Retreat Institute - Experiential Jewish Education » Overview of Process

Overview of Process

Overview of Process

A quality retreat or program requires an intensive planning process over 3-5 months. RI projects are calendared by June of the new program year. Our staff are available, year-round, for collegial consultation and loan of  educational materials on a variety of themes and topics.

 Working in Partnership

The RI acts as a planning partner to an institution, offering consultation and facilitation of all aspects of the project, including educational content and design, program and logistical resources, recruitment strategies, staff training, budgeting and financial support. Each institution designates a member of their staff as their Retreat Liaison who works with an RI educator, forming the primary planning team. They determine additional people to be involved in the planning process.

Each institution has full ownership and responsibility for any project that the RI supports.

Stage One: Beginning a Collaborative Partnership

A Jewish Institution’s approved and confirmed proposal is the starting point of the project planning process. This stage consists of establishing a planning timeline, clarifying the goals, theme and values to infuse into the experience, developing recruitment strategies, identifying staffing needs, attending to the budget, and beginning to define roles and responsibilities regarding program, and administrative tasks.

Stage Two: Developing the Experience

The framework and context are developed, along with a flow of activities that contribute towards a deep and meaningful experience. Administratively, this stage consists of determining the site logistics, menu planning, and the technical aspects of producing materials, and obtaining supplies. Recruitment efforts are implemented. Education and counselor staff are hired by the partner institution, and the two liaisons develop their training and preparation.

Stage Three: Implementation 

This stage is the retreat/program itself. It is the fruition of months devoted to formulating an experience that integrates the best of educational and administrative planning.

Stage Four: Program and Process Evaluation

This stage provides the opportunity for the partner institution and the RI to reflect on both the process of planning and the experience itself. Participant feedback is reviewed and the institution’s retreat staff meet to debrief the experience, and record notes for future projects.