In a proactive response to the need for continuing rabbinic education, The Jewish Theological Seminary has established the Legacy Heritage Rabbinic Enrichment Initiative (LHREI). Applications are now being accepted for the two-year program, which will begin this July.
LHREI is designed for congregational rabbis who are in evolving positions of rabbinic leadership for eight to fifteen years as either an assistant rabbi or as a solo rabbi in a small- to medium-size pulpit and are experiencing greater demands and expectations from their laity and their positions. The initiative is an important step in JTS Chancellor Arnold Eisen’s life-long learning contract, one of the priorities set forth in his inauguration speech last September.
Support for the Legacy Heritage Rabbinic Enrichment Initiative has been generously provided by the Legacy Heritage Fund Limited.
Over the course of two summers, LHREI Fellows will convene at JTS for an intensive twelve-day institute focusing on professional skills development. The Summer Institutes will be led by experts in management and leadership development who also understand the complexities of the rabbinate. A “mentor rabbi” (a senior colleague in the field) will also be present to share real-world experience and suggestions for implementation.
The 2008 Summer Institute will focus on the “Rabbi as Leader” and offer courses on creating and transmitting a congregational vision. Special attention will be paid to team building and working with synagogue staff, including other clergy. Conversations and classes on board development will address how to steward correctly and how to use a board of trustees and other volunteer leadership. The “Rabbi as Manager” will be the focus of the 2009 Summer Institute, with specific attention paid to fund raising, fiscal training, and managing time and resources.
An integral part of the initiative is continued study, which will be achieved through a weekly virtual beit midrash during which Fellows will study in hevruta and engage in a two-hour dialogue with a JTS professor. The video-conferencing study will offer rabbis further Jewish learning that is directly related to their work as rabbis and will focus on deepening textual learning with an eye on practical application for sermons and adult education classes.
LHREI is limited to eighteen Fellows. Rabbis who are accepted into the program will be fully sponsored, including all travel, lodging, materials, and seminars. Further information and an application can be found at www.jtsa.edu/x1693.xml. Additional questions may be directed to Rabbi Marc Wolf, director of LHREI and senior director of Community Development at JTS, at (212) 678-8933.