Nurturing Leadership

From the Editor

♦ by Barbara Davis

The Latin verb “ducare,” root of the word “educate,” means “to lead.” Leadership is thus at the heart of the educational process. The present issue of HaYidion addresses the topic of leadership from many different perspectives.

Many aspire to educational leadership, but not all achieve it. Interestingly, the success of a leader is actually determined not by the individual, but by the success of his or her team. And while leadership may involve power, power is not leadership. An oft-quoted but unattributed source describes the difference this way:

A boss relies on authority—a leader relies on cooperation.

A boss says “I”—a leader says “we.”

A boss creates fear—A leader creates confidence.

A boss creates resentment—A leader breeds enthusiasm.

A boss knows how—a leader shows how.

A boss fixes blame—a leader fixes mistakes.

A boss makes work drudgery—A leader makes work interesting.

A boss drives—a leader leads.

How exactly does a leader lead? What qualities are required? What skills? Can it be taught, developed, nurtured? These are the questions that the authors in this issue address, from the perspective of board members, student organizations, Midrash, experience and research.

A complex topic deserves insightful commentary; this issue will provide that for its readers. The topic of leadership is timely and vital to the continuing success, even the survival, of the community day school movement, because, as it states in Proverbs: “Where there is no vision, the people perish.”

We know that you will find vision in the articles that lie herein. As you read them, we know that you will become inspired and will find new and exciting ways to reinvigorate your own leadership. ♦

Dr. Barbara Davis is the Secretary of RAVSAK, Editor of HaYidion and Head of School at the Syracuse Hebrew Day School in Dewitt, NY. Barbara can be reached at
HaYidion: Cover of the Nurturing Leadership issue
Michael A. Kay
RAVSAK provides a forum for engaging with colleagues to craft an innovative, shared vision for pluralistic Jewish education in North America.”
Michael A. Kay, Ph.D., Head of School,
Solomon Schechter School of Westchester


RAVSAK has created an animated video capturing the spirit of Jewish day schools and the values they teach their students juxtaposed with traditional lessons of Rosh Hashana. Share with your community using #RAVSAK5775!

Contribute your thoughts and add annotations such as comments, questions, explanations or photos to a series of essays about day school mission and vision![More]
Dr. Marc Kramer and fellow leaders have been awarded an alumni collaboration grant from The Wexner Foundation to research the learning needs of special needs students in North American Jewish day schools.[More]
Articles and resources for helping students understand and contextualize the recent Israeli conflict.[More]


Members of RAVSAK enjoy many benefits which support the overall work of the school and the professionals who lead them. Find out more about membership benefits and how your school can become a member.

Use our interactive map of member schools to find a Jewish Day School near you.

In addition to serving Jewish community day schools across North America, RAVSAK has a special category of membership for Jewish and educational organizations, consultants and companies which share our vision of excellence in Jewish day school education.