Education

 

GREETINGS FROM YOUR EDUCATION CHAIRS

 

Yeehaw!  Let’s get ready to wrangle up some learnin’.

Big Boots, Big Hats, Big Ideas.  “Where do we go from here?” we thought when the conference title was first pitched to us.  Almost everything we encounter these days is a ‘big idea.’  From staff management to membership engagement and everything in between, our worlds are changing and we need to adapt – sometimes very quickly.  How would we make education at the conference relevant?

The Relevant Jewish Community and The Adaptive Executive Director then became the thematic basis for everything we planned for our experience together in Austin.  Each session, workshop and speaker was carefully chosen to answer the questions we heard from you, the NATA membership. It is our hope that throughout the conference, each participant will walk away with Big Ideas, relevant tools and/or valuable contacts which can be useful for your work back at your own congregation.

We are excited to learn together and experience the conference with you.  Here’s to Austin 2018!

Happy Trails,

Eli & Danny

GENERAL SESSION SPEAKERS

Ethan Burris, Ph.D.

SATURDAY GENERAL SESSION

Leading for Impact: How to Adapt Your Style to Fit the Situation

Great leaders, who really understand “how things work,” have the ability to understand the human dynamics of their environment and craft productive work relationships to get things done through other people.  Leading effective teams is a critical set of skills that enables more productive work.  This session explores the various principles and tactics you can employ to lead for impact. Demonstrate greater awareness and mastery of your own leadership approaches and skills, better understand contextual demands and how different leadership styles and behaviors best meet those demands and draw out personal learning based on tangible opportunities to practice the art of leadership.

Speaker Bio

Dr. Ethan Burris

Dr. Ethan Burris is a Professor of Management and the Chevron Centennial Fellow at the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin.  He is also Director of the Center for Leadership and Ethics.  He earned his Ph.D. in Management from Cornell University and has served as a Visiting Scholar at Google and Microsoft.  He teaches and consults on topics relating to leadership, people analytics, talent insights, managing power and politics, building engagement in groups and teams, social enterprise, and negotiations.  The recipient of numerous research and teaching awards, Dr. Burris received the Jim Nolen Award for Excellence in Graduate Teaching in 2018, the McCombs School Award for Research Excellence in 2017 and 2015, the Fawn and Vijay Mahajan Teaching Excellence Award for Executive Education in 2015, the Hank & Mary Harkins Foundation Award for Effective Teaching in Undergraduate Classes in 2012, the Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award in 2011, the ING Professor of Excellence award in 2011, and the 2009 Trammell/CBA Foundation Teaching Award for Assistant Professors.

Dr. Burris’ current research focuses on understanding “employee voice” – getting employees to candidly speak up about problems and opportunities for improvement.  In particular, he has investigated how leaders shape employees decisions whether to speak up or stay silent and how these voice behaviors influence the performance of the employees who offer their input and the leaders and organizations who receive it.  His research has appeared in several top management and psychology journals, such as Administrative Science Quarterly, Academy of Management Journal, Organization Science, Journal of Applied Psychology, Journal of Experimental Social Psychology and Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, and has been covered in major media outlets such as the Harvard Business Review, New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, and the Houston Chronicle.

David Altounian, Ph.D.

SUNDAY GENERAL SESSION 2

The Engaged Congregation: Creating a Local Model for Deeper Temple Community Participation 

What moves people from being casual participants in a congregation to being more active, engaged, and committed?  Research into online communities suggests that building active, committed groups of participants is not accidental or automatic.  It takes effort and starts with an understanding of the things that can drive deeper connections and engagement between people and within organizations.  In this session, we will introduce a model for evaluating and enhancing the factors which drive deeper engagement at a local level.  During this session, we will use the model to explore ways to encourage deeper connections with the organization.

Speaker Bio

Dr. David Altounian

Dr. Altounian is the Interim Dean and Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship in the Bill Munday School of Business at St. Edwards University. Previously he was the Associate Dean of Academic Programs. He was the founder and former Co-Chairman and CEO of Motion Computing, a leading provider of mobile computing products for vertical markets. Motion was founded in 2001 and acquired by Xplore Technologies in 2015. He also was a founder of iTaggit Inc., an early web 2.0 company focused on item management.

