Learn At Hadar
Jewish Professionals Institute - June 2020

Jewish Professionals Institute

June 21-25, 2020

"Nothing short of life-changing" - 2018 participant

"So many fantastic educators, and a luxurious amount of time in which to learn from them. This is a real gift."
- 2018 participant


Overview - What is Hadar's Jewish Professionals Institute?

Hadar’s Jewish Professionals Institute (JPI) opens up the world of Jewish wisdom through the vibrancy of the Beit Midrash, while empowering Jewish professionals to apply the lessons from this learning directly to their work. We aim to instill in Jewish Professionals a greater sense of connection to Jewish tradition, and a deeper feeling of responsibility and custodianship for that tradition.

Jewish texts are a wellspring for all elements of life, including organizational life. Whether our learning helps guide someone in the accounting department when facing the ethical nuances of a financial decision, informs a grant officer when making a tough decision about where to allocate limited funds, or guides a program director around the values they want impart to their constituents, Jewish texts are a necessary resource for today’s Jewish professionals.

  • Immerse yourself in Jewish learning in Hadar’s lively beit midrash and confront Jewish communal questions and challenges of the day.
  • Connect with an incredible network of Jewish Professionals, working together to build bolder, more ambitious, and more meaningful Jewish lives.
  • Broaden your knowledge and understanding of Jewish texts and learning with Hadar’s stellar faculty.

Our educators will include Hadar’s stellar faculty such as Rabbi Elie Kaunfer, CEO of Hadar and Rabbi Avi Killip, VP of Strategy and Programs as well as outstanding guest educators.

All learning backgrounds welcome!

Mahloket: Living Together in the Face of Difference

Living in community makes us vulnerable to others and dependent on their interpretations and decisions. The choices we make in relation to one another have consequences. Our differences regarding Jewish tradition and larger societal conflicts force us to confront critical questions about ourselves and our surroundings:

When and why do we need to sacrifice our personal integrity for the larger community? When is it appropriate to break away from others? What is the role of compromise, and when should we stand up for something we believe? Learn with us as we explore these pressing questions through rabbinic and contemporary perspectives and reflect on your relationship to community.

By exploring Jewish texts on questions of community, difference, and pluralism, we hope to offer participants the tools and language to navigate difference of ideas and values in their organizational and personal communities.


Our 2019 Professional Development Tracks:

JPI brings an entirely fresh look to Professional Development by rooting it in meaningful Jewish learning. Our courses use Jewish texts and/or music to shed new light on old questions and develop workplace skills. Our tracks take place in the afternoons and are led by Hadar faculty and expert guests. Participants will select a track and follow it through the program. Our 2019 courses will include:

  • Putting the Jewish in Your Jewish Organization (Beth Huppin):
    Chances are that you’ve struggled at one point or another to articulate what makes your work “Jewish” and why that’s important. Is it the demographics of your office? The animating values? Your vacation calendar?

    How can Jewish texts and traditions help us express the “Jewish” in our Jewish institutions?  What makes the work we do “Jewish?” How can placing a Jewish lens on what many would properly argue are universal values help us do our work with greater clarity and purpose? We will explore texts from the Jewish canon in light of these questions and discuss concrete ways to ‘own’ your tradition, integrate it with your work, and, depending on your role in your institution, into the work of your institution.

  • Engagement Bootcamp: How Relationship Building Will Change the Way you Work (Allie Conn Kanter)
    “Engagement” is the hot buzzword these days, but what does it actually mean and how do we do it? Whether building an office culture, cultivating donors, designing a program, or trying to activate a target audience, relationships are at the core of being a Jewish professional.

    In this track, we will:

    • Explore the concept of engagement from different angles and define what it is, and is not.
    • Learn how to bring people and relationships to the center of your work
    • Develop of toolkit of ‘backpocket’ engagement tools to use throughout your work

    This track is designed for all — whether you have ‘engagement’ in your title or not!

  • Modern Jewish Literature in Conversation with Great Jewish Questions (Elisheva Urbas)
    The twentieth century’s great Jewish writers grappled in their literary work with some of the same questions we, and the people our organizations serve, struggle with every day.  How should parents and children relate to each other?  How generous do we need to be to others?  How does a person’s history as a migrant shape their children’s world?  Do we long for a ‘home’ is a Zionist state or are we at home were we are in the diaspora? In this track we'll read great (short) 20th century literary works by modern Jewish writers including S.Y. Agnon, Grace Paley, Isaac Bashevis Singer, and Yehuda Amichai. We will see how they bring classical Jewish texts into conversation with the political, psychological, and aesthetic values that animate them in their public and private lives as Jews in the modern world, and what models they may offer us to do so, too.

  • Just Giving: How Torah can hold us Accountable (Aaron Dorfman and Rabbi Elie Kaunfer)

    What does it mean to give Jewishly? What values and standards must philanthropists and foundations uphold in their giving? Where do these values come from?

    Study with Hadar and other Jewish Foundation professionals to explore how Torah can offer the check and balance that is uniquely hard to navigate in the  field of philanthropy. We will explore real-world case studies and glean practical frameworks from Jewish texts that can be used to think through day-to-day questions of resource allocation.

    This track is designed for Jewish Foundation Professionals.  


