Eit Ratzon 2019: A Seminar on Employment Transition

Where: Jewish Theological Seminary (3080 Broadway, New York, NY 10027)
Instructors: Rabbi Elliot Salo Schoenberg (Global Director of Rabbinic Career Development, Rabbinical Assembly), Dr. Suzanne Stier, and the staff of USCJ 

This workshop will help rabbis make adjustments to a new position, manage their emotions, and become aware of techniques to integrate into a new situation. Rabbis and lay leadership will learn a common language of transition and will work together to set priorities. Adjustments do not have to happen alone.

  • Learn the transition theory of William Bridges.
  • Learn tools to work with the new staff and lay leaders.
  • Leave the seminar with an action plan for the transition.

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We will look at theoretical constructs and provide practical suggestions on how to best weather these intense critical moments. We will provide practical advice on what to do first and how to set up priorities. This workshop has been highly successful, over the years, to best meet the needs of colleagues and congregations. There is no doubt that discussion of these issues helps ensure success in the new synagogue, school, on the college campus and even in the hospital setting.

On day one, all participants will be together for an overview and interactive group discussion. There will be a session on the Psychological Principles of transition, managing the emotional roller coaster, and models for a successful transition. After dinner, we will address best practices for a transition committee, and how to handle surprises, establish expectations, process conflict, and build a community with your rabbi.

On the second day, there will be parallel tracks by cohort, with congregations spending time together in pairs and triads, to gain knowledge that applies to each specific situation. Each group will leave with a detailed, practical plan to establish a successful new beginning. A detailed schedule is below.


Monday, June 17th 
4 PM: Welcome 
4:30 PM: Session I: Principles of Transition – Letting Go (Rabbi Elliot Schoenberg)
6 PM: Dinner - Meet new people; time to network
7 - 9 PM: Session II: Building Community with Your New Rabbi (Rabbi Elliot Schoenberg)
Tuesday, June 18th
7:45 AM: Shaharit
8:30 - 9 AM: Breakfast
9 - 10:30 AM: Session III: New Beginnings; How to Start; First Tasks (Dr. Ray Goldstein for Solo pulpits, Rabbi Elliot Schoenberg for Assistants)
10:30 - 11 AM: Break
11 AM - 12:30 PM: Session IV: How to Create a Healthy Congregational System; Best Practices for Building Community; How to Heal (Robert Leventhal)
12:30 - 1:30 PM: Lunch; time to network
1:30 - 3 PM: Session V (for new solo pulpits): To Make Changes: Evolution or Revolution - When? Who? How? (Rabbi Joshua Rabin for Solo pulpits, Rabbi Elliot Schoenberg for Assistants)
1:30 - 3 PM: Session V (for senior and assistant rabbis): How to Supervise, Mentor and Coach; How to Give and Receive Criticism (Rabbi Elliot Schoenberg and Rabbi Harold Kravitz)
3 - 4 PM: Session VI: Parking Lot - Answering Questions During Our Seminar (Rabbi Elliot Schoenberg)
4 - 4:15 PM: Wrap Up and Closure (Rabbi Elliot Schoenberg)

For more information, please contact Emily Hendel at 212-280-6052.

Sponsored by the RA Career Resource Center.