Minyan Project
 
Fourth Independent Minyan Confernece in Washington, DC Fourth Independent Minyan Confernece in Washington, DC
On November 4-6, Mechon Hadar held its fourth Independent Minyan Conference in Washington, DC along with participants from nearly 50 minyans.  For the final portion on Sunday afternoon, the event was open to the general public in order to bring together the shared wisdom and experience of successful independent minyan leaders, clergy, volunteers, and Jewish communal professionals.
 
Below is the complete schedule of sessions from the conference, including recordings and resources from selected sessions:
 

Schedule:

Friday, November 4

5:15pm - Welcome

5:45pm - Candle Lighting

5:45pm - Minhah, Kabbalat Shabbat and Maariv

Traditional Egalitarian minyan (mixed seating) led by conference participants
Location: GW Hillel, 2nd Floor

Rosh Pina
Location: Hamilton House (party room), 1255 New Hampshire Avenue NW

Rosh Pina is a dati community built around a common commitment to halakha, tefilla, and equality. Rosh Pina is inspired by similar communities in Jerusalem (Shira Hadasha), New York (Darkhei Noam) and other cities around the world.

At Friday night tefilla, a woman leads kabbalat shabbat and men lead mincha and ma'ariv. On shabbat morning, men lead shacharit and musaf, a woman leads pesukei d'zimra. Both women and men receive aliyot and leyn from the torah.

The mechitza at Rosh Pina runs down the middle of the room, so that the men's and women's sections are side by side. In the spirit of greater inclusion in our kehilla, we ask both men and women to arrive on time for tefillot.


Tikkun Leil Shabbat at 6:45pm (full liturgy, mixed seating, egalitarian)
Location: Church of the Pilgrims building, 2201 P Street, NW

All of the services are fully egalitarian, full Kabbalat Shabbat and Maariv with much singing. Micro variations to the words of the prayers are up to the person leading services. Sometimes we sit in a circle and the service is accompanied by acoustic guitar and percussion. Sometimes we sit facing East and the service is unaccompanied. The style of service is announced in advance.

This week’s service will have row seating and will be a capella.

7:15pm - 7:45pm Breakout groups
Led by Dina Epstein, DC Minyan

7:45pm - 9:00pm Dinner

9:15pm - 10:15pm Case Studies
Led by Adena Philips, Public Sector Strategy
In this session we will use a case study method to examine critical issues in minyanim. In small groups, minyan leaders from around the country will present case studies on topics ranging from engaging volunteers, developing leadership, welcoming new members, relating to other established institutions, and expanding programing. The method of case study analysis allow for also be a take-away of how to solve practical problems.

Case Studies presented by:
1) Monica Woll, Madison Minyan (presenter); Yaeli Bronstein, Minyan Nahar (facilitator)
2) Naomi Stein, Minyan Hadash; (presenter); Steven Katz, Kol Sasson (facilitator)
3) Charlie Paradise, Altshul (presenter); Ben Rosen, Madison Minyan (facilitator)
4) Ariana Berlin, Brandeis Traditional Egal Minyan; Shalom Steinberg, Atlanta Chevre Minyan (facilitator)
5) Dana Kresel, Kehilat Hadar (presenter); Aaron Resnick, Rosh Pina (facilitator)
6) Rebecca Gross, Minyan Chaverim (presenter); Eitan Levisohn, DC Minyan (facilitator)
7) Josh Rosenberg, Minyan Tikvah (presenter); Viktoria Bedo, Brandeis Trad Egal (facilitator)
8) Sydney Levine, Minyan Tiferet (presenter); Leora Perkins, Cambridge Minyan (facilitator)
9) David Hain, Rosh Pina (presenter); Adena Philips, Public Sector Strategy/Darkhei Noam (facilitator)

10:15pm - 11:15pm Oneg

10:30pm - Building the College Community You Want
Rabbi Ethan Tucker, Mechon Hadar
A special discussion for college track participants.

Saturday, November 5

9:15am - Shaharit
A number of local minyans are meeting this morning:

Rosh Pina, 9:15am at GW Hillel 2nd Floor

Rosh Pina is a dati community built around a common commitment to halakha, tefilla, and equality. Rosh Pina is inspired by similar communities in Jerusalem (Shira Hadasha), New York (Darkhei Noam) and other cities around the world.

At Friday night tefilla, a woman leads kabbalat shabbat and men lead mincha and ma'ariv. On shabbat morning, men lead shacharit and musaf, a woman leads pesukei d'zimra. Both women and men receive aliyot and leyn from the torah.

