Selah Leadership Program

It is rare to find a leadership program that effectively balances training, intentional relationship-building, and strategic thinking for the movement. I consistently find that I refer back to the practices that I learned at Selah.

-Jaime Rapaport Barry, Cohort 4: National

What does Selah mean?

The name Selah, which means "rock" in Hebrew, was inspired in part by our collaboration with the Rockwood Leadership Institute. 

In Hebrew prayer and song, including the Psalms, the term Selah is often used at the break of a passage as a call to the reader to “stop and listen” before moving to the next passage. Selah believes that leadership requires the ability to “stop and listen” to cultivate the ability to reflect on our work, our skills, and our mission, vision, and values. Being an effective leader requires inner awareness and self-management as well as skillful engagement with the outside world. Selah teaches Jewish social justice leaders how to cultivate the internal power and presence necessary to change external systems. We believe both are necessary for social transformation.

Investing in Leaders

The Selah Leadership Program trains a cross-section of leaders in Jewish, non-Jewish and secular organizations to be effective, sustainable and collaborative agents for change.  Selah is the first leadership training designed specifically for Jewish leaders working across the social change field.  Since its founding in 2004, we have trained more than 275 leaders from over 200 organizations.

Bend the Arc’s Selah Leadership Program provides unparalleled training for leaders, new tools to enhance their vision and facilitate organizational change, and the opportunity to learn among some of the nation's most innovative and inspiring Jewish social change leaders.

The Selah Approach

The Selah Leadership Program is rooted in the approach that by transforming leaders, we are better able to transform society. Over a period of six months, each Selah cohort brings 22 to 26 social change leaders together for seven days of intensive leadership and management training, with ongoing learning throughout the program. Selah approaches this learning process on three levels: the individual, the institution, and the field and integrates personal development, organizational effectiveness, and collaboration skills.

    • Selah enhances individual capacity and capabilities to create widespread change.

Selah's top-tier training helps leaders clarify their visions and hone the personal skills and strategies necessary to achieve them.

    • Selah supports and sustains leaders working for social justice.

By better understanding themselves and the landscapes in which they work, leaders can work more effectively for change and prevent burnout.

    • Selah fosters connections and community.

After completing the Selah training, participants become members of the Selah Network, the only national forum of its kind where Jewish social change professionals can foster relationships, strategize, learn from one another, and find the support they need for visioning for social change.

The Selah Leadership Program is a collaboration between the Nathan Cummings Foundation and Bend the Arc, in partnership with the Rockwood Leadership Institute.  Selah was created through the generous support of the Nathan Cummings Foundation.

Learn more about the Selah Leadership Program

Know an outstanding leader who would be a good match for Selah?  Recommend them here.

Recent Headlines


CEOs, Entrepreneurs and Leaders Gather in NYC


At the end of January, over 50 alumni of Bend the Arc’s Selah Leadership Program joined together for a special one-day training.


Group Weaves Jewish Themes Into Training for Social-Justice Leaders


Rebecca Epstein was skeptical when she was asked to apply to the Selah Leadership Program, a national training effort for Jewish leaders at social-justice organizations. But after participating she said, “Selah gave me the confidence to be a good coach as a young person as well as the courage to leave that pretty safe role and put my own skills to the test as a manager.”