Posted on June 5th, 2014

Update from the President: Year in Review

Happy summer! I hope it has been a wonderful professional year for everyone. For NATE it has been a busy and successful year!

This year we began a Twitter account. We continue to look for a variety of ways to communicate with our members and to communicate about the important and holy work of Jewish education. If you are not yet following us look for us at @NATEducators.

Our Twitter account helped us to have a significant presence at URJ Biennial. We had hundreds of people stop by our booth and our Thursday night event in the Gas Lamp District. Most impressive, our members offered over 30 workshops that had nearly 1000 participants!


All of our teams are busy working on behalf of our membership.

  • Our Membership Team is launching a variety of initiatives to welcome new members and further engage and connect all members to one another.
  •  Our Communications Team is hard at work developing a new website.
  • Thanks to our Professional Learning Team it’s been another great year of learning together. We had a successful, kallah and offered a variety of webinars. Click here for information on the Summer Learning Series.
  • The Finance Team re-instituted a successful Annual Campaign. Thanks to all who participated.
  • The Advocacy Team create and supported our Biennial events and offered 4 different webinars to promote and advance our work.

This year we had two of our largest leadership gatherings ever with over 50 people at each meeting. These meetings enable us to move forward the holy work we share, including the development of a new mission statement.

Thank you to all our leaders! The success of this organization depends upon the thousands of volunteer hours our members willing offer.


At the end of last year, under the leadership of Past President Lisa Barzilai, we instituted two new standing committees; Clergy-educator and Leadership Development that have begun significant work that will give new shape to our offerings and means of engaging members.


We continue to advance our collaboration with the URJ through our Knowledge Partnership and active engagement in the Tent.
Thankfully it was also a year of celebration! At our spring kallah we gave away:

  • Milestone awards that represented well over 300 years of service to the field
  • Two accreditations, to Congregation Beth Torah in Overland Park, KS and to Temple Beth El in Boca Raton, FL. Temple Beth El is the first congregation EVER to receive FIVE accreditations!
  • After this years MANY RJE titles were granted, we now have 525 colleagues with the title, Reform Jewish Educator.
  • Dana Prottas was awarded the Yad B’Yad award for her program, “Israel in a Box.”

Thank you to all our NATE Leaders who helped make these many accomplishments reality. Thank you to our Operations Team Leaders who guide the work of our organization:

  • Advocacy – Shari Isserles and Sandy Robbins
  • Communications – Ira Wise, Rachel Margolis and Debra Siroka
  • Finance – Kathy Schwartz, Roxanne Shapiro and Joe Eiduson
  • Membership – Susan Goldberg Schwartz and Lisa Friedman
  • Professional Learning – Debbie Massarano, Debra Siroka and Sharon Amster-Brown

Thank you to our Executive Committee and Lead Team:

  • Lisa Lieberman Barzilai
  • Joan Carr
  • Lori Daitch
  • Vanessa Ehrlich
  • Lynda Gutcheon
  • Marisa Kaiser
  • Kathy Schwartz
  • Anne Berman Waldorf
  • Laura Novak Winer

And to our Executive Director, Rabbi Stanley Schickler for all that they do to support me in my efforts as well as to move forward the important and holy work of NATE. I look forward to next year being an even more productive year with YOUR help!

I hope nothing I shared with you was new information! Please stay informed and get involved. We need all of you in order to continue to serve and support one another.