Shaindle Braunstein
Shaindle Braunstein

The first program in the series was held on Feb. 24 and featured Amy Berlin, a JARC board member and the Women’s Philanthropy vice president, and Shaindle Braunstein, CEO of JARC, who discussed their professional journeys and strategies for leadership success.

Jewish professional women have the chance to learn from C-Suite executives from Metro Detroit Jewish agencies in “Wisdom from the C-Suite: Women Leadership in Jewish Agencies,” a new Jewish Federation professional development series organized by Jewish Working Women’s Network. The term “C-Suite” refers to the various chief executives within an organization.

The first program in the series was held on Feb. 24 and featured Amy Berlin, a JARC board member and the Women’s Philanthropy vice president, and Shaindle Braunstein, CEO of JARC, who discussed their professional journeys and strategies for leadership success.

Berlin discussed how she became involved in JARC and outlined some of the upcoming engagement programs for Women’s Philanthropy.  

Braunstein has worked for nearly 20 years in leadership roles at local social service agencies before taking the helm at JARC, which serves people with developmental disabilities.

Braunstein began her talk by saying, “The most important thing I’ve learned is you’re going to fail, so get up, brush yourself off and try again. Ask yourself what did you learn from it? Try something new.”

She shared her professional journey, which began in publishing at Crain’s Detroit Business and at Automobile magazine and transitioned into Jewish communal leadership at organizations such as ORT, Jewish Family Service and JARC. Braunstein shared her missteps and hard-won knowledge and discussed the challenges of being a professional woman who had to go up against stereotypes and prove herself over and over again.

“As women, we tend to find all the reasons we shouldn’t do something or all the reasons why we’re not qualified to do something,” Braunstein said, adding she has also felt that way in her career, reflecting for weeks before she applied as CEO at JARC.

“Yet, women bring humbleness to positions of leadership because we walk in not sure in the fact that we know it all and are prepared to listen to other people to help us learn things.”

To be a leader, she said, “You have to learn that you have to delegate, trust people to do it their way and help and guide them to get to the right results. When you look at any role, no one role is most important. We are all important, and we all need to jump in for each other.”

Braunstein also spoke about learning from failure. “It’s OK to fail. It’s OK to tell people you were wrong.”

Throughout her career, Braunstein said she was blessed with strong mentors, “people who gave me a chance, who helped provide me a voice.”

She encouraged the women on the call to seek out mentors as well. “The right people know that if you find success, they’ll be successful, too,” she said.

The Jewish Working Women’s Network, an affinity group sponsored by Women’s Philanthropy of the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit, is a great place for working women to find those mentors.

Learn more about the group at jewishdetroit.org or follow them on Facebook.