Office of the Chief Rabbi

Rebbetzens initiative ‘carves out a dedicated space for inspirational women’

Learning how to manage competing priorities and understanding the complex process of resolving cases of Get refusal were top of the agenda at the latest Investing in Rebbetzens seminar last Sunday, led by Valerie Mirvis. A fresh and interactive programme attracted Rebbetzens from across England to a day of professional and personal development at Edgware United Synagogue, where the theme was ‘You, Your Community, Your Family.’

Opening proceedings was Joanne Greenaway, who works with parties to resolve cases of Get refusal brought before the Beth Din. She provided an insight into the Beth Din’s approach to divorcing couples and the way it deals with difficult cases, enabling Rebbetzens to support people in their communities and to partner with the Beth Din in resolving cases. 

Rina Shindler, Rebbetzen of Richmond United Synagogue, then explored how ‘A Psychological Framework for Community and Family Dynamics’ could be applied to the life of a Rebbetzen, with an emphasis on the importance of setting boundaries in order to guarantee both self-respect and self-preservation.

She drew on case studies that enabled attendees to see parallels in their own experiences, an approach that segued nicely into Valerie’s session after lunch, which provided a forum for ladies to recount and discuss personal experiences. The session explored how Cognitive Behavioural Therapy techniques could be applied to the identification and resolution of everyday issues.

Reflecting on the success of the day, Valerie said: ‘Investing in Rebbetzens has carved out a dedicated and nurturing space for the inspirational women leading our communities. The combination of high quality content with the opportunity to learn from each other is very valuable’.

Rebbetzen Miriam Lipsey, who travelled from her community in Newcastle to attend the day said: ‘All the speakers were passionate about their subjects, sending us home with food for thought and practical advice to use and share. Thank you to CCE (the Chief Rabbi’s Centre for Community Excellence) for organizing a fantastic day and to Valerie for the invaluable support you offer to us Rebbetzens!’

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