Strategic Advising for Rabbis and Cantors
I suppose some might consider what I'm offering to be coaching. It's not a term I love because my image of a coach is of one who is calling the shots behind the scenes ... and exhorting or criticizing from the sidelines. I'm not that.
I am a colleague with over 20 years of pulpit experience in Israel and the States. I have training in congregational consulting and I've mentored JTS rabbinical students. I know the pulpit. I love it. I struggled with the realities and challenges, I savored the "ups" and learned how to get through the "downs" in tact. I have worked with congregations hovering around 100 membership units and 550 membership units. I've been the only full time "employee" of my congregation and I've been part of a full team including Executive Director, Education Director, Comptroller, Early Learning Center Director, Youth Director ....
"Thinking out loud" with someone who understands the unique elements of pulpit work can help you avoid a misstep, achieve short and longterm goals, keep your creative juices flowing, deal with difficult people and help you remember why you pursued the pulpit in the first place.
I am calling what I offer "strategic advising." I don't want to coach you from the sidelines, I want to help you think strategically about your short, medium and long term interactions with your leadership, with your membership, with your colleagues.
Please call or write to arrange a half-hour conversation to get to know each other ... on me. (If you do call, please keep in mind that I'm in Israel!)
I'm looking forward to hearing from you soon.
Skype: amy.levin / 401-203-4717
Here's What Colleagues Who I Have Advised Say:
I'll never forget how Amy Levin coached me through my first pulpit experience when I was a senior rabbinical student at JTS. She flawlessly combined a loving, supportive approach with the necessary feedback and reflection that allowed me to grow and improve, both as a Jew and as a Rabbi.
David Saiger, JTS 2011
Amy is a rabbi's rabbi. As a rabbinical student, she offered me concrete and measurable feedback that I continue to think about five years later as I serve as a rabbi. She is deeply steeped in Torah learning and always had me focus on the most important aspects of the job: building communities of deep Jewish learning and living. She offers a keen awareness of the psycho-social dynamics and politics of the rabbinate and also how to leverage relationships in advancing the visions you have for your congregation.
Zachary Silver, JTS 2012
Amy was a great mentor for me in my first pulpit while studying for smicha. I had never really considered pulpit as a line of work and was rather uncertain about it. Having someone like Amy on hand who had many years of congregational rabbinic work under her belt was a great help. She provided the right perspective that is both ''inside'' but still objective that I needed.
Ute Steyer, JTS, 2009
Amy Levin understands that each pulpit is unique. She combined her experience in diverse synagogue settings with a deep ability to listen to help me find the best path for me and my congregation. Amy was my advisor for my pulpit during rabbinical school, and the lessons I've learned from her make a difference every day as I build my community at my current synagogue.
Catharine Clark, JTS 2012
As a strategic advisor for my first pulpit, Amy Levin was supportive, practical, and fun to work with. She applauded me for asking for help on difficult issues--she never made me feel like a inexperienced rabbinical student, even though I was just that. Amy commiserated with me on the trials and headaches of congregational life, then refocused me with advice for successful management of volunteer leadership, for navigating the synagogue "baggage" that I had inherited, and for finding the beauty in working through stressful times with a community. The experience of working with Amy Levin was a pleasure, and I know that she will be available to tackle tough issues with me again if I need her.
Abby Jacobson, JTS 2009
Serving a small congregation as a Legacy Heritage Rabbinic Fellow was a wonderful learning experience for me, and Amy Levin's mentoring provided a valuable source of guidance which helped me grow professionally. But beyond the tachlis advice and constructive feedback, it was Amy's warmth, compassion and personal dedication that left an indelible impact.
Micah Liben, JTS 2011