If you are a Jewish teenager and your dream is one day to become a global Jewish leader, there are three proven tracks open for you to get there:
The most difficult track is to join the Israeli Army, do well, and become a general. Once you’ve reached this rank, you’ll become a highly respected person in Israel and in the Jewish world. Once retired from service, you will be welcomed in every Jewish congregation around the world where you could speak and share your views. Newspapers will quote you. You could start your own political party, or join existing political movement in Israel. You are likely to become a Knesset (parliament) member, and perhaps a government member.
If you reach the top military position of the Army Chief of Staff, you have a chance to become a Defense Minister, a Foreign Affairs minister, or even the Prime Minister. If at one point you’d decide that politics is not for you, there is a good chance that you’ll be offered a position as a CEO in a large Israeli corporation. This is also true for people who serve in the Mossad. It is not true for people who choose to serve in the Israeli police which suffers from low popularity in Israel.
The second track is going to an American university. Any US university with a large Jewish student body is a good choice. (I recommend one of Florida’s major state universities because of the good weather and the large Jewish population).
Once in college, chose a Jewish organization that you can relate to (or create your own), and become a leader. You’ll need to treat it as a primary objective, just as important as getting the degree.
Once you are in a leadership position, you’ll have many opportunities to interact with national Jewish leaders, Jewish businessmen, and many Jewish students. It is the best place for young Jewish people to network outside of Israel.
Although US colleges are not as difficult as the Israeli Army, there are many Jewish organizations on campus, so there is competition for top positions. However, most students see it as a college activity, not a career path, so if you are really focused, really talented, and willing to volunteer (a lot), you’ll come out of college well positioned to start your professional career as a Jewish leader.
The third option is the religious track. Going to a yeshiva, becoming a rabbi and doing very well as a community leader. A position where you could gain a national recognition and access to many important people.
I’m not that familiar with this track, however, it is a proven way to become a global Jewish leader. The one example I have is the visit of our rabbi and his wife to the White House for a private meeting with then, the United State President, George W Bush. Quite an honor for small congregation (Chabbad) of less than a hundred people. President Bush invited them to thank them for their support for his re-election.
Regardless of which track you choose, you must be a natural leader. A person who people could relate to and rally behind him to achieve a common goal. You must believe in yourself and be willing to put other people’s interests ahead of yours. It is a hard work, which demands a significant portion of your time. You’ll need to find a life partner who’ll believe in you and in your mission, as your profession will demand most of your time. Being a leader is an around-the-clock job.