Dr. Altounian has over 30 years of management and staff experience in the technology sector. Prior to starting Motion he was an executive with Dell Computer Corporation, where he served in marketing leadership positions for both the notebook computer business and the Precision workstation product business units. He spent two years in the United Kingdom as the General Manager, Workstation Line of Business for Europe, Middle East, and Africa.

In addition to his experience at Dell, Dr. Altounian managed marketing and new business development teams for leading technology companies including Motorola, Compaq Computer Corporation and Ashton-Tate.   He is a named inventor on 10 patents and a published author.

Dr. Altounian is a partner at the Capital Factory, an entrepreneurial co-working space, incubator, accelerator, and education facility. He is also a board member of the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce, the Austin Technology Council, Ticketbud.com, GR Cooling Inc., and is an advisor to a number of corporate executives. Dr. Altounian earned his Ph.D. at Oklahoma State University and his MBA at Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

Tara Levy, J.D.

MONDAY GENERAL SESSION 3

Prepare, Pivot, Thrive: A Framework for Change Management

The times they are a’changing. Go with the flow. Karma karma chameleon. Be prepared. Our daily lives are full of phrases that reference adaptive leadership so much that they’ve become hackneyed hashtags. Of course, one of the reasons that certain expressions become so ingrained in our dialogue is because they are so inherently relatable and understandable. In your personal life, you can (hopefully) handle when a restaurant is out of your favorite soup or construction diverts you from your regular commute route, but can you do it as a leader in your congregation? During this session, we’ll explore change management—and how to manage change.

 

Speaker Bio

Tara Levy

Tara is an engaging partner, facilitator, and problem-solver. She has a unique ability to see both the forest and the trees in creatively addressing nonprofit organizations’ needs.

Tara is an experienced trainer and consultant on nonprofit leadership and management. She has served nonprofits as a staff member, board member, and volunteer, so she brings a holistic and informed perspective to her work in the sector. She is recognized as a leader in the field of nonprofit leadership development and transition, having created and overseen Mission Capital’s Interim Executive Director program and served as the national Chair of the Alliance for Nonprofit Management’s Executive Transitions and Leadership Succession Affinity Group. Tara specializes in change management, helping organizations plan and pivot through succession planning, strategic planning, organizational dynamics, stakeholder engagement, and board development.

Tara is an attorney and holds a J.D. from the University of Texas at Austin and a B.A. with Special Honors from UT’s Plan II Honors Program. She is a graduate of the Leadership Austin class of 2005.

Gary Kash, MBA

TUESDAY GENERAL SESSION 4

Powerful Positioning: Kicking Butt & Winning through Emotional Connections

Owning an effective positioning platform is critical to winning in today’s hyper-competitive marketplace.  Yet, positioning may be the most misunderstood and abused term in marketing practice. During this session we will define positioning for you, explore its critical importance to your congregation’s brand health and growth and provide the blueprint for developing a platform that connects consumers to your brand emotionally.

Speaker Bio

Gary G. Kash

Founder & President Emeritus Insights in Marketing
President Gary Kash Marketing Insights

Areas of Expertise:

  • Positioning brands to drive growth
  • Articulating strategies that build brands
  • Growing entrepreneurial businesses
  • Storytelling to engage and teach effective marketing

Gary is Founder & President Emeritus of Insights in Marketing and one of the most respected leaders in the marketing industry. Retired from IIM, Gary now lectures on key marketing topics and leverages his wealth of successful consulting experiences to help businesses of all sizes and industries prosper.  Gary has had multiple speaking engagements at universities (Northwestern/Medill and Booth), corporations including Cargill, Morgan Stanley, Post Brands and The Chicago Professional Network as well as the Vistage CEO Network.  Gary was Strategy Emcee for the American Marketing Association’s Brand Smart in 2016 and was a top-ranked speaker at the 2017 conference – The New Brand Journey.  A Master Class.