The mechitza at Rosh Pina runs down the middle of the room, so that the men's and women's sections are side by side. In the spirit of greater inclusion in our kehilla, we ask both men and women to arrive on time for tefillot.


DC Minyan, 9:15am at DC JCC Community Hall, 1529 16th Street, NW

DC Minyan is a traditional egalitarian Jewish community located in Dupont Circle, in the heart of our nation’s capital. We seek to create an environment that will welcome, enrich, and challenge people of all ages, from all backgrounds, and with all levels of familiarity with Jewish texts and ritual. Our hope is that this young community will provide an inviting space for the members of the DC community to share their ideas, their aspirations, and their prayers. As a lay-led community, the Minyan derives its strength and its warmth from you.

Services are fully egalitarian with a minyan consisting of 10 men and 10 women. Men and women sit separately without a mechitzah.

Minyan Segulah, 9:15am at Tifereth Israel Chapel, 7701 16th Street, NW (entrance on Juniper Street)

Segulah is an independent minyan, founded in 2009, that meets in various locations in Shepherd Park/Silver Spring for full-liturgy, energizing, songful, and participant-led egalitarian davenning in a warm and welcoming neighborhood community. Segulah is run completely by volunteers.

The Segulah community follows each Shabbat-morning service with a potluck vegetarian lunch at a participant's home, or a kiddush at the location of services.

Traditional Egalitarian Minyan at Adas Israel Congregation, 9:30am at 2850 Quebec Street (at Connecticut Avenue and Porter Street, NW)

Shabbat morning service with the Traditional Egalitarian Minyan at Adas Israel Congregation. A lay-led, participatory independent Minyan within Adas Israel Congregation. Full Kriah (full Parsha reading), full repetition of Shacharit and Musaf Amidah. Congregational kiddush following. In the Cleveland Park area of DC at 2850 Quebec Street at Connecticut Ave and Porter Street NW, about a 30 - 40 min walk from GWU.

 

12:45pm - 2:00pm Lunch

2:00pm - 3:15pm Panel Sessions

Imagining a Sustainable Normative Jewish Future
Rabbi Ethan Tucker, Mechon Hadar
Respondents:
Sally Mendelsohn, Minyan Shachar
Evan Hochberg, Minyan Tiferet

A number of minyanim were founded out of a longing for a Jewish community that is normative and intensive in its practice of mitzvot; that includes men and women at the heart of those communities. This session will provide a forum for taking this quest to the next step. How do we take the microcosms we created on prayer and Shabbat experiences and expand them into a full model of lived commitment that touches all areas of our lives.

Rabbi Ethan Tucker is co-founder and rosh yeshiva at Mechon Hadar and chair in Jewish Law. Ethan was a faculty member at the Drisha Institute for Jewish Education, where he taught Talmud and Halakhah in the Scholars Circle. Ethan was ordained by the Chief Rabbinate of Israel and earned a PhD in Talmud and Rabbinics from the Jewish Theological Seminary and a B.A. from Harvard College. A Wexner Graduate Fellow, he was a co-founder of Kehilat Hadar and a winner of the first Grinspoon Foundation Social Entrepreneur Fellowship.

Sally Mendelsohn has enjoyed a 25 year career as a practicing midwife, and a lifetime of study and informal teaching of Jewish texts. Founder and co-leader of partnership minyan in Riverdale, NY-- Minyan Shachar (Shira Hadasha Riverdale). Organizer of annual Shavuot retreat.

Evan Hochberg is one of the founders of Minyan Tiferet. He lives in Englewood, New Jersey, with his wife Samantha and children Betzalel, Caleb, and Sophie. He is a lawyer for the City of New York.

The Future of Pluralism in the Jewish Community: Frameworks and Vision
Rabbi Shira Stutman, Sixth & I Historic Synagogue
Ben Dreyfus, Minyan Segulah
Rebecca Ennen - Jews United for Justice / Segulah

A number of minyanim were founded primarily in order to bring diverse individuals and populations into the same shared space. Their general framework has been built around respecting the autonomy of individual members and practices, and resisting any broad ideological commitments that would potentially exclude some participants. These dynamics have led to some incredibly creative ways of thinking about communities, boundaries, and canons of mutual respect. This session will focus on some of the achievements of this model to date and thinking through next steps and ramifications for taking this to the next level.

