A Sacred Trust: Effective Leadership Skills and Governance that Works: We can’t lead in a vacuum – the work of leadership is done within a larger system. Whether you are on the board, a member of a committee, part of the executive committee, or a staff member, working within a well-defined governance structure can help to clarify roles and responsibilities. These sessions will highlight effective models for structuring and managing the congregational board as well as explore the key elements to effective Jewish congregational leadership. As well, determining values that underlie congregational life can provide the framework for a viable approach to engaging and vibrant Reconstructionist Judaism.
Rabbi Jane Rachel Litman is the Director of the Western Region of the Jewish Reconstructionist Federation, serving the twenty-four congregations and havurot west of the Rockies and Texas.. In her twenty years of experience as a rabbi, she has served Conservative, Reconstructionist, Reform and Gay Outreach congregations, and is a consultant on moral education for diverse families for national Jewish institutions, the National Council of Churches and the Metropolitan Community Church. In addition to her rabbinate, she was a professor of Religion and Women's Studies at California State University at Northridge, and lectured at the University of Judaism and Loyola Marymount College.
Rabbi Litman is highly committed to social action and interfaith work. She chaired the board of the Clinica Msgr. Oscar Romero and the Southern California Religious Coalition for Abortion Rights, the East Bay Interfaith Committee for Economic Justice and sits on the executive committee of Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice. She is a Peace and Justice Commissioner for the City of Berkeley. Widely published in the fields of Jewish women's history and contemporary theology, Rabbi Litman's book, Lifecycles 2: Jewish Women on Scriptural Themes in Contemporary Life, co-edited with Rabbi Debra Orenstein, won several prestigious academic and community awards. Rabbi Litman lives with her spouse, Stewart Schwartz, and their two children, Sophie and Asher in Berkeley, California.
Rabbi David Teutsch has been a builder of religious community since becoming a congregational rabbi thirty years ago. He is the Wiener Professor of Contemporary Jewish Civilization and director of the Levin-Lieber Program in Jewish Ethics at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, where he served as president for nearly a decade. The editor in chief of the groundbreaking Kol Haneshamah prayer book series published by JRF’s Reconstructionist Press, he has also authored several other books, including Making a Difference:A Guide to Jewish Leadership and Not-for-Profit Management. His most recent book, A Guide to Jewish Practice: Everyday Living, won the 2012 National Jewish Book Award for Contemporary Jewish Life and Practice. For more information about it, click www.rrc.edu/Guide .