The congregation is not a business; it’s a system. Understanding how the system works is central to the process of evaluation, whether it be of program or of the rabbi-congregation relationship. Using systems theory as a basis for discussion, examples of successful goal setting, liaison structures, and evaluation processes will be highlighted.
Carl A. Sheingold began serving in September 2004 as the executive vice president of JRF. Previously he was management professor in the Hornstein Program in Jewish Communal Service and director of the Fisher Bernstein Institute for Leadership Development in Jewish Philanthropy at Brandeis University. He served as part of the senior management of the Council of Jewish Federations and as executive director of the National Havurah Committee. Carl earned his doctorate in sociology from Harvard University and before beginning his work in the Jewish community held faculty positions at Cornell and Brown universities. His career has spanned many settings — academic and organizational, mainstream and cutting edge, community organization, religious/cultural, and in community relations.
Rabbi Nancy Epstein (RRC '06) is the Director of Congregational Relations for the Jewish Reconstructionist Federation (JRF). Nancy has worked with communities for 30 years, holding positions of leadership in the areas of public policy, legislation and advocacy, community organizing, nonprofit management, and organizational consulting. She is formally trained in systems-centered approaches to organizational development and management and as a mediator of interpersonal and complex public policy disputes, and has served as consultant to professional associations, not-for-profit organizations, universities, and national foundations.
In addition to her role at JRF, Rabbi Epstein currently serves as Associate Professor of Community Health at the Drexel University School of Public Health where she teaches, advises and mentors graduate students and is involved in community service projects. She received two teaching awards from the graduate student body in the last five years. She serves as a board member of the Philadelphia Arts and Spirituality Center.