Ben Dreyfus is an organizer of Minyan Segulah on the DC/Maryland border, and a founder of Kol Zimrah in New York. He blogs at mahrabu.blogspot.com . By day, he is a Ph.D. candidate in physics education research at the University of Maryland.

Rabbi Shira Stutman's rabbinate is focused on two goals: making Jewish meaning and building Jewish community. With that in mind, in June, 2010 she took on the role of Director of Community Engagement at Sixth & I Historic synagogue in Washington, DC. As the sole rabbi on staff, Rabbi Shira strives to infuse Sixth & I's amazing program roster with Jewish context and content. She also launched and is supporting a number of "boutique" communities, including a 30-week class for those interested in joining the Jewish people; an adult Bar/Bat Mitzvah class for young professionals; an interfaith couples workshop; workshops for Jewish couples; and a family Chavurah. She is interested in the interplay between small groups that serve simultaneously as a self-contained community yet also are part of a larger kehila.

Rebecca Ennen is the Development and Communications Manager of Jews United for Justice, which organizes Washington-area Jews to act on our shared values by pursuing justice and equality in our local community. She is a master facilitator with Jewish Dialogue Group, helping Jews talk about thorny issues across political differences. Rebecca was a 2008 and 2009-10 fellow at Yeshivat Hadar. Prior to yeshiva, she lived in Philadelphia, worked in theater, and led the religious life committee of a start-up shul. Rebecca studied theater and education at Swarthmore College and was a Fulbright Fellow in Sri Lanka in 2004-05.

3:30pm - 4:00pm Minhah

Traditional Egalitarian

Partnership Minyan

4:15pm - 5:30pm Sessions

Prayer in the Talmud: A Transformative Encounter in Time and Space
Joe Septimus, Darkhei Noam

Embark on a journey of analysis, imagination, ideas, interrelationships, and approaches to individual and communal prayer. We will study a rich Talmudic text from Masechect (Tractate) Berachot about tefila (prayer) and supporting texts in Torah and Midrash. Our exploration and analysis will reveal how the Talmud moves us to personal transformation utilizing not only the informational content of the text but also through the text’s underlying interior developmental structure and movement.

Joe Septimus is president of Septimus Consulting, Inc. managing change for businesses & not for profits. He teaches Torah on Shabbos morning at Darkhei Noam and at other Adult Ed. venues. Joe has an MBA from NYU Business School, a BA in Philosophy, studied at Yeshiva Chaim Berlin and Kerem B’Yavneh, and is a Wexner Heritage alum. Joe is the editor of the Study Guide accompanying “Projecting Freedom”, a Skirball Center project of cinematic approaches to interpreting the Hagaddah, and wrote the Study Guide that accompanies Debbie Friedman’s Shacharit CD. He loves the Darkhei Noam community because it challenges him to take responsibility for his Judaism.


Alternative Melodies for Shabbat
Reuven Kogel, Mission Minyan
Need new tunes for Shabbat? In this workshop we will explore alternative (and hopefully new) melodies for select hymns and songs sung on Shabbat - Lecha Dodi, Yigdal, D'ror Yikra. Some of the melodies are new, some are quite old, some are from the Sefardi tradition.

Some melodies featured in this session (All files also accessible at Mission Minyan):
D'ror Yikra (melody by Elli & Ravital Kranzler)
Yigdal Sefardi (Bayat mode, also sung to D'ror Yikra)
Yigdal Sefardi (Nahwand mode)
Yigdal "Rabi Jacob" (Sefardi/Ajam mode)
Lecha Dodi (Sefardi)

Reuven Kogel is a gabbai at Mission Minyan, in San Francisco. He frequently leads services on Shabbat and the Holidays. In his spare time, he plays the violin with various ensembles and hosts a weekly radio show about cabaret and swing music.

Mastering the Fine Art of Giving a Dvar Torah
David Zvi Kalman, Minyan Tikvah
What is a dvar torah, and how do you deliver a good one? How do you adjust your content for your audience? What do you do if you have three minutes to fill, or twenty? What purpose does a dvar torah serve within the context of a regular service?

Together, we'll go over some helpful tips on how to give a great dvar torah, as well as some specific advice for particular congregational situations.

Giving a Dvar Torah - Outline

Dvar Torah Resources

 

David Zvi Kalman is a doctoral student in the department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at the University of Pennsylvania. He studies Judaism and Islam in the early medieval period.

Gabbinical School
Hannah Hofrichter, Museum Minyan
Adam Levine, Cambridge Minyan

In this workshop, we'll work on the practical aspects of being a gabbai during the Torah service, including the basic skills of calling people to the Torah and keeping the service moving along, the nuances of correcting Torah reading, and the incredible art of chironomy (hand signals). Beginners and experts are welcome.

