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2024 Jain Leadership Forum Held in Chicago

2024 Jain Leadership Forum Held in Chicago

2024 Jain Leadership Forum Held in Chicago

Photo: linkedin.com/company/youngjainprofessionals/

CHICAGO, IL- Often, people wonder what the future of their religion and values will hold, especially when they are a minority community in a new land. From April 5th to 7th in Chicago, under the leadership of Dipak Jain, the former Dean of the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, over 125 Jain leaders gathered to craft the future of Jainism, organized by JAINA’s Long Range Planning (LRP) Committee.

“It was an amazing gathering to get leaders, young as well as seasoned, to gather and share as well as debate how to move forward in developing a vision, mission, and strategy for a community of 200,000 Jains in North America,” said Dr. Manoj Jain, chair of JAINA’s LongRange Planning Committee. LRP has held such forums since 2005, however, this time, leaders from nearly every Jain organization were present, and nearly half the attendees were young leaders.

Attendees included presidents and co-chairs from JAINA, Young Jains of America (YJA), Young Jain Professionals (YJP), Jain International Trade Organization (JITO), and numerous Jain Centers across North America.

As with many minority communities, North American Jains face organizational, generational, leadership, religious, and community challenges. Recognizing these hurdles, the Jain Leadership Forum invited speakers who could ignite excitement and reach into each attendee’s passion for creating engagement and synergy that will reverberate throughout the coming days, weeks, months, and years for Jains in North America.

The keynote address was from Dr. Dipak Jain. Dean Jain is the first Jain dean at a North American academic institution of higher learning, and he shared how the core Jain principles of

ahimsa (non-violence), anekantvad (multiplicity of viewpoints), and aparigraha (simplicity/non-possessiveness) enabled him to have a successful career and overcome numerous life challenges.

Dean Jain’s passion was summarized during his keynote address, “Excellence has no bounds, you can reach any height but there is always more to do. No challenge ahead of you is greater than the force behind you.”

Throughout the weekend, the participating Jain leaders heard from educators, business executives, medical professionals, academics, students, and community leaders, both volunteer and elected, and many more. Current US Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi (IL) and former US State Representative (AZ) Dr. Amish Shah both echoed the need for Jains to have their voices heard in local, state, and national politics.

JLF 2024 not only included dignitary keynotes but also included active participants who took the first steps towards identifying challenges that the Jain community faces and brainstorming multiple ways to address these challenges to help foster growth and strength, while working with the local community. Eight Round table discussions allowed attendees from around the US to share best practices and actively learn from one another on topics such as increasing Jain Center engagement and increasing awareness of Jainism in the broader North American population.

“However, having a vision, mission, and strategy is insufficient for a meaningful change. Hence, we need projects on the ground,” said Prem Jain, from California and former president of JAINA and LRP member. “There was tremendous energy and excitement around the question of ‘when can I start implementing what I have learned?’ At JLF 2024, participants enjoyed fully vegan meals throughout the weekend and heard from over 25 Jain Project Champions. “For the attendees, Jain Leadership Forum 2024 provided a solid foundation from which to build new initiatives, create synergies, expand on networking opportunities, and define a clear picture of how to shape Jainism’s future in North America” shared Yogendra Jain, LRP/JLF team lead from Boston.

“Each 2024 Jain Leadership Forum attendee traveled home with an expanded toolkit of how to inspire their local Jain communities to plan for the future and a broader network of Jain leaders to help strengthen the foundation of the large North American Jain community for future generations.” said Mayur Shah, LRP/JLF team lead from Philadelphia. “These attendees serve as the ambassadors for taking Jainism from success to significance.”

About the JAINA Long Range Planning Committee

“The Long-Range Planning Committee is a committee of JAINA. Its mission is to develop andwork closely with YJA, YJP, and local sanghs to develop young leaders within the Jain community. I am a product of this collaboration and of the Jain Leadership Forum.”

Long Range Planning Committee: (Upper Row) – Praful Giriya, Sonia Ghelani, Chintan Shah, Soha Shah, Bindesh Shah, Jayesh Shah, Manish Mehta – (Lower Row) – Mayur Shah, Vipul Shah, Yogendra Jain, Prem Jain, Dipak Jain, Sushil Jain, Manoj Jain, Yogesh Bapna, Bipin Shah – Full members list at: www.jainleadership.org.

For more information on Jain Leadership Forum 2024, the JAINA’s Long Range Planning Committee, various Jain projects, or JAINA and to share your interest in becoming more involved in shaping the future of Jainism, please visit www.jainleadership.org or email jlf-info@jaina.org.

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