Los Angeles Facilitation Training Intensive

Applications are now open for 2020. Click here to apply!

Resetting the Table (RTT) and The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles invite applications for a 6-month training in facilitating courageous conversations across political differences within and across LA’s Jewish communities. Through this program, we are building a team of advanced practitioners to support constructive conversations across differences on Israel and other charged issues.  We are especially looking for educators, mediators, and other professionals with prior facilitation experience or skills

Participants will learn Resetting the Table’s celebrated methodology for communicating across disagreement and receive extensive individualized coaching. Upon completion of the program, participants will be eligible to facilitate at dialogue forums in the Los Angeles area.

Cost for the training is $500, generously subsidized by The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles and supported by a Cutting Edge Grant from the Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles. A limited number of scholarships are available. 

Anyone interested in applying should complete this application by November 15th, 2019. If you have questions, please contact us at info@resettingthetable.org.

Timeline and Important Dates

The facilitation training begins with a 3-day retreat and involves a commitment to training sessions roughly every 2-3 weeks from February–June.  Dates for some training components are set, while others (marked with an asterisk) will be scheduled around participants' schedules: 

  • Sunday, January 26 - Tuesday, January 28: Opening retreat
  • Tuesday, February 11: Full group evening practice session
  • Sunday, February 23: Live practice session
  • Sunday, March 15: All-day training
  • *2nd half of March-early April:  Salons organized by participants 
  • Tuesday, April 21: Full group evening practice session
  • *Late April - mid-May: Video-taped small-group facilitation
  • Tuesday, June 2: Town Square (live facilitation program)
  • Thursday, June 11: Full Group Closing

In addition to the dates above, the training will include 2-3 online practice sessions via video-conference, 2-3 homework assignments, and regular check-ins with RTT staff along the way to assess progress and discuss learning goals. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Resetting the Table?

Resetting the Table (RTT) is dedicated to building meaningful dialogue and deliberation across political divides. Drawing from facilitation and mediation expertise, Resetting the Table’s unique approach supports participants to move through charged conversations with trained facilitators and carefully structured process, designed to support stakeholders to speak, listen, challenge each other, and make decisions together with honesty, mutual recognition and respect. RTT has provided communication skill-building workshops, multi-narrative educational sessions, and consultation to hundreds of communities and organizations, including 60+ college campuses, 25 Jewish Federations, innovation sector and major organizations across the country.

What is the role of The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles?

The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles is excited to announce our partnership with Resetting the Table to foster productive discussion across divides and to build a healthier and stronger community. The Federation, as the convener of the community, is best poised to do this work in partnership with Resetting the Table, using our expertise in the local Jewish community to tailor the RTT model to Los Angeles.

What are the goals of the program?

This program aims to produce a local bench of seasoned facilitators who will support Jewish communities throughout greater Los Angeles to foster discussion and learning across divides on charged issues. For the past 5 years, Resetting the Table has worked with hundreds of Jewish organizations across the country to build a culture of dialogue across differences, especially surrounding Israel. In the face of increasing political polarization, this program aims to build a roster of exceptional, locally-based facilitators who will be available for much-needed communication across divides in Jewish communities throughout greater LA. 

Who should apply?

Applicants should share RTT’s commitment to building a culture of dialogue and deliberation across differences, by which we mean supporting open and direct communication where there is currently avoidance or tension over differences of views, background, or experience. Ideal participants will already have significant experience in facilitating groups in professional settings (e.g., educators, social workers, mediators, staff managers/directors, clergy, etc.). 

Resetting the Table’s facilitators help participants “go toward the heat” to explore their differences directly.  As such, participants themselves must be comfortable with difference and disagreement and able to sustain connection and empathy to all parties as differences emerge. Seasoned facilitators must be willing to learn, practice, and employ a distinct methodological framework that may be different than the approaches they regularly use. 

Those with strong roots and/or connections to one or more of Los Angeles’ Jewish institutions are especially encouraged to apply.

What will participants receive?

  • Resetting the Table’s Facilitation Framework. This program offers one of the most intensive facilitation trainings in the country. Participants will learn RTT’s celebrated facilitation framework and receive hands-on practice and customized coaching tailored to their learning needs. Our skill-building exercises and framework provide valuable professional development for anyone supporting communication across differences or disagreements.
  • Our Support to Facilitate Dialogue in Your Community. When appropriate, we will support participants to utilize practice sessions directly in their professional or communal contexts. 
  • Practice Facilitating Meaningful Conversations. During the training period, RTT may invite participants to facilitate live RTT programs at synagogues, college campuses, and Jewish community organizations as volunteer facilitators.
  • Alumni Network and Paid Opportunities. After completing the program, RTT will seek to invite alumni to run RTT programs as paid facilitators. When appropriate, RTT may also refer opportunities directly to alumni to run independently.  

What are expectations and time commitment?

