ALBANY–Lee Rosen of Congregation Beth Emeth in Albany joined other presidents and presidents-elect from Reform congregations throughout North America for the Union for Reform Judaism’s 18th annual Scheidt Seminar to discuss solutions to everyday congregational problems, explore Torah-based governance, improve leadership skills, network, and share successful program ideas. Rosen officially assumes his role as congregational president at the congregation’s annual meeting on June 15.
Rudi and Honey Scheidt partnered with the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ )and established the seminar. Rudi Scheidt had noted that there had not been a training opportunity when he was president of his congregation, Temple Israel in Memphis, Tenn., and recognized how helpful it would have been.
Seminar participants heard from URJ President Rabbi Rick Jacobs and Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) President Rabbi Aaron Panken about the Reform Movement and how the congregations, HUC-JIR and the URJ can work together to strengthen congregations. Sharing their expertise with participants were Amy Asin, URJ vice president of strengthening congregations; April Baskin, URJ vice president of audacious hospitality; Rabbi Sam Joseph, HUC-JIR Eleanor Sincheimer Distinguished Service Professor of Jewish Education and Leadership Development; and Rabbi Lou Feldstein, CEO, Dynamic Change Solutions.
“The role of the synagogue president is critically important to the vitality of modern Jewish life. Presidents are the cornerstone of congregational life, taking on the sacred work of strengthening their community, investing in our Jewish future, and repairing the world,” said URJ President Rabbi Rick Jacobs.