Upper West Side Facilitation Training Intensive 

Applications have now closed for 2018-19. Stay tuned for more opportunities!

Resetting the Table (RTT) invites applications from NYC-based Jewish professionals for our celebrated 6-month training intensive in facilitating courageous conversations across political divides. In today’s polarized environment, communal professionals often find it daunting to address highly charged topics. This program will support Jewish professionals who regularly address Israel and other charged issues in their work and wish to be better equipped to support direct, productive conversations across differences and disagreements. We are especially looking for educators, rabbis, nonprofit leaders, and other professionals with regular opportunities to open discussion across differences among those they serve.

This Intensive offers one of the most rigorous facilitation trainings in the country, an opportunity to learn Resetting the Table’s celebrated methodology, and extensive live practice with individualized coaching. In addition, RTT lead staff will offer consultation to help participants integrate meaningful dialogue into their specific contexts. Upon completion of the program, participants will be eligible to facilitate at RTT and independent forums throughout the NYC area. Cost for the training is $500, generously subsidized by UJA Federation of NY. A limited number of scholarships are available. 

Anyone interested in applying should complete this application by August 24th. If you have questions, please contact us at info@resettingthetable.org.

Timeline and Important Dates

The facilitation training begins with a weekend retreat followed by training sessions roughly every 2-3 weeks from November–March. The training arc is delineated below. Dates for some training components are set, while others (marked with an asterisk) will be scheduled around participants’ schedules: 

  • Fri.-Sun., Nov. 9-11: Opening retreat
  • Thurs., Nov. 29: Full group evening practice session
  • Thurs., Dec. 13: Live practice session
  • Thurs., Jan. 10: All-day training (note the weekday all-day session)
  • Late Jan., early Feb.*: Salons organized by participants
  • Thurs., Feb. 7: Full group evening practice session
  • Feb. and March*: Customized consultation for integrating RTT facilitation into participants’ contexts
  • Late Feb., early March*: Video-taped small-group facilitation
  • Thurs., March 14: Closing Forum (live event with volunteers)
  • Thurs., April 4: Full group closing

In addition to the dates above, the training will include 2-3 online practice sessions via videoconference and regular check-ins with RTT staff along the way to assess progress and discuss their experience. 

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 are the goals of the program?

This program aims to empower Jewish professionals to open up constructive conversations and learning on Israel, including across significant divides of views and experience. For the past 5 years, Resetting the Table has worked with dozens of Jewish organizations in the NYC area to foster a culture of dialogue across differences, particularly surrounding Israel. Amidst increasing political escalation and polarization in our culture, this program aims to build the capacity of Jewish communities in NYC to address the most important and challenging issues of the day. 

Who should apply?

Applicants should be Jewish professionals positioned to facilitate rooms of participants addressing Israel. They should share RTT’s commitment to supporting open and direct communication where there is currently avoidance or tension in the face of differences of views, background, or experience. Ideal participants will already have significant experience facilitating groups in professional settings (e.g., educators, social workers, mediators, communal leaders, 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 NYC Jewish communities 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 will 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 support 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 integrate the facilitation framework and skills they learned into their professional settings, as well as have the flexibility and desire to serve as paid facilitators in some additional forums and settings in the NYC-area.

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

“I can’t believe how much [our trainer] was able to teach us in a short time about how to create an environment in which participants feel sufficiently heard and respected to be able to share their deeply held views as well as to listen to others. Resetting the Table has greatly enhanced my ability to create a space where participants can have substantive, authentic and meaningful conversations with people whose views differ greatly from theirs, and for them to be able to listen to others and feel heard.”-Marion, Rabbi, Central Synagogue and Facilitator of Pastoral Groups
 
“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
 
“This training took facilitation to a whole different level. In charged conversations the hardest thing is to have the participants feel heard and still keep the discussion flowing. I learned the art of bridging ideas and naming the differences in such a way that it will take any conversation deeper. I learned more in this training than any other!” – Tasneem, Facilitator for New Ground, Muslim-Jewish dialogue group
 
“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 Fellow 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 Faciltiation 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

Programs and Services

Common programs we bring to campuses and communities.

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Facilitation Training

Building a field of skilled practitioners.

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Convener Training

Teaching leaders to build a culture of dialogue and deliberation for their constituents.

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Resetting the American Table

Bridging American divides.

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