5:30pm - 6:30pm Seudah Shlishit

6:35pm - Arvit

Traditional Egalitarian, Basement

Partnership Minyan, Second Floor

6:55pm - Havdallah

7:15pm - 8:30pm Panel Sessions

Have Independent Minyanim Abandoned Israel?: A Guided Discussion
Led by Zvika Krieger, DC Minyan
Most independent minyanim follow a "No Israel" policy when it comes to programming -- too controversial, no one wants politics from the pulpit, or maybe too reminiscent of our parents' shuls. But have these policies gone too far? Have our communities fallen into a lazy complacency? Are we missing meaningful opportunities to engage with such a central tenant of Jewish identity? Why, when Jewish communities around the world were celebrating the return of Gilad Shalit, did most of our minyanim ignore the occasion? This session will be a moderated discussion for minyan leaders to discuss the genesis and rationale of their policies relating to Israel, and to engage in a dialogue about whether our approach to Israel is a sign of enlightened progress or ripe for reevaluation.

Zvika Krieger is senior vice president of the S. Daniel Abraham Center for Middle East Peace and a writer for The Atlantic. He is a former editor at The New Republic and a former Newsweek Middle East correspondent.

Lay-Led Ethos vs. Rabbinical Guidance: What are our Core Values?
Joe Septimus, Darkhei Noam
Rabbi Jason Rubenstein, Mechon Hadar
Deena Fox, DC Minyan

For many of our communities being lay led is not just a budgetary predicament but the organizational structure of choice. Operating as a lay led community can enhance each member’s engagement and responsibilities within the community. We will explore, in theory and practice, the power and possibilities of furthering the lay led model.

Joe Septimus is president of Septimus Consulting, Inc. managing change for businesses & not for profits. He teaches Torah on Shabbos morning at Darkhei Noam and at other Adult Ed. venues. Joe has an MBA from NYU Business School, a BA in Philosophy, studied at Yeshiva Chaim Berlin and Kerem B’Yavneh, and is a Wexner Heritage alum. Joe is the editor of the Study Guide accompanying “Projecting Freedom”, a Skirball Center project of cinematic approaches to interpreting the Hagaddah, and wrote the Study Guide that accompanies Debbie Friedman’s Shacharit CD. He loves the Darkhei Noam community because it challenges him to take responsibility for his Judaism.

Jason Rubenstein is Dean of Students and a member of the Talmud faculty at Yeshivat Hadar. Jason is a fifth-year rabbinical student at the Jewish Theological Seminary, and holds an MA in Talmud from JTS and an AB in Social Studies from Harvard College. An alumnus of Yeshivat Ma'ale Gilbo'a, Jason has led several trips for the Nesiya Institute, and is an alumnus of the Wexner Graduate Fellowship.

Deena Fox served as a gabbai at Kehilat Hadar and is currently completing a two-year term on the Steering Committee at DC Minyan in Washington DC. In 2003, Deena graduated with a BA from Barnard College in Urban Studies and simultaneously completed a BA in Bible at the Jewish Theological Seminary. After graduating from NYU School of Law in 2008, Deena moved to Washington DC where she currently works as a lawyer in the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice. She is originally from Chicago, loves cooking, and, to her great surprise, now has a dog named Althea.

Independent Minyan Schools? New Models for Education
Jessica Lieberman, Founding Group of DC Hebrew Language Public Charter School
Pam Edelman, Zamru and Lippman Kanfer Institute
Sacha Litman, Measuring Success

Jessica Lieberman is a founder of DCMinyan and currently working with a group of people to establish a Hebrew Language Public Charter School in Washington, DC. A 1998-1999 Dorot Fellow, Jessica's two-decade career in international affairs, includes work at the United Nations, Palestinian and Israeli NGOs, as well at the Jewish Council for Public Affairs where she was the coordinator for the Jewish Women's Caucus at the 1995 United Nations Conference on Women in Beijing, China. A graduate of Smith College, she has a Ph.D in political science from the George Washington University and is currently the Deputy Director at the State Department's Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor's Middle East Office. She lives in Takoma, DC with her husband Bill Jaffe, and their two young children.

