Leadership Retreat

Learn. Connect. Do.


Whether you are a new section leader or a seasoned pro, you are sure to leave our workshops with new and improved skills, knowledge, and connections. Check back frequently as we update this page with more workshop descriptions.

Personal Leadership

Developing a Common Language for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion with Jewish Women of Color

Our work has more impact when we embrace and advance equity, diversity, and inclusion. But how do we do this? How do we center the voices of Jewish Women of Color (JWOC) in our social justice work? This session will map the current moment and how to build effective multicultural coalitions and partnerships for justice. We will engage in paired and small group discussions of case scenarios that translate language developed by JWOC into practical applications for Jewish workplace environments.

My leadership values, my leadership style

The most authentic leaders know where their passion comes from, who they are, and how they want to impact the world. In this reflective, interactive session we’ll start by identifying the core values that energize your leadership and the legacy you hope to have. Through fun exercises, you’ll identify the characteristics you tend to lead with and how you can intentionally bring out the best in others.

Navigating difficult conversations

Our fear of engaging in difficult conversations keeps us from making the changes we know our organizations need. In this workshop, we’ll explore a conceptual framework for approaching conversations that are fraught with emotional, social, political, and/or institutional challenges. Most importantly, we’ll review specific strategies and tactics for handling those conversations and thereby freeing ourselves to move forward.

Now that I’ve raised my hand what do I do?

Are you a new section leader? We’ve got your back! Run a meeting – check! Write an agenda – done and done. Develop a set of goals – we are in! This session will hone your skills as a section leader and discuss the importance of mentors and where to find guidance for the road ahead. #JewishWomenLeading #SeatAtTheTable #WelcomeToTheClub

Political is personal: self-care for advocates

How do we maintain meaningful, yet balanced roles in our professional and volunteer lives? Through self-care and coping strategies that reduce stress. At this workshop, we will talk about vicarious trauma, compassion fatigue, burnout, and secondary traumatic stress. We will also discuss practical self-care strategies such as anxiety reduction techniques, distress tolerance skills, mindfulness and self- soothing techniques.


Leading for Change

Getting grants and sponsorships

How do we raise the funds to do our work? This workshop will explore how to identify sponsorships and grants, tell our story to get the funding, and use volunteers to make it happen. This workshop does not focus on individual fundraising.

Measuring our success 

Does your section offer the same community service or advocacy efforts year in and year out without knowing whether they are having the impact you want? When your section considers a new initiative, how do you define success? This interactive workshop focuses on evaluation tools and techniques that integrate evaluation into all of the work you do. You’ll walk away with concrete methods to help your section measure your success and focus your efforts.

Navigating diversity, equity and inclusion as a Jewish leader and community builder 101

As an intersectional, multi-racial, multi-ethnic, cross-class, multi-gendered, differently observant, and intergenerational community of Jews, engaged in interconnected struggles in service of justice for all people, how can we use what we learn together in beloved community to remain united on our journey toward the North Star of justice? In this session, we will use shared discussion and experiential activities to explore leadership choices that can be made, within systems, to recognize, appreciate and leverage differences toward a more expansive vision for equity and shared power in our Jewish future.

Navigating diversity, equity and inclusion as a Jewish leader and community builder 102 

This workshop is an opportunity to develop a more nuanced understanding of racism, anti-Semitism and what it means to be an active partner in elucidating and eradicating “isms” as family, Jewish leaders, and caring professionals. We will explore the successes and challenges of building relationships and coalitions in service of equity and justice in Jewish institutions and in a broader social justice landscape.

Staffing up: Bringing in the power of professional staff

Between work, home life, and volunteering with NCJW, our volunteers are incredibly busy. How do we support our volunteers so they can use their time most effectively? By hiring professional staff to work with them. But how do our sections find the funds to hire staff? And once we’ve hired staff, how do we develop a model partnership between volunteer leaders and professional staff to help us meet our sections’ greatest needs?  Learn how these partnerships have allowed the Nashville and Dallas sections to survive and evolve in today’s changing world. Join us as we discuss these questions, share an action plan, and recommend best practices for staffing up.

Small but mighty! Practical fundraising advice for small/medium sections

Everyone can fundraise no matter the size of your section. In this workshop, you’ll learn actionable steps to improve your fundraising skills and start a fundraising plan for your section. We’ll also share practical advice on how to make an effective ask (hint: don’t apologize!), how to create a fundraising roadmap that supports your section’s budget and calendar, and how to maximize events for fundraising.

