December 2-6, 2017

See you in Boston at this very special conference celebrating 75 years of NATA!

Saturday, December 2 – Wednesday, December 6, 2017

THEME: Working for Today, Innovating for Tomorrow: The Ever-Evolving Role of the Executive Director

We encourage you to take advantage of the opportunity to demonstrate your synagogue’s respect and support by taking out a 2017 NATA Tribute Ad in the conference Program Book and/or nominating your administrator for a 2017 NATA Award.        

Michael Kancher Officer Oversight, Bekki Harris Kaplan, Co-Chair, Michael Liepman, Executive Director, Jack Feldman, Co-Chair

Dear Friends,

Welcome to beautiful Boston where we will be gathering for the 2017 NATA Conference. We’re proud to share that we have an amazing and thoughtful conference planned, one you won’t want to miss. And if you’ve never been, now’s the time!  We have strived to find ways to welcome those who are new and find new ways to engage those who have been coming for years.  The theme of the conference focuses on synagogues now and into the future.  Each and every one of us works in a leadership position trying to help our congregations navigate through a dynamic Jewish marketplace. The skillsets that have allowed us to prosper may not always be the most useful as we move into the future of congregational life. Our belief is that taking a few days to learn together and challenge one another will help us retool and push boundaries allowing us to lead in new and exciting ways.  PLEASE NOTE: We will be starting the conference at 3:00 p.m. on Saturday for those who can make it, with a special session with David Trietsch on facilitating challenging conversations. For more information check out the Education page.  

It’s not too late to get involved in the planning!  For more information and to find ways to engage, please contact either: Bekki Harris Kaplan or Jack Feldman.

See you in Boston!

Jack Feldman, Co-chair
Bekki Harris Kaplan, Co-chair
Dan Deutsch, Education Co-chair
Rachel Gross, Education Co-chair

P.S. The conference early bird registration fee of $800 covers all sessions and materials, and most of the meals. Also included is an exciting trip to Jillian’s, which is located next to Fenway Park. As you make your flight arrangements, please consider arriving in time for the first formal session of the conference: Facilitating Challenging Conversations with David Trietsch.  It will take place on Saturday afternoon at 3:00 pm.  More information about this session and the entire conference is coming soon! The conference will end after the closing banquet on Tuesday night.




Built in 1927, the Omni Parker House is a historic hotel in Boston, Massachusetts. The original Parker House Hotel opened on the site on October 8, 1855, making it the longest continuously operating hotel in the United States.

The first American lighthouse was built in Boston Harbor in 1716.

Boston is home to the oldest public park in the United States. Boston Common is a stretch of green sanctuary that dates back to 1634.

If you are looking for a “Happy Hour”, you won’t find one in Boston! They are against the law and have been banned since 1984.

The Fig Newton is named after a Boston suburb. Hint: it’s the home of Temple Emanuel, Temple Shalom and Temple Beth Avodah!

The Red Sox have a patent on a color! Fenway Park’s Green Monster is so renowned that the Red Sox have actually patented the shade “Fenway Green.”

Boston was home to the first US chocolate factory. It was built in the Lower Mills section in the Dorchester neighborhood of Boston.

The first US subway was built in Boston, the Tremont subway, built in 1897.

Beantown is really about baked beans! The nickname was due to the popularity of the baked beans in molasses among it’s early residents.

The Boston University Bridge’s claim to fame is that it’s the only place anywhere in the world where a boat can sail under a train going under a vehicle driving under an airplane.

Celebrities Mark Wahlberg, Uma Thurman and Barbara Walters were all born in Boston.

$100 million in paintings were stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum on March 18, 1990. Two thieves posing as cops stole 12 paintings.

Do you enjoy bowling? Boston gave us candlepin bowling in 1880.

Boston is home to the first US public beach, named Revere Beach.

Christmas was once banned in Boston! Between 1659-1681, it was against the law because the Pilgrims believed it to be a corrupted holiday. So what changed?

Boston’s Ted Williams Tunnel is the deepest in North America, running nearly 90 feet underneath the earth’s surface.

Not many cities are as tied to a food as Boston with their eponymous Cream Pie. Not only did the Omni Parker House Hotel create this piece of deliciousness in 1856, but they’re still serving up the original version in the restaurant nearly 160 years later. Technically, this chocolate topped golden cake filled with pastry cream is really a cake and not a pie.

Charles Dickens resided in the Parker House for five months in 1867-1868 in his own apartments; he first recited and performed “A Christmas Carol” for the Saturday Club at the Parker House, then again at nearby Tremont Temple.[The Parker House currently holds possession of the door to Dickens’ guest room when he stayed in 1867 and the mirror used by him for rehearsals.

John F. Kennedy  announced his candidacy for Congress at the Parker House in 1946 and also held his bachelor party in the hotel’s Press Room in 1953. Hotel management pointed out to our conference chairs the place where JFK proposed to Jackie in the hotel restaurant.

Malcolm X, then going by the name Malcolm Little, worked as a busboy at the hotel in the 1940s. Long before he was a culinary superstar, Emeril Lagasse served as Sous Chef in the Parker kitchens from 1979 to 1981.

In March, 1877, Mark Twain stayed at the Parker House in room 168 and famously commented to a reporter, “You see for yourself that I’m pretty near heaven—not theologically, of course, but by the hotel standard.”




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