Pam Edelman leads an initiative for JESNA’s Lippman-Kanfer Institute developing strategies to organize and empower the family voice to impact the agenda and direction of Jewish education. Pam co-founded Yerusha, a Jewish learning laboratory testing a new model of family-driven, complementary Jewish education. Pam's interest in family-oriented innovation processes stems from work in marketing/brand management at Kraft Foods where she garnered innovation awards managing consumer products for parents and their children. Pam is Co-Founder of Zamru, an independent minyan in Princeton. A graduate of Washington University, she lives in the Princeton area with her husband, Dean, and their four children.

Sacha Litman is the Founder and Principal Consultant of Measuring Success, a strategy consulting firm dedicated to developing quantitative tools and models to enhance organizational effectiveness. Sacha holds his M.B.A. with highest distinction from Kellogg (Northwestern), an M.P.A. from Harvard’s Kennedy School and a B.S. in applied mathematics, summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, from Yale University. He is recipient of a Wexner Graduate fellowship, Dorot fellowship, and attended the Pardes Institute. Sacha has worked for McKinsey and Company and Credit Suisse, and was director of strategy and consulting for an international non-profit organization.

Sunday, November 6

8:00am - 8:40am - Shaharit

8:45am - 9:15am Breakfast

9:15am - 10:45am Open Space generated session

11:00am - 12:00pm Sessions

Fostering Musical Diversity in Independent Minyanim: Where to Find New Molodies and How to Introduce them into the Liturgy
Reuven Kogel, Mission Minyan
In this session we will discuss aspects of musical diversity in independent minyanim: Where do most of our melodies come from? What are their musical qualities? How to match melodies with liturgical pieces based on the mood and rhythm of the text? Where to find new melodies? How to introduce them? Musical ideas will be illustrated with well-known and lesser-known melodies, some of them found in online sound archives.

Reuven Kogel is a gabbai at Mission Minyan, in San Francisco. He frequently leads services on Shabbat and the Holidays. In his spare time, he plays the violin with various ensembles and hosts a weekly radio show about cabaret and swing music.

 Download audio recording

Leadership Transition in Minyanim: Strategic Planning for the Future
Orlee Turitz and Robert Killip
In this session we will deal with the critical issues of leadership transition that face the volunteer-led minyanim. Using tools from strategic planning for non-profits, we will explore ways to focus on key elements that will make this transition smoother and help ensure the ongoing viability of the minyan. We will use a case-study method with Washington Square Minyan.

Orlee R. Turitz is the Director of the Jewish Leadership Institute and lead professional for Leadership Development at the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington. She is also an Executive Leadership Coach. She lectures on Jewish textual analysis and spiritual growth as well as facilitates sessions on personal achievement, boards of director structures, visioning, strategic planning and leadership development.

She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Barnard College, Columbia University in Philosophy-Economics and is a member of Phi Beta Kappa society. She resides in Silver Spring with her husband and four children.

Robert Killip is in his third year of Law School at Boston University. Robert and his wife Avi joined the Washington Square Minyan when they moved to Boston two and half years ago. They have been active members of the minyan leadership for the past year and half. Robert recently joined the Leadership Va'ad as Finance Chair.

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Service Leading Workshop: Constructive Strategies to Strengthen Quality of Communal Prayer
Yael Richardson Kalman, Minyan Tikvah
In this workshop we will discuss strategies for innovative yet accessible methods of leading davening. We will address questions of how to prepare in advance to lead services; how to introduce new elements into an established congregation; how to adjust davening to suit the community’s mood; how to utilize body language as guiding indicators for the congregation; how to create an intimate space for prayer.

Yael Kalman is an active member and service leader of Minyan Tikvah in Philadelphia. Yael attended Yeshivat Hadar as a fellow in Summer 2009. She first began leading Shabbat and holiday services as an undergraduate at Brown University. Partnering with her husband, David Zvi Kalman, she has led High Holiday services at Kolot Rabbim in Montreal, QC, and most recently at Tulane Hillel in New Orleans, LA.

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Leading a Tisch: Choreographing Spontaneous Joy
Adam Szubin, DC Minyan

Adam Szubin was one of the founders of DC Minyan. He lives in Washington DC with his wife Miriam and their sons Nathan and Micah and works on international sanctions at the Treasury Department.

How To Speak with Presence
Sarah Gershman, Greenroom Speakers
Whether you are giving a dvar Torah, presenting at a community meeting, or making an announcement, your ability to speak publicly is vital.Learn how craft and clear and focused message, and use voice and body to make that message stick. All participants will have opportunities for practice and feedback.