As founder of Insights in Marketing, Gary spent years driving IIM’s business objectives and the company’s unique culture. Known for his visionary leadership, out-of-box thinking and creativity, Gary started IIM with one goal in mind – to give clients the critical edge necessary to win in a highly competitive marketplace.  IIM and he did this by identifying deeper, more compelling insights leading to pragmatic, winning strategies.   Peers nicknamed him “The Professor” due to his ability to deduce “aha moments” and share key lessons with clients and colleagues.

Gary’s experience spans consulting, brand marketing, advertising and marketing research, and industries – food, beverage, packaged goods, financial services, insurance, alcoholic beverages – and his counsel has been sought by companies like MillerCoors, CDW, Gerber, General Mills, Liberty Mutual, Pepsico and S.C. Johnson.  Gary’s ability to guide others has resulted in him being mentor to many, a sought-after speaker, and seminar leader. Recent topics include “Powerful Brand Positioning – Kicking Butt and Winning Through Emotional Connections,” “Rocking Consumer Insights; Seeing The not so Obvious,” “How to Market Yourself,” and “Shark Marketing.”

Prior to IIM, Gary was a Management Consultant for The Cambridge Group, specializing in positioning and developing new product concepts. He also worked at Leo Burnett as an Account Supervisor on the Kellogg’s business (responsible for Frosted Flakes, Raisin Bran, Special K and other brands).  Prior to Burnett, Gary was in brand management at Kraft working in their Maxwell House Division.

Gary serves as Trustee and was Capital Fundraising Chairman (raising $10+ million) for The Center for Enriched Living, a charity he co-founded in 1984 focused on enriching lives of people with developmental disabilities.  He also serves on the Board of Directors for a large charitable foundation helping Chicagoland’s under-served and was recently named to the Executive Committee for the Temple Jeremiah Board of Directors.

Gary has an MBA from the University of Chicago and a BS in Advertising from the University of Illinois.

You can contact Gary at: 847-217-4500 or email him at gary@gkmarketinginsights.com

Michelle Lynn-Sachs, Ph.D.

TUESDAY GENERAL SESSION 5

Go Forth and Lead!

In this session, we will review the key themes and concepts shared at the conference, bring them together in ways designed to help you make the most of your learning, and help prepare you to take specific action steps toward success with your teams, when you return to your community.

Speaker Bio

Dr. Michelle Lynn-Sachs

Founded by Michelle Lynn-Sachs, PhD, Spotlight Consulting & Coaching helps organizations shine through customized leadership development, professional coaching, and strategic consulting. Michelle has worked at the intersection of congregations, organizational change, education, and leadership for more than 20 years.

As a consultant, Michelle has guided both lay leaders and professionals, independently and through national projects, as they re-imagined and implemented bold change in their institutions.

After a successful early career as a congregational educator at one of North America’s largest congregations, Michelle turned her attention to developing leadership in the Jewish community in 2002. As a professor at the Jewish Theological Seminary and then at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, Michelle’s signature courses focused on leadership and management, supervision and professional development, and the contemporary American synagogue. Michelle taught and mentored men and women on the path to careers as rabbis, educators, and cantors. She continues to develop Jewish professional leadership as the Chair of the Wexner Field Fellowship, as a faculty member in HUC-JIR’s Executive MA program, and through her one on one leadership coaching.

Michelle is a proud alumna of Brown University (AB), the Rhea Hirsch School of Education at HUC-JIR (MAJE), and New York University (PhD). She completed the coach training program at the Coaches Training Institute. A Wexner Graduate Fellow, Michelle remains active in its alumni community.

WORKSHOP SPEAKERS

Michelle Lynn-Sachs Ph.D.

MONDAY Workshop

How Prepared Am I, Really for Change?

In this session, we will tackle this dilemma:  Why is change so hard, even when we want it so badly?  We’ll develop a new perspective on obstacles to change, one that focuses on the competing commitments within ourselves that often keep us and our organizations in maintenance mode. Step by step, we’ll learn and practice the techniques to discover competing commitments, challenge the assumptions they are based on, and make a plan to move forward by testing out – in real life – how true those assumptions really are.

