USCJ’s Aimee Close Chosen for UpStart’s National Change Accelerator Program


USCJ Synagogue Consultant Aimee Close, who also focuses on leadership development, has been chosen to participate in UpStart’s Change Accelerator. The program is designed to equip the Jewish community’s boldest intrapreneurs with a set of lifelong entrepreneurial skills, tools, and mindsets to adapt to any challenge and to meet their constituents’ evolving needs. Participants gain a new understanding of how to think strategically, change course quickly, and create bold solutions to any challenge they face.

This year, UpStart leveraged the application data to design cohorts focused on emerging challenges and trends in Jewish life. Aimee will join the Reimagining Institutions cohort, focusing on redefining the purpose of Jewish institutions in a post-COVID world and weaving innovation into the framework of institutional operations. The other cohorts this year are Deepening Connections, Thriving Communities, and Power in Partners.

Aimee is a full-time synagogue consultant at USCJ, working with congregations across North America in the areas of strategic planning and leadership development, and serves as USCJ’s liaison to small congregations. She has been with USCJ since 2011. Over the course of her career, Aimee has served in various roles in the Jewish community, including as a synagogue executive director, a Jewish educator, and a JCC membership director. Aimee is a certified design thinking practitioner, and has published several articles on how she applies design thinking to her work. She recently worked with her colleague, Bob Leventhal, on a book about synagogue visioning and planning, titled Stepping Forward Together, which was just published in December.

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