The Claudia Cohen Women Educators Institute


The Claudia Cohen Women Educators Institute provides the spouses of our educators and rabbis with comprehensive training to enable them to serve as efficient partners and role models in their adoptive communities.
Topics covered include:

The Role of the Jewish Leader’s Family

The family of an educator or rabbi in a position of authority is at the center of the community. Inevitably, this brings enormous strain in addition to great privilege. In this unit, we examine the challenges facing the emissary’s family and mechanisms for dealing with these pressures.

  • The community’s expectations from “the wife”
  • Family life versus communal responsibilities
  • Raising observant children in a non-observant community
  • Integration into the educational institutions
  • The place of the rabbi or Jewish educator’s wife in synagogue.
  • The role of the rabbi or educator’s wife in Bar Mitzvahs, Bat Mitzvahs, weddings, and family celebrations
  • Formal and informal education

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Pastoral Care

Congregants view their emissary’s wife as a religious and spiritual role model and will often turn to her for guidance and advice. In this unit we prepare her for this important responsibility.


  • Getting to know the community, personal relations and communal diplomacy
  • Visiting the sick
  • Hosting
  • Outreach 
  • Personal counseling, active listening, crisis intervention, shalom bayit
  • Aesthetics, manners, taking the community’s norms into consideration
  • The experience of the Jewish holidays in the community
  • Interpersonal communication and social psychology

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Women in the Community

Women play a key role in Jewish communal organizations and across the Jewish world; their role in the synagogue is much debated. We prepare our emissaries’ wives to play a major role in mobilizing, motivating and supporting the women of our communities.

  • Recruiting and motivating women for communal activities
  • Teaching and discussing halachic topics related to women in Judaism
  • Teaching and discussing the role of women in the synagogue
  • Preparing brides for their wedding
  • Mikvah supervision

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