  • Personal commitment: Participants must be ready, willing, and able to participate in constructive, direct conversations across differences on charged issues and to collaborate closely with one another, even when they strongly disagree. This does not mean that they will be asked to check their own views and passions at the door. Rather, it means that participants must have the desire and disposition to engage across differences in the spirit of our project.
  • Time commitment during the program: During the training period, participants will be expected to attend all sessions (outlined above) as well as review and reflect on their learning goals and needs with RTT staff. A few training components will require participants to recruit volunteers to participate in facilitated conversations. RTT will work with all training participants to recruit volunteers, but we ask that you commit to helping secure volunteers.
  • Time commitment after the program: After completion of the program, we expect that facilitators will have the bandwidth, flexibility and desire to serve as facilitators in forums and settings in Los Angeles over the next three years as opportunities arise. We realize that facilitators will not be available for every opportunity.

What is the bigger picture of the Federation and RTT’s work together in Los Angeles?

Resetting the Table’s work in Los Angeles is run in partnership with The Jewish Federation of Los Angeles and supported by a Cutting Edge Grant by The Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles.  The Federation and Resetting the Table have made a three-year commitment to building a wave of training and dialogue opportunities in Los Angeles.  Individuals completing facilitation training applications now will be considered for the second of three cohorts of Facilitation Fellows. Click here to meet our first cohort. 

In addition to facilitators, we will also select two cohorts of convening institutions. Teams from convening institutions will receive training and consultation to design programs offering direct, respectful discussion across differences among their constituencies.  Convening institutions will be selected to represent diverse slices of the community.

These two programs will be mutually beneficial and reinforcing: Facilitation Fellows will be trained to support programs in convening institutions, and the convening institutions will provide opportunities for direct practice for Facilitation Fellows. 

What do past participants in RTT’s facilitation training say about the experience?

"Simply put, this is the best professional development program I have participated in. The framework is simple, sophisticated, and most importantly, effective…These skills are a must-have for anyone who works in the Jewish community or engages in conversations about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict." – Zach Schaffer, RTT Facilitation Fellowship alumn, Program Associate at Israel Action Network 

"We learned the best practices of facilitating dialogue on sensitive topics. No other organization supports this daunting and sacred work like Resetting the Table does." – Hillel Gruenberg, RTT Facilitation Fellowship alumn, Director of Israel Engagement at JTS and HUC-JIR  

“After this [facilitation training program], I feel so much more connected to the work that I care about – bringing Jews, especially young Jews, into conversation with one another around Israel. If we’re really listening to one another and ‘following the meaning’ – which Resetting the Table opens up the space for – then we have so much to learn from each other… I see Resetting the Table as a game-changer. It has the opportunity to transform how we talk about Israel, how we talk to each other, and how we understand each other. That’s the most exciting work we could be doing at this moment in time.” – Jacob, RTT Facilitation Fellowship alum, former Assistant Director of Campus Affairs at AJC Global

“Training as a facilitation fellow for Resetting the Table gave me tools and a framework to be not just an effective facilitator, but to navigate the highly volatile Israeli Palestinian conflict across many different settings throughout the American Jewish communal landscape. The combination of applied theory and hands-on practice allowed me the gift of supporting people who have felt silenced and marginalized on a topic they care deeply about. But most importantly, the fellowship instilled a sense of confidence that I can hold a space that can be transformative for its participants. While I support and learned from the facilitation model they use, ultimately they stress that facilitation is about finding your unique voice and refining it to follow the meaning of the other voices in the room.” – Ezra, RTT Facilitation Fellowship alum, Jewish educator at JCC Washington Heights

“I am eternally grateful for the skills I developed during the facilitation fellowship. My own conversations have improved when talking to people who disagree with me and I feel confident in facilitating or having challenging conversations in my professional life. The most powerful experience for me was to be facilitating with and talking to other fellows who thought differently than me but who were all deeply committed to this work. The shared experience of this cohort gives me hope. It’s exciting for me to be a part of something that I believe really can change the way conversation is approached in many communities. I would like to see many more communities using this model!” – Talia, RTT Facilitation Fellowship alum, Rabbinical Student at Hebrew College

“I initially came to Resetting the Table because I was interested in developing my skills as a facilitator for professional purposes. The longer I spend working with Resetting the Table, the more I appreciate the work we do on a personal level. Having the opportunity to deeply engage in building my own skills as a facilitator is incredibly energizing and exciting. Being able to share this experience with a cohort of peers who are working to build similar skills and use them as sounding boards, cheerleaders, and thought partners, is a huge gift. I value the relationships I am developing with the other facilitators as much as I value the skill building we do together and am grateful for the continued opportunity to be a part of this community.” – Naomi, RTT Facilitation Fellowship alum, Program Manager at Shalom Hartman Institute of North America

“I’m tremendously grateful for the opportunity to be part of this training and this cohort – I think being able to facilitate conversations like this is a learned skill that can only happen through a supportive community of practice, and that these kinds of conversation are crucial for healing our fractured community. It feels incredibly energizing to be part of the solution, and to do that in such a way that still enables me to grow and learn, without being polarized to a particular side of the discourse myself.” – LaurenRTT Facilitation Fellowship alum, Rabbinic Intern, Mishkan