Speaker Bio

Dr. Michelle Lynn-Sachs

Founded by Michelle Lynn-Sachs, PhD, Spotlight Consulting & Coaching helps organizations shine through customized leadership development, professional coaching, and strategic consulting. Michelle has worked at the intersection of congregations, organizational change, education, and leadership for more than 20 years.

As a consultant, Michelle has guided both lay leaders and professionals, independently and through national projects, as they re-imagined and implemented bold change in their institutions.

After a successful early career as a congregational educator at one of North America’s largest congregations, Michelle turned her attention to developing leadership in the Jewish community in 2002. As a professor at the Jewish Theological Seminary and then at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, Michelle’s signature courses focused on leadership and management, supervision and professional development, and the contemporary American synagogue. Michelle taught and mentored men and women on the path to careers as rabbis, educators, and cantors. She continues to develop Jewish professional leadership as the Chair of the Wexner Field Fellowship, as a faculty member in HUC-JIR’s Executive MA program, and through her one on one leadership coaching.

Michelle is a proud alumna of Brown University (AB), the Rhea Hirsch School of Education at HUC-JIR (MAJE), and New York University (PhD). She completed the coach training program at the Coaches Training Institute. A Wexner Graduate Fellow, Michelle remains active in its alumni community.

Tara Levy, J.D.

MONDAY Workshop

Leading a Dynamic Organization

Caterpillar, cocoon, butterfly. Baby, teenager, adult. There are so many life cycle stages that you can rattle off (tadpole…), but can you do the same for organizational development stages? When you can identify the characteristics of each phase of organizational growth, you can navigate them more smoothly, and you can prepare for what’s coming next more easily. During this session, we’ll discuss organizational stage theory, begin to assess your congregation’s current stage, and develop an action plan for issues to address and opportunities to harness when you get back home.

Speaker Bio

Tara Levy

Tara is an engaging partner, facilitator, and problem-solver. She has a unique ability to see both the forest and the trees in creatively addressing nonprofit organizations’ needs.

Tara is an experienced trainer and consultant on nonprofit leadership and management. She has served nonprofits as a staff member, board member, and volunteer, so she brings a holistic and informed perspective to her work in the sector. She is recognized as a leader in the field of nonprofit leadership development and transition, having created and overseen Mission Capital’s Interim Executive Director program and served as the national Chair of the Alliance for Nonprofit Management’s Executive Transitions and Leadership Succession Affinity Group. Tara specializes in change management, helping organizations plan and pivot through succession planning, strategic planning, organizational dynamics, stakeholder engagement, and board development.

Tara is an attorney and holds a J.D. from the University of Texas at Austin and a B.A. with Special Honors from UT’s Plan II Honors Program. She is a graduate of the Leadership Austin class of 2005.

Art Markman, Ph.D.

MONDAY Workshop

Creating Partnerships with Your Clergy and Board to Facilitate Change

Any successful organization has to balance its strategic vision for the future against the constraints of what can actually be accomplished.  In many temples, the clergy and board set the strategic vision, while the executive director is responsible for working closely with the clergy, board, and congregation to ensure that this strategy is brought to fruition.  In this talk, I examine some of the challenges associated with balancing strategy and operations as well as specific suggestions for making this relationship more successful.

Speaker Bio

Dr. Art Markman

Art Markman is the Anabel Irion Worsham Centennial Professor of Psychology and Marketing at the University of Texas at Austin and Founding Director of the Program in the Human Dimensions of Organizations.  He has written over 150 scholarly papers on topics including reasoning, decision making, and motivation.  Art brings insights from cognitive science to a broader audience through his blogs at Psychology Today and Fast Company as well as his radio show/podcast Two Guys on Your Head.  He is the author of several books including Smart Thinking, Smart Change, and Brain Briefs.  When Art isn’t working or spending time with his family, he can be found playing the saxophone in the ska band Phineas Gage.

Anne K. Jacobs, Ph.D.

MONDAY Workshop

Building Skill to Help in the Face of Disaster: An Overview of Psychological First Aid

Approaches to early intervention for the psycho-social impacts of disaster and terrorism are advancing rapidly with new research and practical experience. This workshop will provide an overview of the basic principles, objectives, and intervention strategies for providing Psychological First Aid in the acute aftermath of traumatic events while highlighting work with children and teens. We encourage participants to preview the PFA Field Operations Guide online at www.nctsn.org.

