Rebbetzens’ away day in Brighton

Against the odds, and tube delays, the Rebbetzenate met at Victoria Station bright and early for the first ever Rebbetzens’ Representatives of the United Synagogue (RRUS) Away Day. Organised by Judy Markovic, Rebbetzens’ Coordinator at the Centre for Rabbinic Excellence (CRE), we got stuck in straight away with an introductory activity, en route from London to Hove, which set the tone for the day.

After a short walk, much welcome after the train journey, we arrived at the wonderful Brighton & Hove Jewish Centre.

Helena Sharpstone led the morning training sessions on motivation. In the first session we explored what motivates us in our positions and the work that we do. We then heard about the mystery of motivation; the science around motivation, what drives people and how we can practically apply it to our roles.

Over a networking lunch, we heard from Michelle Bauernfreund from the Office of the Chief Rabbi (OCR). Following lunch, we made our way (in the rain) to i360 – Brighton’s 162 metre moving observation tower on the seafront. Whilst the clouds made it difficult to see the perspective from above, we were enriched with some ideas of how to take yourself out of a situation to gain perspective, and strategies to do so when the life’s view is ‘cloudy’.

We returned to the BNJC for Rebbetzens Round Table sessions. In groups we reflected on some of the highlights and challenges of being a Rebbetzen, how we can support each other. We davened Mincha and prayed and sang for Israel in the beautiful on-site Shul. It was great to see and hear about the fabulous facilities available at the BNJC and I’m sure many communities will be planning their trips to Brighton soon.

It was impressive to hear from Jo Grose the progress that has been achieved in recognising the challenges of the role of the Rebbetzens and there was opportunity for some of the hard questions to be aired in a supportive and productive manner. We ended our day with a delicious dinner at Novellino in the BNJC. Tali Harris gave a Dvar Torah and there was a light-hearted quiz on the communities represented.

We arrived back at Victoria at 10pm, exhausted from a jam-packed day, but very much connected, inspired, and recharged. Many thanks to RRUS, OCR and CRE for making it possible.

By Rebbetzen Shira Chalk

Skip to content