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Call for Presenters


Proposal Form Opens


Proposal Deadline


Presenters Notified


Schedule Finalized


Materials Due


Present at the NATA Conference!


Contact the Conference Education Co-Chairs:

Lauren Snyder
Josh Laster

or, NATA Staff:

Rebecca Weinstein
Paula Markovitz


For the 2024 Annual NATA Conference, our planning team has chosen the theme of ‘Back to the Future’.

Aside from aligning with the very cool mid-century modern ambience of our conference venue, the Back to the Future movie features several themes relevant to the work of synagogue executives. For our members who are trying to plot a course through changing landscapes while honoring the traditions that endure within our communities, we seek to offer the critical knowledge, tools, skills, and resources they need to maintain a healthy sense of self, healthy workplaces, and healthy communities.

As you consider your submission, please consider how your workshop topic or area of expertise might fit into the overall themes of the conference as described below. Please contact the Education Co-Chairs if you have questions or need more guidance.

Courage: Creating a Healthy Sense of Self

“If you put your mind to it, you can accomplish anything.”

For us to be successful in creating strong teams and cohesive communities, we must first understand our own strengths. Help our attendees understand and implement the tools to be courageous, set boundaries, overcome feelings of inadequacy, and rise above our fears, so that we may lead our communities with excellence.

Innovation: Creating Healthy Workplaces

“I guess you guys aren’t ready for that yet. But your kids are gonna love it!”

The movie is known for its futuristic technology and gadgets as well as a high level of innovation and risk taking by the characters to achieve their goals. Highlighting this aspect of our overall theme might include:

  • Showcasing the latest technological advancements and how they can be used to improve temple administration.
  • Using data to make informed evidence-based decisions and making course corrections when needed.
  • Creative Problem-Solving to manage risks and achieve big changes.
  • Understanding how even seemingly small choices determine our future path, professionally and personally, and maintaining awareness of cause-and-effect relationships.

Navigating the Future by Learning from the Past: Creating Healthy Communities

“Roads? Where we are going, we don’t need roads.”

In Back to the Future, time travel is made possible using a fictional Flux Capacitor. Flux means constant change and capacitor is a device used to store energy. We all need something to help harness energy and manage change. Flexibility, agility, resilience. What are the methods, techniques, and/or tools we can use to plan for tomorrow when everything has changed. Some concepts that support this theme might include:

  • Understanding the nature of accelerating change and ever-shifting environments
  • Examining traditional approaches that will no longer suffice: Preserving what’s important but re-examining fundamental models.
  • Exploring changing behaviors and how those impact synagogue members and membership structures.

Great Scott! For maximum fun and attendee engagement, we encourage you to incorporate creative use of Back to the Future references in your workshop titles and/or descriptions!

General Information

The NATA Annual Conference offers attendees the chance to make meaningful connections that reinforce the impact of the synagogue executive community in shaping a brighter future for the communities we serve.

To deliver a positive and meaningful learning experience, NATA seeks education proposals that will advance the profession.

Proposals should:

  • Encourage attendees to explore fresh solutions in synagogue management.
  • Explore relevant topics essential to synagogue executives.
  • Illustrate forward thinking in the field.
  • Feature diversity, equity, and inclusion practices.
  • Showcase innovative and engaging program formats.
  • Demonstrate relevance of lessons through “real-life” case studies.

Instructional Design

  • Be informed by sound learning principles.
  • Facilitate knowledge transfer and development of new competencies.
  • Stimulate and provoke discussion, audience engagement, and outcome-focused design.


  • Executive-level and emerging leaders in synagogues of all shapes and sizes.
  • Jewish community professionals, consultants, and affiliated partners.
  • Different types of adult learners.

About the Review & Selection Process


NATA strives to be inclusive and diverse when reviewing session proposals. Our process combines the collective input of peers, volunteer leaders, and professional staff to ensure that our members have a significant voice in co-creating the conference programming. Together, members and staff ensure that program content is timely, relevant, and targeted to attendee needs.

All proposals go through an initial blind review process when they are evaluated anonymously by the Conference Education Committee (CEC) members based on the rating criteria below. Proposals that meet a pre-determined average score then move forward to the next round of the selection process.

The CEC is comprised of NATA member volunteers and includes NATA staff. During the second round of review, the CEC further assesses the proposals to make recommendations for inclusion in the annual conference. At this stage the speaker information is revealed and becomes a part of the evaluation process.

Evaluation Criteria

The CEC considers the following criteria when evaluating submitted proposals:

  • Aligns with NATA's mission and vision.
  • Fits within the theme of the conference as outlined in the Request for Proposal (RFP).
  • Provides educational value to NATA members.
  • Offers interactive learning experiences/format.
  • Includes lasting strategies that can be implemented at participants’ home congregations.
  • Is expected to garner significant interest by attendees.
  • Appears to be innovative and unique in content and/or design.

Important Guidelines & Expectations

  • Limit submissions to 2 per person.
  • DO NOT include any reference to your name in the session title, description, or learning objectives. Only provide speaker information when asked for those details like name, bio, speaking history.
  • ALL proposals must be submitted using the online form.
  • Commit to providing a high-quality educational workshop.
  • Engage attendees through audience participation and discussion.
  • Coordinate with staff regarding any logistical needs.
  • Ensure the workshop is not perceived as an infomercial for any particular product, service, or organization.
  • NATA members who are accepted as presenters are expected to register for the conference at the discounted speaker rate and will cover their own travel and accommodations.
  • PLAN your submission in advance. You will not be able to save your application and return to it at a later time, so please collect your thoughts before going to the online form to make your submission process easier.
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