The Adam Science Foundation is 25 years old. It was set up to train and inspire leaders of Anglo-Jewry in memory of a young man who died at 27.
Graduates reflect on their experience.
Susannah Kintish - 2010
The Adam Science Programme was my gateway into the London Jewish community. Coming from Manchester, I had few connections in the London community and little insights into the structure and offerings of the community.
The Programme provided me with a good understanding of the richness of the communities and ways to access all the community had to offer. It provided me with access to peers and mentors that have stayed with me throughout my communal journey so far.
Since graduating from the Adam Science programme I have become a trustee of World Jewish Relief - an organisation very close to my heart and which, to me, showcases the very best of our community. I have also been involved with various committees, initiatives and pro bono work for Langdon, Yachad and Habonim Dror.
Jonni Berger - 2004
2004 simultaneously seems like yesterday and a long time ago but that was when I embarked on The Adam Science leadership programme. At the time it very much felt like a bridge between the student and youth movement world where I'd cut my teeth and the grown up world where I was eager to make my mark.
In the years since completing the course, I have continued to gain so much from the great community which is created by the alumni of those privileged enough to "count themselves in". I've been inspired every year I've been part of the interviewing panel for the next cohort, recruiting the future leadership of the Jewish community: learning something about myself and well as the latest fresh faced, eager and ever impressive applicants, many of whom I continue to see take on seriously impactful roles and positions within and outside of the Jewish community.
Having been part of the Adam Science programming group for over 10 years, one of the architects of the current and recent programmes, I'm proud of the place it is now in and its amazing graduates. I've also been a trustee of Reform Judaism for the past 6 six years, the youngest at the time to take on the role and experienced an interesting, at times challenging but also rewarding insight into the Reform Jewish community. I've seen how it is viewed from the outside as well as its inner workings, all viewed through the lense of my very first session we had on our Adam Science programme, 2004, Roy Graham's map of the British Jewish community. It's also a privilege to have supported the UK's largest youth movement, RSY-Netzer. At times its taken every ounce of experience, every ounce of advice from those who know best, to try to keep it on the straight and narrow, it is fantastic to see that our youth movements continue to shine as the jewel of our community.
Since graduating from the programme in 2004 I have been able to be involved in some great projects and organisations, its a growing CV but the highlights include:
- Working on programming ideas for the London JCC before there was a site for the amazing centre now known as JW3,
- An international social action initiative which was the pre-cursor to what is now the world renowned Mitzvah Day in the UK as well as the young philanthropy My Fund Project, and
- Gaining a perspective on civic and political engagement in London with the London Jewish Forum and international aid with charity projects and a twinning initiative in my synagogue.
My participation and contribution in all of these are owed in part to my time on the course. The network that the Adam Science programme gave me is also something I'm incredibly incredibly grateful for. I can quite honestly say that the #Spit4mum campaign (that I launched to try to find a stem cell donor match for my late Mum) would not have been as successful through almost every corner of the Jewish community without the selfless, energetic and enthusiastic efforts of so many people. Mensches I would only have met through the programme, who were a lot better networked than me and opened up opportunities and people who helped to spread the word and take it "Jewishly viral". If only the community could work together in as coordinated and enthusiastic a manner across all denominations as they did when trying to find a stem cell match for this Jewish mother. It's a cliché to say that when we work together we really are a more than the sum of our parts. When we talk of legacy, the #Spit4Mum campaign has created a great legacy in the face of heartbreaking loss, I'd like to take this opportunity to publicly thank all those who came together to help, whether I met them or not. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Aviva Carnell - 2013
The Adam Science Programme was a truly wonderful and life changing experience for me. Having come from Melbourne with communal experience and an enthusiasm to continue my leadership journey, the programme gave me the confidence and knowledge to successfully immerse myself into the London Jewish community.
Since graduating I have taken on a number of voluntary and leadership roles. Currently I sit on the Board of the Hadley Wood Jewish Community with a focus on young families and fundraising. I am Chair of the Wolfson Hillel Primary School PTA, where we have recently completed our most successful fundraising year to date.
Danny Stone - 2009
I was delighted to be accepted onto the Adam Science Programme. Having been involved in leadership training through my youth movement and peer leadership with the Union of Jewish Students, I felt I had something to give to the community and I wanted to repay some of the time, effort and money that had been invested in me. In truth though, the Adam Science programme helped me to realise that I hadn't actually thought about my leadership journey or developed my thinking as far as I could have. Coming back to consider my approach to leadership years later with a group of other committed young Jews had a profound effect on me. It helped me to understand how I could best make an impact and the lessons I learned haven't just helped in my communal endeavours but in my professional life. I am very grateful to the ASLP and all that make it possible.
Since my time at ASLP, I have moved in and out of communal (and non-communal but nonetheless communally relevant) positions. I undertook some advisory committee work for the UJIA and served as its representative to the Board of Deputies. I helped conduct a strategic review of the UJS Campaigns function with another UJS alumnus Mitch Simmons and most recently was appointed a trustee of the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust. Through my professional work, I continue to seek public policy solutions to address antisemitism and was awarded an MBE in the 2017 New Years Honours list. I will continue to draw on my time in the ASLP for inspiration as I follow my developing leadership path.
Adam Martin - 2008
The Adam Science programme opened communal doors and gave me the chance to meet, listen and discuss with the communities leading figures. It also created a cohort of friends to debate and challenge each other.
Since participating in the Adam Science programme I have taken on the role of Community Director at Alyth Synagogue. I am responsible for the smooth running of the synagogue, this involves being “office manager” with responsibility for the administration, communications and PR, IT systems and the premises; a support to the Rabbis in the provision of weekly religious services for over 400 people; and supporting our Chair and lay leadership.
The programme also inspired me to study for a Masters in Voluntary and Community Sector Studies. This provided theory, understanding of governance law, and best practice examples for working in a charity. My thesis on “Do religious institutions have organisational structures that appropriately reflect their goals and priorities?” has helped me to adapt the way that the Synagogue is run.
When there is time for voluntary work I am a Governor at Akiva Primary School and have taken on various team roles for Limmud.