Speaker Bio

Anne K. Jacobs

Anne K. Jacobs earned her Ph.D. in Clinical Child Psychology from the University of Kansas. She worked with numerous research projects included: the NICHD Study of Early Child Care, the Adolescent Violence Intervention Program, Peaceful Schools Program through the Menninger Clinic, the Intensive Mental Health Program with Lawrence Public Schools, and working over a decade with the Terrorism and Disaster Center of the National Child Traumatic Stress Network. She has over forty scholarly works published including Psychological First Aid Field Operations Guide (2nd Ed.) which has been translated into over six different languages and recommended by the World Health Organization for use after traumatic events. She also coauthored Skills for Psychological Recovery. Currently, Dr. Jacobs enjoys serving children, adolescents, and their families through her private practice in Edmond, OK.

Rabbi Dan Utley & Alex Horn

TUESDAY Workshop

Engaging Millennials: Building a Jewish Future

Rabbi Dan Utley and Alexander Horn provide support to the ATID, the 20’s and 30’s group at Temple Emanu-El in Dallas.

ATID is led by a diverse group of lay leaders who are passionate about building the Jewish future. Rabbi Utley and Alex will share how they have been engaging Millennials and what they consider to be best practices.

Millennials will be responsible for shaping the next phases of Jewish life. What can we as temple communities do to help facilitate their learning and leadership?

Speaker Bios

Rabbi Daniel Utley

Rabbi Daniel Utley is a native of Cleveland, Ohio. He received a Bachelor of Arts in Physics and a Bachelor of Music-Public School Education in 2005 from The College of Wooster in Wooster, Ohio. Rabbi Utley developed a love for Judaism, Jewish community and Jewish music while growing up at The Temple -Tifereth Israel in Cleveland and also as a camper and staff member of the URJ Goldman Union Camp Institute in Zionsville, Indiana.

Rabbi Utley enjoys playing trombone, guitar and banjo.  After college, he became a middle school and high school band director and spent many a Friday night on the marching band field before identifying his passion for Jewish education and helping others find meaning in life through Jewish traditions, prayer and mitzvot.

Ordained in 2016 from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) in Los Angeles, California, Rabbi Utley earned an M.A. in Hebrew Letters and an M.A. in Jewish Education from the Rhea Hirsch School of Education. His capstone project for HUC-JIR was entitled, “Maimonides, Mitzvot and Me,” and through it Rabbi Utley explored Reform perspectives on halachah, or Jewish law. Rabbi Utley is dedicated to innovation in Jewish learning, worship and communal engagement.  He has written curricula for use with young adults in the Jewish camp setting and for experiential, immersive education with middle school students at synagogue supplementary schools. During rabbinical school, Rabbi Utley served as a student rabbi in Sun Valley, Idaho and as a rabbinic intern for congregations in San Rafael, Irvine, and Los Angeles, California where he enjoyed meeting and learning with a very diverse set of communities.

Daniel, his wife Rachel, and their two-year-old son Eitan are overjoyed to become a part of the Temple Emanu-El community and are eager for Dallas to be their home for many years to come.  At Temple Rabbi Utley will work closely with the teen, college, Atid, LGBT and interfaith communities while also serving the congregation for life cycle events, holidays and regular Shabbat worship and study.

Alex Horn

Alex Horn is the Associate Director of Social Justice and Young Adult Community at Temple Emanu-El in Dallas. She began this position in August 2016, after 2.5 years of working at URJ Greene Family Camp as an Assistant Director of Year-Round Programs. Originally from Altus, Oklahoma, Alex attended the University of Kansas where she received her Bachelor’s in Applied Behavioral Science with a minor in Leadership Studies. Alex’s current role at Temple Emanu-El includes overseeing all aspects of Social Justice, including the service projects committee, Temple’s community garden, Vickery Meadow Committee and advocacy work. Her young adult portfolio ranges from college engagement to 20s & 30s programming at Temple through Atid Dallas. When she’s not doing “Jewish,” Alex can be found doing yoga, cheering on the Jayhawks during basketball season, and trying new restaurants in DFW.

