The graduates represent the first class of this unprecedented program, geared towards providing rabbis with business skills and management training necessary to run their synagogue more efficiently in the 21st Century.
The program, a joint venture by the Rabbinical Assembly (RA), the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies and the American Jewish University, looks to be an exciting development in religious leadership spearheaded by Conservative rabbis.
The rabbis, representing communities across North America, spent the year doing on-site seminars, mentorships and distance learning in the areas of: nonprofit management and leadership, marketing, fund raising, accounting and budgeting, strategic planning and program evaluation.
Graduating class (photo courtesy of American Jewish University)
It is the only such program for rabbis run by an institution that boasts both an accredited seminary and an accredited MBA program under the same roof. As such, the best wisdom of the not for profit management sector can be interpreted for the complex world of religious life.
According to Rabbi Julie Schonfeld, executive vice president of the Rabbinical Assembly who spoke at the closing seminar today, this program equips rabbis with business and management skills to address the myriad challenges facing religious institutions with creativity and foresight.
“In today’s economy, it is more important than ever for rabbis to learn effective business models and management skills, ones guided by the deepest values of Judaism,” said Schonfeld.