Suggested learning session tracks to make the most of your Biennial experience. 

The eight blocks of learning sessions offered at Biennial are where you can find high-quality learning on a variety of topics related to congregational life, social justice, and Jewish learning. In response to many congregational requests received to really dive in on some specific pressing issues, there will be four ‘Intensive’ tracks to help you organize your experience. No registration is required and you are welcome to attend sessions in both the Intensives and non-Intensive sessions.


Social Justice

Moving into Action: Fulfilling Our Commitment to the Brit Olam

The Brit Olam, covenant with our world, is the way that Reform Jewish communities are working together to make change, through RAC state projects and issue-based cohorts. This intensive will offer various education and training opportunities designed to help congregations build their capacity to engage in social justice work.


Learn from social justice and congregational leaders about how to move your community into action around urgent issues and strengthen your social justice toolkit. This intensive will also highlight the successes of the Reform Movement’s 2018 Civic Engagement Campaign and how you can prepare to lead your community around civic engagement work in advance of the 2020 election. 

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Leadership Development

Design Principles, Strategies and Myths

Does your congregation invest in leadership development, or plan to do so? This three-part Intensive provides the opportunity for planning teams to design or change their own program while working with Professor Adam Goodman of Northwestern University’s Center for Leadership.


This amazing opportunity allows you and your planning team (your partners in this work) explore how to apply best principles and strategies to your leadership development program. This learning is applicable to teen and adult leadership. In the first session, you will learn how people become more effective leaders while also debunking assumptions and myths about leadership development.


During the second and third sessions, you will begin to design or redesign, and receive feedback, about your own leadership development program.  Each team will identify next action steps and concerns you may need to overcome when you return home.

This intensive is sponsored by Signature Bank.


(We recommend that all planning team members at the Biennial attend these workshops together so that you can take full advantage of this program. Participants must attend the first session on Wednesday, December 11. The second session will be offered twice on Thursday and third session will be offered twice on Friday. Participating teams need only attend one of each of these sessions.)

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Early Family Engagement

Essential Tools to Engage Families with Young Children

Creating a pipeline of congregational membership sometimes means starting with the newest members of the Jewish community: young children (and their families). The sessions in this Intensive will help your congregation create a 21st century community that sparks lives of meaning and purpose.

Join expert practitioners and thought leaders to unlock the critical practices and methods necessary to engage families and individuals with young children. Learn the needs and motivations of this target group and the ways in which you can build meaningful and lasting relationships with and among them. 

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Building Meaningful Communities

What is the purpose of engagement? How do all of us -- boards, clergy, staff, congregants -- become better at building relationships that lead to meaningful lives and transformative communities? What do we need in our toolboxes?

In addition to learning best principles, participants in this Intensive will be able to do a deeper dive into one of three areas of engagement:  building a culture of philanthropy, creating and using small groups as a tool of engagement, and looking beyond the walls of the congregation. 

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