The Leadership Institute, cosponsored by HUC-JIR and JTS and fully funded by the UJA Federation of New York, gathered on Monday, February 11, 2013, for a symposium, “Sustaining a Model of Change and Innovation in a Challenging World.” This was the second of two symposia during the two and a half years of the Institute, when congregational teams were invited to join fellows for a day of learning. The day focused on next steps for change projects that fellows are implementing in their congregations.
The symposium began with an introduction and welcome from Dr. Evie Rotstein, Director of the New York School of Education at HUC-JIR, and Melanie Schneider, Senior Planning Executive at the Commission on Jewish Identity and Renewal at UJA Federation of New York. Dr. Rotstein explained, “This was an opportunity for leaders to share and understand what leaders deem purposeful work. We want to know who they are and what makes their careers meaningful, what enhances personal interactions and how they inspire others.”
The day continued with keynote speaker Rabbi Lawrence Hoffman, Barbara and Stephen Friedman Professor of Liturgy, Worship, and Ritual at HUC-JIR, who presented on the topic “What are our Overarching Goals for Jewish Engagement in the 21st Century?” Dr. Hoffman outlined how modernity has altered the way in which Jews become engaged in their congregations.
Following Rabbi Hoffman’s presentation, the ninety people in attendance chose one of four workshops during “Tools that Sustain Motivation and Change.”
The fellows and their teams came together for closing inspirational remarks from Rabbi Hoffman, and had time for congregational Team meetings.
Founded in 1875, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion is North America's first institution of higher Jewish education and the academic, spiritual, and professional leadership development center of Reform Judaism. HUC-JIR educates men and women for service to North American and world Jewry as rabbis, cantors, educators, and nonprofit management professionals, and offers graduate programs to scholars and clergy of all faiths. With centers of learning in Cincinnati, Jerusalem, Los Angeles, and New York, HUC-JIR's scholarly resources comprise the renowned Klau Library, the American Jewish Archives, research institutes and centers, and academic publications. In partnership with the Union for Reform Judaism and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, HUC-JIR sustains the Reform Movement's congregations and professional and lay leaders. HUC-JIR's campuses invite the community to cultural and educational programs illuminating Jewish heritage and fostering interfaith and multiethnic understanding. www.huc.edu