Patti Bridwell

TUESDAY Workshop

How Can You Strengthen Engagement Within Your Temple Community? 

It takes more than developing great programs. At Temple Beth Shalom, staff and clergy have put in place an intentional process and structure that anchors all the programs and events, and most importantly, builds relationships. In this session, we will focus on the specific tools, processes, and strategies that your congregation can use to keep your members engaged.

Speaker Bio

Patti Bridwell

Patti is the temple administrator at Temple Beth Shalom in Austin, TX. She assumed this role in May 2017, after retiring from The Charles A. Dana Center at The University of Texas where she consulted with the leadership of K-12 school systems across the nation and helped these systems manage large-scale change initiatives.

Patti has been an active member of Temple Beth Shalom since 2003, serving in numerous roles, including temple president from 2010- 2012. She and her husband, Sean, raised their two sons at Temple Beth Shalom where they each became a bar mitzvah and were confirmed.

Amy Asin, MBA & Rabbi David Segal

TUESDAY Workshop

Building Allies for Change

Successful change in congregational life takes more than one person and a great idea.  Teamwork and sacred partnership are necessary ingredients.   But sometimes finding partners to do this work isn’t as easy as it sounds.  We will look at what organizational theory and community organizing teach us about building allies for change.  Participants will leave with a deeper sense of the criteria for choosing partners and the portfolio of skills needed for change.

Speaker Bios

Amy Asin

Amy Asin, in her role as Vice President, Strengthening Congregations, leads the URJ’s initiatives in Strengthening Congregations, one of the four priorities of the URJ’s 2020 Vision. She is guiding initiatives in leadership development, congregational innovation, congregational networking, and transition and crisis management. She is a thought leader and frequent speaker in the area of congregational life, and has published articles in media outlets such as the URJ’s Inside Leadership blog and eJewishPhilanthropy.
Prior to working for the URJ, Amy consulted to congregations and the organizations that support them on strategic planning and organizational transformation. She was a long-time senior advisor to the Experiment in Congregational Education. Sample consulting clients included: Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco, Union for Reform Judaism, Hebrew Union College, San Francisco Bureau of Jewish Education, and many individual congregations. In her consulting work over twelve years, she visited close to 100 individual congregations and met with thousands of congregational leaders. Prior to her professional work in the Jewish community, Amy worked as a corporate strategy and organization consultant as a Principal with Booz, Allen & Hamilton, in New York and San Francisco. She has an MBA with distinction from Harvard Business School and a BA in economics with high honors from Princeton University. Amy lives in Palo Alto, CA with her husband. She has two adult children who were active at Camp Newman and in NFTY Israel.

Rabbi David Segal

Rabbi Segal was born and raised in Houston, TX and have lived in Arlington, VA; Jerusalem, Israel; New York City; and Aspen, CO. He studied Classics and Judaic Studies at Princeton University (2003) and was ordained by the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) in New York in 2010. From 2010-2017, he was the rabbi of the Aspen Jewish Congregation, serving the Roaring Fork Valley of Western Colorado. His wife, Cantor Rollin Simmons, was his co-clergy.

Rabbi Segal lives in Houston, TX, where his wife is the cantor at Congregation Emanu El. He is teaching, writing, and doing interfaith social justice work. As of August 2017, Rabbi Segal is the Texas Organizer for the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism. (RAC-TX)

Arlene Schiff, MA

TUESDAY Workshop

Launching a Legacy Initiative

Endowments are no longer a luxury. They should be part of every synagogue financial stability plan.  One way to grow your endowment is through legacy commitments from your most loyal donors/members. In this session we will discuss (1) the value of having a legacy program and what motivates members of our community to participate; (2) how to craft a legacy plan that will provide the foundation for a successful legacy initiative;  and (3) the conversation that leads to securing legacy commitments. Participants will leave with the foundation for initiating a successful legacy initiative at their synagogue.