Sarah Gershman is President of Green Room Speakers. Sarah specializes in helping clients clarify their message in order to cultivate stage presence and inspire an audience.
Recent and current clients include: Microsoft, the Office of the Secretary of Defense, HOK, the U.S. Department of Treasury Executive Institute, AVODAH, the Religious Action Center, UJA of New York, and the Darrell Friedman Institute.

Sarah has a Masters in Social Work from Columbia University and a Masters in Judaic Studies from the Jewish Theological Seminary. She is a Wexner Graduate Alumni Fellow. Sarah is the author of the award-winning Jewish children's books, The Bedtime Sh'ma and Modeh Ani.

12:00pm - 12:45pm Brunch/Welcome to additional participants

12:45pm - 2:00pm Practical skills workshops 1

New Models of Jewish Education Based on the Independent Minyan Framework
Yoni Engelhart, Sulam/Washington Square Minyan
We will explore how the ethos of independent minyanim can inspire innovation in Jewish education to help meet the challenges facing families and institutions today. Specifically, we will examine a new model in Boston that finds its way between the day school model and the contemporary Hebrew school.

Yoni Engelhart is co-founder of Sulam, a Jewish after-school program in Brookline, MA. Yoni is a Principal at Partners Capital, a global investment management firm. He received bachelors degrees in Philosophy and Finance from the University of Maryland and an MBA from Harvard Business School. He, his wife Talia, and children Yakira, Nadav, and Lior are members of the Washington Square Minyan.

 Watch this session

 Download audio recording

 

How To Speak with Presence
Sarah Gershman, Greenroom Speakers
Whether you are giving a dvar Torah, presenting at a community meeting, or making an announcement, your ability to speak publicly is vital.Learn how craft and clear and focused message, and use voice and body to make that message stick. All participants will have opportunities for practice and feedback.

Sarah Gershman is President of Green Room Speakers. Sarah specializes in helping clients clarify their message in order to cultivate stage presence and inspire an audience.
Recent and current clients include: Microsoft, the Office of the Secretary of Defense, HOK, the U.S. Department of Treasury Executive Institute, AVODAH, the Religious Action Center, UJA of New York, and the Darrell Friedman Institute.

Sarah has a Masters in Social Work from Columbia University and a Masters in Judaic Studies from the Jewish Theological Seminary. She is a Wexner Graduate Alumni Fellow. Sarah is the author of the award-winning Jewish children's books, The Bedtime Sh'ma and Modeh Ani.

 Download audio recording


The Independent Minyan and Community-Based Learning

Ben Freedman and Sophia Krentzman, DC Beit Midrash
Come and learn from one of the country's longest running learning groups affiliated with an independent minyan! This session will explore the details necessary to start or strengthen a preexisting community-based learning group. Topics will range from the practical to the philosophical with an emphasis on how to run a community learning group (such as structuring the classes, finding volunteer teachers and funding food). Feel free to come prepared with questions or suggestions to make our time together as productive as possible.

DC Beit Midrash is a pluralistic, welcoming, open learning group that meets weekly and is cosponsored by the DC JCC and DC Minyan.

Ben Freedman and Sophie Krentzman are co-coordinators of DC Beit Midrash. Ben is a member of the DC Minyan Leadership Council and learned at Pardes for a semester in 2010. Sophie is a professional at Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life and has been dancing for over 20 years.

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Political Action... by Jews? For Jews? Of Jews?
Rabbi Jack Moline
What are the benefits and pitfalls of introducing political activism into a community organized around prayer? How can a community decide between directly political and other forms of advocacy? What modes of organizing, decision-making, and advocacy are important and effective? And what voice should a Jewish community - on any scale - have in the public sphere of debate? Rabbi Jack Moline has dedicated the last several years to organizing the Conservative movement around activism, and has worked closely with several recent US presidents.

Rabbi Jack Moline is the rabbi of Agudas Achim congregation of Northern Virginia, in Alexandria. He is the former President of the Washington Board of Rabbis and the Alexandria Interfaith Association. Rabbi Moline has served on the boards of the Faith and Politics Institute, the Rabbinical Assembly, Gesher Jewish Day School, the Cathedral College of Washington National (Episcopal) Cathedral and Operation Understanding DC, among others. He is an adjunct faculty member of the Virginia Theological Seminary and frequent contributor to radio, television and newspaper coverage of religious affairs.

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Bringing a Melody to Life: Joey Weisenberg's Spontaneous Jewish Choir
Joey Weisenberg, Mechon Hadar
In this class, we will focus on learning one old Jewish melody, studying it's musical mechanics, and bringing that melody to life collectively with beautiful harmony and rhythm. We will learn a method for absorbing a new melody and an approach to singing nigunim.