The building blocks of new programs and projects

How do you decide which programs and projects to launch with your limited time and resources? This workshop provides a framework for making these decisions and evaluating your programs. We will discuss how to determine what works best for your communities, identify who are your best collaborators, create realistic goals and outcomes, and ensure your programs are effective. You might even come away with new program ideas for your section.

You got them to give a quarter, how do you get them to give a dollar?

Section stability requires expanding income sources beyond membership dues. Learn how to obtain funding through individual donors, giving campaigns, online strategies, foundations and grants, underwriting, and corporate partnerships. This is a workshop for our larger sections.


Outreach and Engagement

Building a blueprint for developing successful teams

Are you trying to create new teams or revitalize existing ones? By sharing our personal success stories, we will develop a blueprint for building effective teams, including setting goals, holding team members accountable, and determining individual roles.

Getting them in the room and keeping them there!

This workshop will help you leverage your existing skills and passion for our work to engage new members. Whether you’re attending a community event or just socializing with friends, every interaction is an opportunity to engage new NCJW members and supporters. Learn simple ways to identify potential new members, get them involved with NCJW, and better yet keep them involved with NCJW’s projects and initiatives.

Identifying and developing leaders

Explore 12 key ways to identify, engage and develop leaders for your section. From using sincere curiosity to building relationships to managing group processes, we’ll explore the foundation for successful committees and boards. Identify new leaders and use your own leadership to motivate and empower others. This interactive workshop will focus on concrete skills for establishing trust, managing expectations, and deepening commitments.

Social Media 101: What and Why

What’s happening on social media affects justice everywhere, whether it’s trending stories, tweets from the administration, or viral videos. As advocates we need to tune in to what’s happening online and be part of these conversations. In this introduction to social media advocacy, you will learn the basics of posting to Facebook and Twitter, how to follow people, what information is public v. private, and more. This is a great first step into the world of social media. If you have a device (tablet, laptop, smartphone) bring it with you to create an account in the workshop!

Social Media 201: How and When

Reach people around the world with the click of a button! Social media is a powerful tool to add to your advocacy arsenal that can help you share your opinions on social justice issues, supporting causes and movements in real-time, and even start a movement of your own. This workshop will focus on the ‘how and when’ of effective social media advocacy: learn when to use your voice and how to amplify it effectively. Gain some tricks of the trade in order to brand yourself accurately and spread the word about the issues that matter to you.

Telling our Story — to your friends, to the media, as a representative of NCJW

Your words and stories make the greatest impact, whether you are describing NCJW to a friend, speaking at an event, or talking to the media. Join us to increase your confidence and fluency when talking about NCJW, policy issues, advocacy efforts, and community service.

Our Work

A focus on civic engagement

As we inch closer and closer to election season, it’s time to Get Out the Vote (GOTV). This interactive training will dive into the what, why, and how of GOTV campaigns in a 501(c)(3) organization. Using our stories and experiences of voter registration, poll watching, and voting reminders, we’ll discuss how to make your own GOTV plan effectively respond to the needs of your community.

A focus on Israel

In Israel, NCJW is known as a leader in the feminist arena – we support fabulous Israeli activists from across the spectrum of a rich, multi-layered society. At a time when Israel has become a polarizing issue within the Jewish community, NCJW is a positive force helping to build the Israel that seeks tolerance, fair play, and security for all. How can we raise the voices of the brave women and men fighting for gender equality, civil liberties, and peace with the Palestinians, and against religious coercion and the exclusion of women from the public sphere? Join this workshop to be inspired by our stories of impact, learn about and use the groundbreaking research on women that NCJW conducted this year, and, most importantly, acquire tools to engage our communities in the exciting work that has made NCJW a leader of change in Israel.

A focus on judicial nominations

Put on your (imaginary) judge’s robe and learn first-hand just how important our federal judges are. Through NCJW’s “You Be the Judge” workshop, we’ll explore how federal judges obtain their lifetime appointments, the issues impacted by their decisions, and even work through a real case study on freedom of religion. Identify the best ways to advocate for qualified, diverse, and independent judges. Participate in this dynamic and interactive workshop and then bring it back to your sections and communities to teach them that #CourtsMatter.

A focus on reproductive health, rights and justice

Healthy, collaborative coalition relationships are key to achieving our advocacy goals, especially when it comes to working on reproductive health, rights, and justice. Whether it be clashing personalities, misalignment on goals, or organizational dominance, there are always things we can be doing better to strengthen our coalition work and relationships. Join us for a session on how to best engage in reproductive health, rights, and justice advocacy when working in coalitions. Through scenarios simulation, exchanging best-practices, and diving deeper into the three reproductive frameworks, you will leave this workshop with tangible skills on how to best position NCJW and move our vision of reproductive freedom forward in partnership with your community at the state and local level.