Speaker Bio

Arlene Schiff

Arlene D. Schiff is the National Director of LIFE & LEGACY TM. LIFE & LEGACY is a 4-year
partnership program of the Harold Grinspoon Foundation (HGF) that assists communities
across North America, through partnerships with Jewish Federations and Jewish
Community Foundations, to promote after-lifetime giving to build endowments. In her role
Arlene provides training and support to communities and organizations to secure
meaningful after-lifetime legacy gifts.

Arlene currently works directly with 29 communities in addition to overseeing LIFE &
LEGACY’s implementation in 52 communities across the country. The LIFE & LEGACY
program, in 5.5 years has secured more than 19,000 legacy commitments with an
estimated value of more than $700 million in future gifts to the Jewish community of which
more than $60 million has already been placed in organizational endowments.

Prior to joining HGF, Arlene served as the Executive Director of the Jewish Federation of
the Berkshires in Western Massachusetts. During her 12-year tenure, she provided
visionary leadership while devising and executing strategic plans that centered on building
community and garnering support for philanthropic giving.

Arlene is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts and holds an MA from Harvard
University.

Jewish Professionals Series: Remaining Nimble and Embracing Change

Rabbi Steven Folberg

Randy Cohen

Rabbi Daniel Septimus

Jeremi Suri, Ph.D.

Speaker Bios

Rabbi Steven Folberg

Rabbi Steven Folberg is a native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He graduated LaSalle University in Philadelphia, Maxima Cum Laude with a Bachelors Degree in Psychology. Rabbi Folberg received his rabbinic ordination from Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion In New York City in 1985. He has served on the national Board of the Central Conference of American Rabbis as a member at large and has also chaired the CCAR Resolutions Committee. In April 2010, Rabbi Folberg was awarded an honorary Doctor Of Divinity degree in recognition of the 25th anniversary of his ordination. Rabbi Folberg co-authored Bright Lights in Dark Times, a Jewish history textbook for middle school and high school students. He is also proud to be a founding member of The Interfaith Environmental Network Of Austin, an organization that brings together individuals who see environmental stewardship as an essential part of their faith commitment.

Rabbi Folberg is an alumnus of Rabbinic Cohort 5 of the Institute for Jewish Spirituality. He is fascinated by the work being done on the intersection of Judaism and mindfulness practice, including meditation and yoga. He loves teaching students of all ages and especially cherishes the relationships that have developed between him and so many Temple families over his more than two decades serving Congregation Beth Israel. He is committed to the vision of CBI as a warm, welcoming, intellectually stimulating, nonjudgmental, intentional spiritual community devoted to enriching the lives of its members and working for justice and peace in the world.

Rabbi Folberg is married to Saundra Goldman, a writer, writing teacher and art historian. They adore their daughter, Shira, who was born in 2001.

For recreation, Rabbi Folberg enjoys music and tinkering with stereo equipment. He is also a shameless computer geek.

Dr. Jeremi Suri

I am a child of the global transformations that re-made societies in the last century–war, migration, nation-building, and mobility through higher education.  All of my research, writing, and teaching seeks to explain these transformations–their diverse origins, their contradictory contours, and their long-lasting effects.  My scholarship is, therefore, an extended inquiry into the workings of power at local and international levels, and the interactions across these levels. Like other historians, I treat power as contingent, context-dependent, and often quite elusive. Like practitioners of politics, I view power as essential for any meaningful achievement, especially in the realms of social justice and democratization.

My hope is that my work will reach a broad and diverse audience of citizens. Scholarship cannot substitute for real-lived experience, but I believe it can enhance our contemporary understanding of the choices we confront in the allocation of our resources, the structuring of our communities, and the judgment of merit. In this framework, international, transnational, and global history should contribute to better thinking about current international, transnational, and global problems.  I am a proponent of historical and political studies that are broad, compelling, creative, and, ultimately, useful. We should research with Monkish rigour, as we write (and lecture) with novelistic flair.

