me, and I'm glad to have had the opportunity to start planning how we can continue to make productive change over the coming years.

-Written by Asher Mayerson '15

The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences