OU Women’s Initiative Hosts Confab on Reimagining Leadership and Community in a Post-Pandemic World

13 Apr 2021

NEW YORK – The Orthodox Union Women’s Initiative’s annual Leadership Summit will focus on one of the biggest issues impacting the Jewish world today – how to reimagine leadership and community in a post-pandemic world. The confab will take place April 25 – April 27 and will bring together women from across North America. The program is designed to engage and highlight the important role women play in the reengagement process as communities reopen.

“Women have always played a critical role in our communities and as we look to reopen our communal institutions, it is critical that we recognize that women hold an instrumental role in this process. We at the OU Women’s Initiative want to begin the work of inspiring conversations that will happen on the local level and bring them to a national level with high level professionals,” said OU Women’s Initiative Founding Director Rebbetzin Dr. Adina Shmidman.

Sessions will focus on current program challenges and ideas, reimagining program needs and formats in transition phase and post-pandemic, the long-term impact of virtual programming, and practical tools for program planning. Discussions will also center around the long-term impact on current organizational economic models as well as how to fundraise with innovation and sensitivity as many donors may be facing different financial realities after the pandemic. Additional topics include creating and maintaining relationships with boards and volunteers, how to professionalize your virtual presence and understanding what foundations are looking for when applying for grants from them. There will also be conversations around scenario planning for the rest of the year as organizations continue to plan for a new and unknown reality.

Expert lecturers, educators and leaders in the field – including Barbara Gottesman, Rachel Levitt Klein Dratch, Brent Baer, Amy Herskowitz Katz, Rachel Mohl Abrahams and Marian Z. Stern – will deliver workshops, sessions and other presentations throughout the program.

“The pandemic has left many organizations wondering how to continue with programming and services in a very tricky environment. Our community needs to include women in the dialogue on how we re-engage and we look forward to the contributions this group will play in this process,” said Orthodox Union President Moishe Bane.

“Throughout the OU, we are looking for ways to help the community rebound and become even stronger after this pandemic. Our Women’s Initiative department is dedicating its annual conference to have lay leaders from organizations around the country reimagine strategies for connection, programming and financial security,” said Orthodox Union Executive Vice President Rabbi Moshe Hauer.

To register for the virtual summit, please visit: https://www.ou.org/women/summit2021-registration/.

Founded in 1898, the Orthodox Union, (OU), serves as the voice of American Orthodox Jewry, with over 400 congregations in its synagogue network. As the umbrella organization for American Orthodox Jewry, the OU is at the forefront of advocacy work on both state and federal levels, outreach to Jewish teens and young professionals through NCSY, Israel Free Spirit Birthright, Yachad and OU Press, among many other divisions and programs.