Each summer of LHREI, the fellows will convene at JTS for an intensive twelve-day institute focusing on professional skills development.
The rabbinate is a unique model of leadership, one which requires training that is sensitive to its demands and to the rabbi's place in the community. The faculty who teach management and leadership skills to rabbis must be carefully cultivated. JTS maintains affiliations with leadership and management scholars and consultants from highly reputable institutes and seminars. The Summer Institute will be led by faculty who are experts in their fields and understand the complexities of the rabbinate. For each session, a "mentor rabbi" (a senior colleague in the field) will be present to share real-world experience and suggestions for implementation.
Year 1—Rabbi as Leader: This institute will offer courses on creating and transmitting a congregational vision. Special attention will be paid to team building and working with synagogue staff, including executive directors and 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).
Year 2—Rabbi as Manager: Year two will be devoted to the rabbi's role as part of the management structure of a synagogue. Specific attention will be paid to fund-raising (including work on capital campaigns, solicitations, and "selling" your vision), fiscal training (reading and creating budgets and discretionary account spending), and managing time and resources.
An integral component of the initiative is continued study. To refresh and deepen their learning, weekly between September and May during LHREI, fellows will engage in a virtual beit midrash where they will study in hevruta (with a companion fellow) and engage in a two-hour dialogue with a JTS professor.
The video-conferencing study will be designed to offer the 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.
The following are possible areas of focus (each topic covered for six sessions):