WRN offers several opportunities for our members to connect and study even from great distances. You are welcome to participate. We ask that you RSVP for our learning sessions, even if it’s last minute and on the day and time of the session to receive the call-in information.
The WRN uses Zoom for it’s national learning sessions.
Tuesday, May 23, 2017 at 12:00 p.m. EST
Mental Health and Wellness Challenges for Women Rabbis with Betsy Stone and Ellen Lewis
In the complex field that we’ve chosen, there is nothing more important, or more challenging, than learning how to care for ourselves so that we can continue to do this important work. We will discuss how to recognize signs of depression, anxiety, and other mental health challenges in ourselves, how to navigate caring for ourselves while we care for others, and how to talk about our mental health needs with our communities.
Rabbi Ellen Lewis has had a varied career both as a rabbi and a modern psychoanalyst. She recently retired from 35 years of congregational work to practice full-time as a therapist, supervisor, pastoral counselor and professional coach. Ellen has a special interest in helping rabbis and cantors manage the challenges of congregational and collegial conflict, work-life balance, gender issues, and personal and professional transformations, with the overall aim of an increased capacity for self-care, reflection and contentment.
Dr. Betsy Stone received her Doctorate in Psychology from Yale University. She is a psychologist and for the last fifteen years has served as an adjunct lecturer at Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion. Her classes include Human Development for Educators, Adolescent Development and Teens In and Out of Crisis. She also teaches a family education class in her synagogue, Temple Sinai of Stamford, for 6th and 7th graders and their parents. Betsy’s book, Happily Ever After, was published by Random House.
Check back often for more information about future learning sessions!
Podcasts of previous learning sessions are available to members only. The links can be found on our FaceBook page or can be sent to members by contacting Leah Berkowitz.
Recent Learning Opportunities
4/27/2017 - The Rodef Shalom vs. The Rodef tsedek: Honoring the Pursuit of Peach as We Pursue Justice. There are only two values that the Torah commands us to “pursue”: peace and justice. But what do we do when the pursuit of peace and the work of justice lead us in different directions? How do we work for both of these central values at the same time, when the goals and the energies they evoke in us are often different? Participants, in this learning session with Rabbi Amy Eilberg, explored these questions which are so relevant in the midst of an era when we are called on more urgently than ever to lead in the pursuit of both peace and justice.
3/28/2017 - Reforming the Pay Gap: Practical Interventions. Building on the CCAR salary survey data shared in past CCAR/WRN webinars addressing the wage gap, this presentation focused on practical interventions that could be brought to any Reform organization. Dr. Langowitz shared insights into the culture which perpetuates pay inequality and some of the approaches to overcoming these biases. Participants also discussed how to raise this important issue within their own synagogues and institutions. The webinar, co-presented by the CCAR and WRN, is part of an on-going effort to narrow the wage gap within the Reform Movement; WRJ and WRN have secured a significant grant to help further these efforts. Marking the extra time the average American woman needs to work to overcome the wage gap, Equal Pay Day was April 4th. The content of this call helped rabbis talk about the significance of this date within their institutions, as well as advocate for themselves and colleagues. Presenters: Dr. Nan Langowitz, Rabbi Victor Appell, Rabbi Marla Feldman, and Rabbi Mary Zamore.
3/15/2017 - Women's Civil Rights in Israel Today. WRN together with our partners at The ARZA Rabbinic Council hosted a webinar with Dr. Susan Weiss, director of Jerusalem's Mercaz Tzedek L'Nashim/Women's Justice Center, on Women's Civil Rights in Israel Today: Agunot, Mamzerim, Adulteresses, and Other Good Reasons to Separate Religion & State.
2/16/2017 - Race and the Modern Rabbi: Embracing Holistic Engagement with Racial Diversity in Reform Judaism. Participants joined Isaama Stoll and Ruth Abusch-Magder for a conversation on how we can embrace racial diversity in our Reform Jewish spaces. We explored the work being done to address challenges of racial diversity and to create safe spaces for Jews of color within our community. Through this conversation we wanted to identify ways we can all work to meet the needs of an ever racially diversifying Jewish world.
