2024 Jain Leadership Forum held in Chicago


CHICAGO, IL – People often wonder what the future of their religion and values ​​will hold, especially if they are a minority community in a new country. From April 5 to 7 in Chicago, led by Dipak Jain, the former dean of the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, more than 125 Jain leaders gathered to shape the future of Jainism, organized by JAINA’s Long Range Planning (LRP) Committee.

“It was a great gathering to bring together leaders, both young and seasoned, to share and 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, Chairman of JAINA’s Long Term Planning Committee. LRP has been organizing such forums since 2005, but this time leaders from almost every Jain organization were present, and almost half of the attendees were young leaders.

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

Like many minority communities, North American Jains face organizational, generational, leadership, religious, and community challenges. Recognizing these barriers, the Jain Leadership Forum invited speakers who could stoke the excitement and tap into each participant’s passion for creating engagement and synergy that will reverberate for Jains across North America in the days, weeks, months and years to come .

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

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

Dean Jain’s passion was summed up during his keynote speech: “Excellence knows no bounds, you can reach any height, but there is always more to do. No challenge in front of you is greater than the power behind you.”

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

JLF 2024 included not only dignitaries but also active participants who took the first steps towards identifying the challenges facing the Jain community and brainstormed multiple ways to address these challenges to help growth and strength while working with the local community. Through eight roundtable discussions, participants from across the U.S. were able to share best practices and actively learn from each other on topics such as increasing Jain Center involvement and raising awareness of Jainism among the broader North American population.

“However, having a vision, mission and strategy is insufficient for meaningful change. That is why 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 ‘when can I start implementing what I’ve learned?’ At JLF 2024, participants enjoyed completely vegan meals throughout the weekend and heard from more than 25 Jain Project Champions. “For attendees, the 2024 Jain Leadership Forum provided a solid foundation from which to build new initiatives, create synergies, expand networking opportunities, and paint a clear picture of how the future of Jainism in North America can be shaped are given,” said Yogendra Jain, LRP/JLF team leader from Boston.

“Every participant in the 2024 Jain Leadership Forum traveled home with a comprehensive toolkit on how they can inspire their local Jain communities to plan for the future and a broader network of Jain leaders to build the foundation of the great North American to help strengthen the Jain community for future generations.” said Mayur Shah, LRP/JLF team leader from Philadelphia. “These attendees serve as ambassadors to take Jainism from success to significance.”

About the JAINA Long-Term Planning Committee

“The Long Term Planning Committee is a committee of JAINA. Its mission is to develop and work 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 Term Planning Committee: (top row) – Praful Giriya, Sonia Ghelani, Chintan Shah, Soha Shah, Bindesh Shah, Jayesh Shah, Manish Mehta – (bottom row) – Mayur Shah, Vipul Shah, Yogendra Jain, Prem Jain, Dipak Jain, Sushil Jain, Manoj Jain, Yogesh Bapna, Bipin Shah – Full list of members at:

To learn more about the Jain Leadership Forum 2024, 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, visit www.jainleadership .org or send an email to [email protected].