Joey Weisenberg is a faculty member at Yeshivat Hadar in charge of all music education. He is a mandolinist, guitarist, singer, and percussionist based in New York City, who has performed and recorded in a wide variety of musical styles. Joey works as the Music Director at Brooklyn's oldest synagogue, the Kane Street Synagogue. He is an artist-fellow at the 14th Street Y's Laba program, and teaches Klezmer music as a faculty member at KlezKanada. He was recently named to "36 under 36" in The Jewish Week as one of 36 new and exciting innovators in Jewish life today. Joey visits shuls and communities around the world as a musician-in-residence, in which he teaches his popular 'Spontaneous Jewish Choir" workshops. He is the author of Building Singing Communities, published by Mechon Hadar. For more information, please visit www.joeyweisenberg.com.

Pulpit Rabbis and Minyanim: What IM’s Can Learn from Shuls and What Shuls Can Learn from IM’s
Rabbi Nissan Antine and Rabbi Gil Steinlauf
How do pulpit rabbis relate to the independent minyan phenomenon? Are multiple minyanim in a shul a model for the future, or a draw on the community? What could a hybrid approach look like? Rabbis Gil Steinlauf and Nissan Antine both had experience in minyanim before becoming rabbis, and now are shul leaders with unique approaches to these questions. Please bring your thoughts and ideas to this session as we hope that it will be full of dialogue.

Rabbi Gil Steinlauf is senior Rabbi at Adas Israel Congregation in Washington, DC. He is a summa cum laude graduate of Princeton University (1991), studied at the Pardes Institute in Jerusalem, received an M.H.L. from the University of Judaism in 1994, and received Rabbinic ordination as well as an M.A. from the Jewish Theological Seminar in New York in 1998. Currently, Rabbi Steinlauf is on the boards of the Washington Chapter of the American Jewish Committee, and the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington. He also sits on the Chancellor’s Advisory Committee of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America. He is an alumnus of the Institute for Jewish Spirituality, and a member of the Center for Jewish Learning and Leadership’s Rabbis Without Borders program.

Rabbi Nissan Antine is Associate Rabbi and Director of Education at Beth Sholom Congregation and Talmud Torah in Potomac, MD. He was ordained at YCT Rabbinical School in 2006. Rabbi Antine graduated from Case Western Reserve University with a B.A. in Philosophy and Religion. While at YCT, Nissan interned at Kesher Israel Congregation in Washington, D.C. and at Anshei Shalom in Chicago. Nissan teaches a daily daf yomi class and a weekly class on Responsa which deal with different periods of Jewish History (e.g. Spanish Inquisition, Holocaust, and the State of Israel). Nissan has served on the Executive Committee of the International Rabbinic Fellowship. In July 2013, he will assume the role of Senior Rabbi at Beth Sholom.

 Download audio recording 

 

2:15pm - 3:30pm Practical skills workshops 2

Movement and Prayer
Rabbi Esther Lederman and Rabbi Danny Zemel, Temple Micah
We will share our experiences working with Liz Lerman, an innovative teacher and MacArthur “genius” who has helped our synagogue develop new ways of thinking about prayer through the use of our bodies in movement. We will provide examples of how we have worked with Liz over the years, particularly during our Yom Kippur services. We hope to use some of the time to generate discussion of how prayer can move beyond the words.

Rabbi Daniel G. Zemel is the senior rabbi of Temple Micah in Washington, DC. He has served in this position since 1983.

Rabbi Zemel is a leader in the synagogue transformation movement. He has worked with Synagogue 2000\3000 since that organization’s founding in 1995. He has lectured widely around the country as a Synagogue 2000 Fellow and currently is a member of the synagogue 3000 Leadership Network. He is committed to the movement to help lead synagogues from being centers of Jewish ethnicity to spiritual centers of intellectual curiosity, artistic creativity and healing. Additionally, Rabbi Zemel is a passionate Zionist who leads frequent congregational trips to Israel. He has been active in a number of local and national organizations. Included among these are his positions as a founding board of Micah House, a group home for homeless women sponsored by Temple Micah, and the Clergy Advisory Committee for the Community Council for the Homeless.

Rabbi Esther L. Lederman is the assistant rabbi at Temple Micah. Before moving to Washington, DC, she served as the Marshall T. Meyer Fellow at Congregation B’nai Jeshurun of Manhattan, a prestigious and competitive position in one of the United States most dynamic synagogues. She was ordained in May 2008 from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in New York City.

