Roslyn Smorgon Program in Jewish Communal Service & Leadership

Named in honour of Roslyn Smorgon, who left a legacy of Jewish communal service and leadership, this program is the first of its kind in Australia. It was officially launched by Monash University’s Vice Chancellor and President, Professor Richard Larkins, on 18 November 2008.

The Jewish Communal Service and Leadership program deepens people’s understanding of Jewish life in Australia and the challenges and opportunities that face the community. This program prepares students for leadership positions in the Jewish community and professionally develops the skills of people already engaged in the field.

The mission of the JCSL is as follows:

  • To educate communal leaders to make decisions and take actions from more informed perspectives
  • To encourage dialogue and transparency – (for e.g: intracommunal dialogue on Israel and interdenominational dialogue on Jewish continuity)
  • To support and promote interfaith dialogue
  • To encourage and foster womens’ leadership development
  • To support innovation in communal leadership
  • To develop and strengthen skills in lay and professional communal leaders through partnerships in the university and wider community

Participants of the programs are drawn from a wide background including professional staff and CEOs of communal organisations, fundraisers, museum volunteers, lay leadership of organisations and those involved in formal and informal Jewish education.

The JCSL Program offers:

  • Academic Units
  • Professional Development
  • Education for Communal Leaders
  • Women’s Leadership Development

The units invite a range of experts to critically analyse the following themes (with variations for each cohort).

  • School and tertiary education
  • Social cohesion, multiculturalism, interfaith dialogue
  • Social and welfare issues
  • Philanthropy
  • Holocaust – where to from now?
  • Forms of Jewish identification
  • Role of Israel in Australian Jewish life
  • Communities in global context
  • The arts and cultural production
  • Social justice and the environment
  • Leadership, governance and management
  • Dilemmas in Jewish leadership and models of leadership in Jewish sources

For all enquiries about coursework or research in this area, please email