SHABBAT LEADERSHIP TRAINING SEMINAR

Wherever you are in the world Judaism has a time and place for meaning-making – Shabbat. Birthright Israel and OneTable are partnering together to offer a new, immersive training program for North American madrichim designed to help you elevate your ability to transform Shabbat into a time of joy, reflection, and conversation – setting the stage to become a better, and more engaging, facilitator of Shabbat experiences on Birthright Israel trips.

Seminar Details

Creating a meaningful Shabbat experience is both fulfilling and inspiring and can be a respite from the demands and challenges of daily life. It’s also an opportunity for you to explore and experiment, to learn what you love about Shabbat and what creates the most meaning for you. 

During these virtual workshops, we will explore this idea of personal connection, including identifying our own Shabbat dinner practice. We will look to form an emotional connection to Shabbat and to harness that energy so it can be translated into powerful programming ideas. In so doing, we will explore the possibilities of what Shabbat can offer our trip participants by modeling the training around the ideas of hospitality, welcoming, and ritual. Ultimately, these shared values will help us to empower trip participants to lead pieces of the Shabbat experience themselves.

Frequently Asked Questions

ABOUT THE SHABBAT LEADERSHIP TRAINING SEMINAR

What is The Shabbat Leadership Training Seminar?

The Shabbat Leadership Training Seminar is an online training program for both new and experienced Birthright Israel staff designed to inspire you to create Shabbat experiences for your participants while elevating your own ability to transform Shabbat into a day of meaning and exploration both in Israel and at home.

You will have the opportunity to meet and collaborate with other Birthright Israel madrichim, and become a part of a network of skilled leaders and educators. You’ll be equipped with the skills and resources you’ll need to prepare and program the Shabbat experience on Birthright Israel trips, while also deepening your personal understanding of Shabbat and the rituals and practices that elevate the 25-hours no matter where you find yourself.

The program will consist of a two-part Zoom workshop designed to give staff the confidence and competence to approach Shabbat as a day of meaning, opportunity, and inspiration, and, ultimately to invite your Birthright Israel participants to do the same. 

Following completion of the two workshops, participants will be required to host their own Shabbat dinner using OneTable’s online platform, and facilitating a Shabbat experience with friends, family, etc.

APPLICATION & ELIGIBILITY

What's the application process?

Interested trip staff must first complete a brief online application. Select applicants will then be invited to participate in the program. Acceptance will work on a first-come, first-served basis (assuming you meet the eligibility criteria).

If you’re ready to apply, click here.

What are the eligibility requirements?

Applicants must be *identified as someone who will be staffing a Birthright Israel trip during our Winter 2020-2021 (December through March) or Summer 2021 (April through September) travel seasons. 

*Confirmation will be done in consultation with Birthright Israel Trip Organizers.

I haven't staffed a Birthright Israel trip before. Can I still apply?

Yes! If you already have a commitment from a Trip Organizer or know that you will be staffing a Birthright Israel trip as part of your job within the next year, then you can apply to the program.

I am a Jewish professional with significant experience already. Is this program for me?

Yes, this program is for anyone passionate about becoming a better Birthright Israel trip leader and educator, regardless of your current level of experience!

I have already staffed multiple Birthright Israel trips, is this program for me?

Yes. If you want to become more confident and educated in leading Shabbat ritual and/or programming, then this training program is definitely for you.

I have already participated in other Birthright Israel-led, in-person madrichim training programs. Can I still apply?

If you have already participated in a Birthright Israel|OneTable in-person Shabbat Retreat (or a similar OneTable program), then you are not eligible to participate in these workshops.

Birthright Israel Fellows are eligible to apply to this program.

HOSTING A ONETABLE SHABBAT DINNER

What are the requirements of the program?

In addition to participating in two 90-minute, interactive Zoom training seminars, you will then be required to host a OneTable-styled Shabbat Dinner. You’ll need to act as a host prior to the end of 2020, or before you staff your next Birthright Israel trip (whichever comes first).

How do I host a OneTable Shabbat dinner after participating in the training seminar? And, how do I receive credit for doing so?

