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Shallat Rabbinic Transition Program & Retreat

The 2017-18 URJ Shallat Program and Retreat

Will your congregation undergo rabbinic transition as of July 1st, 2017? Your president (or president-elect) and new senior or solo rabbi are eligible to attend the 2017-18 URJ Shallat Program.

To be notified when registration opens, please fill this expression of interest form. You can also contact Rabbi Jan Offel ( or Rabbi David Fine ( with any questions. 

About the URJ Shallat Program and Retreat

In July, many congregations begin or continue the process of rabbinic transition and establish a partnership with their new rabbi. By winter time, the process of transition is well underway. The URJ can assist in achieving your congregational vision by guiding both lay and rabbinic leaders in transition, utilizing best principles acquired from scholarship and experience.

Why focus on our rabbinic transition? 

Focusing on rabbinic transition in your congregation's life allows you to create a strategic, meaningful and thoughtful plan for helping your congregation welcome your new rabbi (and his/her family) into your sacred community. Equally important, it can help your new rabbi understand the congregation's unique system and culture. Such a strategy will improve both the longevity and the impact of your rabbi's tenure.

Who will benefit from this program? 

Congregational presidents or presidents-elect and their new senior/solo rabbis (currently in their first year of rabbinic transition) are eligible to attend the URJ Shallat Retreat. However, your entire congregational community will benefit from this concentrated focus on the new rabbinic-congregational partnership.

What is the URJ Shallat Retreat? 

The URJ Shallat Program and Retreat is a highly subsidized two-day retreat for congregational presidents or presidents-elect and their new senior/solo rabbis in the winter of their first year together. The retreat allows rabbis and presidents to strengthen their developing partnership. Specialists in the field of rabbinic transition and succession management lead the rabbi/president teams through conversations about a myriad of topics including examination of the transition process, joint goal-setting, and mutual and ongoing review in the synagogue. There will be opportunities for small group work designed to address the needs of each congregation, based upon congregational size and type of rabbinic change.

From past attendees:

The conference was fantastic and gives (the president) and me a shared language. We drove home together and talked for a few hours about some of the theoretical principals as introduced (systems theory, congregational size, leadership styles) and were able to relate them directly to our own congregation. I am delighted that the URJ continues to provide such high level programming. I am grateful that generous folks like the Shallats continue to help my colleagues at the URJ bring their expertise to the people out here in congregation-land. Kol Ha Kavod to all.


For more information about congregational transition and the URJ Shallat Retreat, contact Rabbi Janet Offel at (213) 765-2667 or, or Rabbi David Fine at (212) 452-6724 or