Rabbinic Helpline: Coaching for a Time of CrisisBack
Effective rabbinic leadership is needed now more than ever. And we have your back, rabbi.
Atra’s “Rabbinic Helpline” offers one-on-one coaching and support with experts in the field, free of charge for rabbis, cantors, and Jewish spiritual leaders in Northern New Jersey.* Talk through the challenges on your mind, on your schedule – coping with burnout, planning ahead during uncertain times, managing your Board, family engagement, providing pastoral care, or building community in innovative ways. Or, just use your half hour to get the chizuk (encouragement) you need from an expert who cares.
Since October 7, global Jewry has and continues to experience collective trauma, grief, and increased antisemitism. Many people are looking to Jewish leaders, especially rabbis, for guidance and to be in community with other Jews during this challenging time. We see you: you’re working hard, there isn’t enough time, and you’re juggling a lot.
Select a coach below and register for your one-time, 30-minute coaching session. Please be aware that this opportunity is limited to one session with the coach of your choosing.
*Not sure if you’re eligible? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss.
Meet your Rabbinic Helpline Coaches:
Scroll through each coach on the page, or click a name below to jump to a specific coach.
Rabbi Dr. Daniel Smokler Rabbi Michael Mellen Rabbi Mary Zamore
Dr. Betsy Stone
Dr. Betsy Stone is a nationally known, retired psychologist who serves as an adjunct lecturer at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion.
She has been teaching and working with rabbis for the past 19 years, both through HIC-JIR and privately. She teaches and consults with Jewish professionals across North America and Europe. She also leads clergy support groups in her local community and nationally. She received her Doctorate in Psychology from Yale University.
Connect with Betsy for a listening ear in addressing issues of burnout, trauma, exhaustion and moral injury.
Rabbi Shira Koch Epstein is the Executive Director of Atra: Center for Rabbinic Innovation and serves as faculty at the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America.
Previously, Rabbi Epstein served as Executive Director of the 14th Street Y in Manhattan, and her past roles have included serving as Rabbi-Educator at Congregation Beth Elohim in Park Slope, Brooklyn. Rabbi Epstein has served at various congregations, Jewish youth groups and summer camps as an educator and family educator, and is a certified Storah telling “Maven.” Shira loves mentoring and coaching innovative clergy as they work to bring their vision to life.
Connect with Shira to have an experienced colleague to listen to your concerns, and help clarify how you can align your work with your vision, resources, your community’s needs, the concerns of your colleagues and stakeholders, and the outcomes you most hope to achieve.
Rabbi Dr. Daniel Smokler
Rabbi Daniel Smokler is the Chief Innovation Officer for the Office of Innovation, an innovation laboratory with expertise in rabbinic and spiritual leadership, Jewish learning, and community building.
Dan served as the inaugural Chief Innovation Officer for Hillel International. Funded by a major grant from the Jim Joseph Foundation, he founded the Senior Jewish Educator Initiative in 2008. In 2011, the Jewish Week named Dan one of the 36 under 36 changemakers in Jewish life. Dan went to Israel for his rabbinical education and was ordained in 2005 by Rabbi Zalman Nechemia Goldberg, of Jerusalem’s highest rabbinic court. Dan has worked for Hillel at Occidental College, UCLA and NYU. In 2017, Dan received his PhD in Education and Jewish Studies from NYU.
Connect with Dan for coaching in visioning and catalytic work, discerning the message of the hour, brainstorming or help articulating your big ideas, and adding the energy and inspiration to begin executing.
Erica previously served as the Associate Vice President and Director of the Meyerhoff Center for Jewish Experience for Hillel International. In this role, she grew Hillel’s signature program, the Jewish Learning Fellowship. She has spent over a decade training and coaching rabbis across the denominational spectrum in spiritual leadership, experiential education, and community building.
Erica holds a BFA in Dance and an MA in Dance and Sacred Texts from NYU, and she is currently a Wexner Field Fellow. Erica and her husband Dimitry are Co-Founders of Kehillat Harlem, an all-comers minyan engaging more than 150 households, as well as Based in Harlem, a new community for Jewish young adults based in their home which mobilizes more than 500 people each year.
Connect with Erica to explore relationship-based community building, best practices for teaching Torah to folks at all levels, and more.
An executive and organizational coach, trainer and facilitator, Rabbi Michael Mellen has served as rabbi and educator at Temple B’nai Shalom in Fairfax Station, Virginia and as Director of Youth Programs and Director of the North American Federation of Temple Youth (NFTY) for the Union for Reform Judaism.
Michael has also worked as an innovation consultant and coach, working with Design Thinking to create educational, programmatic, and governance change in synagogues, teen programs, and camps.
Connect with Michael to explore human-centered innovation and vision, organizational strategy, relationships with lay leaders, the work of boards, and engaging youth. He listens closely to uncover what’s most important, supporting you in identifying your vision, innovation challenge, potential relationship impact, shift in mindset, or blind spot, and then in developing next steps, action items, or strategies.
Rabbi Mary L. Zamore is the Executive Director of the Women’s Rabbinic Network, a partner organization of the Reform Movement.
Supporting and advocating for Reform women rabbis, while bettering all, WRN works to narrow the wage gap, create safer, respectful Jewish communities and promote equity. Rabbi Zamore is the co-leader of the Reform Pay Equity Initiative and heads WRN’s Clergy: Safe Employees and Employers program, which focuses on a harassment-free Jewish community.
Connect with Mary to reflect together on difficult decisions, uncomfortable conversations, and staying grounded during hectic times. In addition, she is available to discuss employment issues, including pay equity, equitable downsizing, negotiation skills, employee relationships, and creating safe space.