The Leadership Institute for Congregational School Educators opened its new cohort with a learning retreat at the Glen Cove Mansion on Long Island. The new interdenominational cohort of 40 educators includes 31 from the New York Federation catchment area (Westchester, Long Island, and New York City) and 9 from other areas (New Jersey, Rockland County, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania). The group includes 20 educators from the Reform Movement, 19 from the Conservative Movement, and one from the Reconstructionist Movement. The average number of years of professional experience is six. The opening retreat was entitled Growing Leadership and featured learning sessions with Professor Jo Kay (mentoring), Dr. Lawrence Hoffman (history of the synagogue and its impact on Jewish Education, the future of synagogues and supplemental education), and Dr. Steven Brown (Best Practices).
On February 11, the Leadership Institute held its first Alumni Network Symposium at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in New York. Approximately 30 alumni and mentors from the first cohort came to study with Dale Glasser, Director of the Department of Synagogue Management at the URJ. He presented on becoming a positive force for change and guided the participants through the practice of relevant skills and techniques. In addition, alumni met with representatives from their local Central Agency to speak about ongoing support for their professional development now that they have completed the Leadership Institute.