12/14/2016 - Making Progress: Process or Result? This session was taken from the Hartman curriculum, Created Equal: Men, Women and the Ethics of Shared Leadership. This curriculum aims to articulate a theory of ethical leadership in the twenty-first century. In this session, participants explored the various interventions used for creating a more just leadership landscape, with focus on the challenges and opportunities endemic to each with Dr. Elana Stein Hain.
11/10/2016 - Preserving Women's Voices: Archiving Women Rabbis in the Digital Age. In this panel conversation with the directors of the American Jewish Archives and the Jewish Women’s Archive, we discussed how the archives go about collecting, preserving, and sharing the experiences of women rabbis, and how we could begin to think about our own voices as part of the larger story of women in the modern Jewish community.
10/27/2016 - Mediation Skills for Managing Difficult Situations. Rabbis can be caught in the middle of conflicts among family members, co-workers, or lay leaders. Sometimes these conflicts are readily apparent and sometimes they arise spontaneously. Some of these constituents even look to the rabbi to resolve these conflicts. During this webinar, participants learned mediation techniques to help diffuse or resolve these conflicts in a lively presentation with real world examples from Martha Hausman and Ellen Waldorf.
9/15/2016 - Yearning to Breathe Free: A CCAR/WRN Webinar on the Jewish Response to Today’s Refugees. Participants joined Rabbi Jennie Rosenn, vice president for community engagement at HIAS, and Rabbi Judy Schindler, Director of the Greenspon Center for Peace and Social Justice at Queens University, to learn more about today’s refugee crisis, the U.S. refugee admissions program, and how the American Jewish community is taking action in meaningful ways. Jennie addressed ways that Jewish communities can engage with refugee issues in the coming year while Judy spoke about her participation in then recent CCAR mission with IsraAID to Berlin.
5/18/2016 - The Gender Politics of the Chevruta Relationship. Participants explored Hevruta–the learning partnerships that organize talmud study with Rabbi Mira Wasserman. Together colleagues studied the talmudic story of one celebrated Hevruta-couple, Rabbi Yohanan and Resh Lakish, explored how Hevruta learning has worked in traditional communities, and how it might serve our contemporary communities.
4/20/2016 – Ethics: Avoiding Gender Bias in the Workplace. In this second learning webinar presented in partnership with the CCAR, participants discussed how the CCAR Code of Ethics and Jewish values guide us in creating workplaces that are free of gender bias with Danielle Banks and Michael Fenlon.
4/4/2016 – The Gender Pay Gap in Congregations: Advocacy and Action. In this special webinar presentation done in partnership with the CCAR, participants joined Michael Gan and Elise Gould to discuss the gender pay gap from a variety of different perspectives, especially as they relate to women rabbis in the Reform Movement.
3/15/2016 -Tackling the Unique Challenges of Being a Woman Rabbi: A Panel of Three Professional Rabbinic Coaches. Participants joined Judy Elkin, Rabbi Ellen Lewis and Rabbi David S. Wolfman, three professional rabbinic coaches as they addressed issues of management, leadership, balance, and self-care in an ever-changing rabbinate.
2/11/2016 – Casting Lots: Creating a Family in a Beautiful, Broken World. Tens of millions of children worldwide live without parents and, as a result, suffer institutionalization, trafficking, illness and death. This is a humanitarian crisis This is a Jewish priority. In this session, Rabbi Susan Silverman, founder of JustAdopt, spoke on how she inspired members of strong Jewish communities in North America to adopt children who come from the same orphanage or region abroad, creating a meaningful peer group for the children, enriching the synagogue communities, alleviating human suffering, and repairing a broken world. Rabbi Hara Person of the CCAR Press was also on the call and discussed adoption liturgy in the new Rabbis’ Manual.
1/12/2016 – Writing the Third Chapter: The Spirituality of Aging. Participants joined our colleagues, rabbis Jacqueline Koch Ellenson, Rachel Cowan, Vicki Hollander and Marion Lev-Cohen, for a conversation on taking a spiritual approach to aging. Jacqueline Koch Ellenson moderated a panel of rabbis engaged in working with people in their sixties and their seventies to make the “third chapter” of their lives one of spirit, resilience, wisdom and growth, using both the “Wise Aging” model and other modes of learning and community building.