After completing the workshops, OneTable will provide you with details on how to sign-up to host your Shabbat dinner through their online platform.

What does hosting a OneTable Shabbat dinner mean?

Using OneTable’s platform, you’ll be able to sign-up to host a Shabbat dinner. This could be an in-person (socially distanced) or virtual Shabbat experience. Being part of this leadership training program requires that when you do host, that you’ll model your Shabbat practice and conversations around the what you learned during the training seminars. Additionally, you’ll need to invite at least three guests to join in your Shabbat experience (again, this can be in-person or virtually). They can be friends, neighbors, family members, former Birthright Israel participants, etc. (there are no restrictions on who can be invited). 

Upon completing the sign-up process, OneTable will ship you a box of Shabbat goodies to help you facilitate your Shabbat dinner. Additionally, they will send you an e-gift card to help cover your *costs for the dinner at a ratio of $10 per guest (including yourself) up to a maximum of $100. 

*Jewish professionals who already host Shabbat dinners for anyone outside of OneTable’s demographics (ie college students or families with children) will not receive financial assistance towards a pre-scheduled Shabbat dinner if hosting with your pre-existing community. Contact Pammie Shapiro (pammie@onetable.org) for more details.

When are the training seminars?

The training seminars will be taking place during the first two weeks of November 2020. To be considered for this training program, you must commit to fully participating in each of the two workshops. Both sessions will be offered twice to offer flexibility in scheduling.

Session One Options:

  • Sunday, November 1st – 1:00pm-2:30pm EST // 10:00-11:30am PT
  • Thursday, November 5th – 6:00pm-7:30pm EST // 3:00-4:30pm PT

Session Two Options:

  • Sunday, November 8th – 1:00pm-2:30pm ET // 10:00-11:30am PT
  • Tuesday, November 10th – 6:00pm-7:30pm ET // 3:00-4:30pm PT

What will the seminar itself consist of?

The seminar will help you figure out Shabbat on your own terms, holding tradition in one hand and innovation in the other. You will leave the workshops feeling confident and prepared to facilitate the 25-hours of Shabbat on future Birthright Israel trips, allowing your participants to explore Judaism through their own Shabbat experiences when they return home.

 

The trainings will be a deep dive into Shabbat, including:

 

  • What is Shabbat? What can it do, and what can it be for me and my participants?
  • Preparation and programming for the full 25-hour Shabbat experience, including spiritual leadership, delegation to participants, one-on-one conversations, and both large and small group activities.
  • An interactive immersion into Shabbat rituals and customs, including where they come from and how to make them relevant.
  • Skills to make the most of tradition and innovation.

Who will I be learning from and with at the seminar?

In addition to your cohort of peers, you will have the opportunity to learn with master Shabbat faculty from OneTable and Birthright Israel staff.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE A PART OF THE SHABBAT LEADERSHIP TRAINING SEMINAR?

Will my role differ on the bus from my co-staff?

Sort of. You will board your bus with significant educational tools and resources to enrich the experiences of your participants on the ground in Israel, especially during Shabbat, and once they return home. However, your core responsibilities of staffing will not change, and the expectation is that you will work as a team with your co-staff to create a meaningful environment and implement the tools you’ve learned.

Does this program mean I automatically staff a Birthright Israel trip?

Ultimately there are no guarantees that you will be offered a trip to staff. And, given current circumstances, it’s impossible to know whether there will be a reduction in the number of opportunities to lead a trip over the course of the next year. That said, for the purposes of being accepted into this training program, a Trip Organizer will have already had to identify you as someone they plan to hire to lead a trip either in Winter 2020-2021 or Summer 2021. 

Are there any staffing requirements?

As mentioned above, you must be committed to staffing at least one Birthright Israel trip following completion of the training program. Preference will be given to applicants with confirmed Winter 2020-2021 or Summer 2021 staffing assignments.

More questions? Contact Pammie Shapiro at pammie@onetable.org or call 202-630-7538.

The Shabbat Leadership Training Seminar is a project of Birthright Israel in partnership with OneTable and made possible through a grant from the Paul E. Singer Foundation.