Rabbi Daniel Septimus

Rabbi Septimus is the CEO of Shalom Austin. A fifth-generation Houstonian, Daniel has been in Austin since 2014, serving as the Executive Director of Texas Hillel, where he is responsible for inspiring Austin-based college students to engage with Jewish life and grow into Jewish leaders. Daniel, his wife Amanda and their three children, Talia, Jonah and Ari, are active members of Temple Beth Shalom and the JCC’s Early Childhood Program community.

Prior to Shalom Austin, Daniel served at Texas Hillel, he significantly enhanced the organization’s financial stability, operational efficiency, and community outreach efforts. As a result, donations from individuals and foundations have grown by 20 percent. Daniel has attracted national attention for his leadership—AIPAC named him 2016’s Campus Partner of the Year, recognizing his and Texas Hillel’s pro-Israel education advocacy and their success fighting BDS on campus. He has also been awarded the prestigious Hartman and Schusterman Fellowships.

Daniel graduated from Tulane University in 2002, and was ordained by Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in 2007. Before coming to Austin, Daniel served at Temple De Hirsch Sinai, the largest Jewish congregation in the Pacific Northwest for seven years as Associate Rabbi and Director of Congregation Learning.

Randy Cohen

Mr. Randy Cohen founded TicketCity Inc. in 1990 and serves as its Chief Executive Officer and Chief Energizing Officer. Mr. Cohen is one of the most well known and successful entrepreneurs in the secondary ticket market as he continues to work to expand TicketCity’s market share. He focuses on acquisitions and putting together large ticket deals. He is in the process of publishing his first book Ticket to the Limit, a personal account of how passion, purpose and performance can enable you to build a company from nothing to amazing and live all your wildest dreams along the way. He is a member of the Entrepreneurs Organization and active within the Austin community. Mr. Cohen graduated from the Business School at the University of Texas.

NATA TEACHERS

Aliza Goland, FTA

Tools of Synagogue Management

Speaker Bio

Aliza Goland, FTA

Aliza Goland has been active in the Jewish community of Los Angeles for over 25 years, both as a volunteer and as a professional. While she was raising her three children, she became an active volunteer at school and at her synagogue. She was a founding member of Dor L’Dor, an auxiliary support group for the Jewish Homes for the Aging of Greater Los Angeles and has served in numerous capacities on the boards of several organizations, including President of the Sisterhood and later Synagogue President at Shomrei Torah Synagogue in West Hills. She is active in Women’s League for Conservative Judaism where she has served in many capacities including Newsletter Editor, Conference Chairman, Administrative Vice President and Torah Fund Vice President, managing the annual Torah Fund campaign and raising over $250,000 annually towards scholarships for the Jewish Theological Seminary, the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies, the Schechter Institute, and the Seminario Rabbinico in Buenos Aires. She is currently serving as Regional Training Services Coordinator and is an International Trainer.

Aliza attended UCLA where she earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology as well as a teaching certificate. After taking time off to raise a family, she went back to study at the University of Judaism in 2000. She has completed her studies towards an M.B.A. in Non-Profit management. Prior to joining Temple Adat Elohim in 2006, she was the Director of Regional Services for The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, where her responsibilities included Regional Programming, Development, Marketing, Administration, Scholarships, and the development of cost-savings programs for affiliated congregations.

In her free time, Aliza enjoys singing with the Ruach Revelers of Women’s League’s Pacific Southwest Branch. She also loves to read, crochet, and needlepoint. She is extremely proud of her three children, Danielle, Matthew, and Nicole.

 

Ellen Franklin, FTA

Public Relations

Speaker Bio

Ellen Franklin, FTA

Ellen has served as the Executive Director of Temple Judea (Tarzana, CA) since 2004, although she and her family were active members since the late 80’s.  Prior to joining the staff, she was Managing Director of Synagogue 2000, the national non-profit dedicated to revitalizing synagogue life. She enjoyed a previous career in the entertainment industry, serving as a sitcom creative executive at ABC-TV and Warner Bros.  Ellen currently serves as a Vice President of NATA. She is married to newly retired and very happy Roy Silver and is the extremely proud mom of Jenny, David, and Jonathan, all young adults doing good things and making their way in the world.

OUR PLATINUM PARTNERS

OUR GOLD PARTNERS