Our 2019 Faculty:

  • Beth Huppin has enjoyed teaching children and adults of all ages in both formal and informal Jewish educational settings for many years. She currently works at Jewish Family Service (JFS) of Seattle as the Director of Project Kavod, a unique Jewish educational program initially funded by the Covenant Foundation. Project Kavod focuses on the Jewish texts and values that inspire and guide the work of JFS by helping staff, board and volunteers examine and articulate a Jewish lens regarding JFS work. She also teaches at Congregation Beth Shalom in Seattle. Beth is the recipient of a 2010 Covenant Award for excellence in Jewish education. She was raised in Spokane, Washington, a small but vibrant Jewish community that taught her the value and power of Jewish community.
  • Allie Conn Kanter is the Associate Director of Community Learning for Hadar and Project Zug. She has worked in experiential Jewish education for her whole career, including at Columbia/Barnard Hillel, Michigan Hillel, Avodah, 92Y, and various summer camps. Allie holds an MA in Experiential Jewish Education from the Davidson School at the Jewish Theological Seminary. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for Limmud NY. Originally from outside Philadelphia, she is a proud Penn State University alum and avid Philly sports fan. Allie lives in Manhattan with her husband, Josh, and daughter, Zoe.
  • Rabbi Elie Kaunfer is President and CEO of the Hadar Institute. Elie has previously worked as a journalist, banker, and corporate fraud investigator. A graduate of Harvard College, he completed his doctorate in liturgy at the Jewish Theological Seminary, where he was also ordained. A Wexner Graduate Fellow and Dorot Fellow, Elie is a co-founder of the independent minyan Kehilat Hadar and has been named multiple times to Newsweek’s list of the top 50 rabbis in America. He was selected as an inaugural AVI CHAI Fellow, and is the author of Empowered Judaism: What Independent Minyanim Can Teach Us About Building Vibrant Jewish Communities (Jewish Lights, 2010). Elie serves on the board of Natan and on the advisory board of Upstart. Click to watch a short video of Elie as scholar- in-residence at the General Assembly of the Jewish Federations of North America.
  • Rabbi Avi Killip serves as VP of Strategy and Programs at the Hadar Institute, where she is also Director of Project Zug. She was ordained from Hebrew College’s pluralistic Rabbinical School in Boston. Avi holds a Bachelors and Masters from Brandeis University in Jewish Studies and Women & Gender Studies. She was a Wexner Graduate Fellow and is a member of the fourth cohort of the Schusterman Fellowship. She serves on the advisory board of ShmaNOW and the Jewish Studio Project. Avi lives in Riverdale, NY with her husband and three young children.
  • Deborah Sacks Mintz in a Community Singing Consultant for Hadar’s Rising Song Institute. A longtime harmony singer in the Hadar Ensemble and a collaborative musician, Deborah is an accomplished prayer leader and communal song facilitator. A Wexner Graduate Fellow, Deborah is currently pursuing rabbinical ordination at the Jewish Theological Seminary.
  • Jeremy Tabick is Content Manager at Hadar, where he curates Hadar's online content. Jeremy is also pursuing a masters degree in Talmud at JTS. He graduated from the University of Manchester (in the UK) with a Masters in Physics, and is an alumnus of Yeshivat Hadar and the Conservative Yeshiva in Jerusalem. He has been involved in editing and producing educational resouces for Limmud, both in the UK and internationally, such as the Chavruta Project and Limmud On One Leg, and now Project Zug. He also teaches at the Ivry Prozdor High School.
  • Elisheva Urbas is a teacher, editor, and writer. In her teaching, she uses Jewish text sources -- from Bible and rabbinics to contemporary literature and historical primary documents -- to offer tools for thinking about meaning in our lives today. As an editor, publisher, and writing teacher she has worked with hundreds of authors, many of them writing on Jewish experience. She formerly served as the Editorial Director of Hazon, an organization supporting ecological sustainability through a Jewish lens, and as the Managing Editor at the distinguished literary publishing house Farrar Straus Giroux.
  • Dena Weiss is Rosh Beit Midrash and Director of Fellowship Programs at Hadar, where she teaches Talmud, Midrash and Hasidut. Dena earned a BA in Religious Studies from New York University and an MA in Theology from Harvard Divinity School. She has studied and taught in a variety of Jewish educational settings including Drisha, Midreshet Lindenbaum, and Pardes. She currently serves as the editor-in-chief of the Mima'amakim journal of Jewish religious art.


FAQs about Hadar's Jewish Professionals Institute

General questions about Hadar's Immersive Programming? Click here!
  • Is it for me?
    • The Institute is open to people working in Jewish professional organizations looking to deepen their connection to their work through Jewish text. All learning and text backgrounds welcome!
  • Where is it?
    • The Jewish Professionals Institute 2019 will take place at Congregation Rodeph Sholom, 7 W. 83rd St, New York, NY.
  • How are the days structured?
    • Our mornings will consist of guided, partnered (havruta) study around the the theme of "Mahloket: Living Together in the Face of Difference" (See Theme tab for complete description).
    • Afternoons will offer a choice between multi-day tracked electives that offer Professional Development through Jewish Learning. Afternoons will also include slots to connect to colleagues and reflect on the week's learning.
  • What kind of Professional Development is Offered?
    • JPI brings an entirely fresh look to Professional Development by rooting it in meaningful Jewish learning. Our courses use Jewish texts and/or music to shed new light on old questions and develop workplace skills. See the track tab to learn more about the individual session.
  • How much does it cost and what’s included?
    • Early bird rate for this program is $280 per person if you sign up before May 1, 2019. After May 1, the cost for the program will increase to $360. Registration includes breakfast and lunch during each day of the program as well as two dinners.
  • Are scholarships available?
  • How can I find out more?

Sample Schedule for the Jewish Professionals Institute

Registration is now open for June 2019

Early bird rate for this program is $280 per person if you sign up before May 1, 2019. After May 1, the cost for the program will increase to $360. Registration includes two certified kosher meals per day. We have limited scholarships available. If you are interested in a scholarship, please contact [email protected]