Prior to becoming a rabbi, Ms. Lederman worked for seven years in the non-profit world. She held positions with the Israel Policy Forum in Washington, DC, directed a project on Middle East peace education for the Union for Reform Judaism, and served as the National Director of Habonim Dror North America, an international Zionist youth movement.

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Demystifying Fundraising: How does fundraising become a part of the culture of an organization?
Mindy Schachtman, Mechon Hadar
How do you make philanthropy a part of the culture of your community? How do you shift those that simply attend your programs to both attend and donate? We will have a discussion on how to start or strengthen fundraising efforts in their organization.

Mindy Schachtman is Director of Institutional Advancement at Mechon Hadar. Prior to joining the Mechon Hadar team, she served as the Director of Institutional Advancement for Yeshiva University High Schools and Yeshiva University's Program for Jewish Genetic Health. Mindy's experience in fundraising also includes positions at the Brooklyn College Foundation and as a consultant for Community Counselling Service LLC. Mindy holds Bachelors Degrees from Columbia University and the Jewish Theological Seminary.

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Expecting the Unexpected: Gabbaing on the Fly
Rabbi Ethan Tucker, Mechon Hadar
What happens when you discover that the Sefer Torah is invalid in the middle of an aliyah? How about when your 10th person walks out in the middle of kaddish? We will examine these questions and others (including your own) as we attempt to perfect the art of smooth gabbaing in even the most unexpected circumstances.

Rabbi Ethan Tucker is co-founder and rosh yeshiva at Mechon Hadar and chair in Jewish Law. Ethan was a faculty member at the Drisha Institute for Jewish Education, where he taught Talmud and Halakhah in the Scholars Circle. Ethan was ordained by the Chief Rabbinate of Israel and earned a PhD in Talmud and Rabbinics from the Jewish Theological Seminary and a B.A. from Harvard College. A Wexner Graduate Fellow, he was a co-founder of Kehilat Hadar and a winner of the first Grinspoon Foundation Social Entrepreneur Fellowship.

Sustainable Business Models for Prayer Communities
Daniel Chiat, Measuring Success
As community leaders in independent minyanim, we are passionate about our desire to build Jewish community. Are we stepping back to ask ourselves whether the programs and priorities we emphasize in our communities actually bring the results we seek? Daniel Chiat, an analyst for Measuring Success who is currently working with New York and Montreal-area synagogues, will be presenting an overview of how data-driven analysis can be applied to serve our Jewish values and our communal priorities. Throughout the session, we will work with a common dataset that can be used to assess the health of our synagogues; explore ways of aligning vision and values with data; and gain appreciation of the role of community leaders as guiding data-driven decision making in our independent minyanim. We will also briefly explore how to best use data currently on hand and identify data to be collected.

Daniel Chiat, analyst at Measuring Success. Daniel joined Measuring Success in early 2011 after spending three years at Accenture. Daniel graduated from the University of Maryland with a BA in Economics, and recently attended the Pardes Institute. Outside of his work at Measuring Success, Daniel teaches 7th grade Sunday school at a conservative synagogue in Rockville, MD.

Measuring Success, founded in 2003 and based in Washington D.C., creates quantitative performance tools and models to help managers and boards enhance their organizational effectiveness. Measuring Success' focus is in leveraging data tools, quantitative analytics, and consulting to help organizations move from anecdotal to data-driven decision making.

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Building Singing Communities
Joey Weisenberg, Mechon Hadar
This class will focus on strategies for developing singing and music in your communities, and how to take the greatest advantage of the musical potential that's already present.

Joey Weisenberg is a faculty member at Yeshivat Hadar in charge of all music education. He is a mandolinist, guitarist, singer, and percussionist based in New York City, who has performed and recorded in a wide variety of musical styles. Joey works as the Music Director at Brooklyn's oldest synagogue, the Kane Street Synagogue. He is an artist-fellow at the 14th Street Y's Laba program, and teaches Klezmer music as a faculty member at KlezKanada. He was recently named to "36 under 36" in The Jewish Week as one of 36 new and exciting innovators in Jewish life today. Joey visits shuls and communities around the world as a musician-in-residence, in which he teaches his popular 'Spontaneous Jewish Choir" workshops. He is the author of Building Singing Communities, published by Mechon Hadar. For more information, please visit www.joeyweisenberg.com.

3:30pm - 4:00pm Closing

 

 
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