Senior Development Professionals Retreat 2024

Register before:

Wed, 07/17/2024 - 23:59
- ET
Registration Fees:
Prizmah Network schools $480 per person
Non-network schools $600 per person
Canadian Prizmah Network schools $360 US per person
Canadian non-network schools $450 US per person (Code: CADNON)


The registration system will automatically determine whether or not your school has joined the Prizmah Network, and will charge the appropriate price for all US schools and for Canadian Prizmah Network schools. Participants from Canadian Non-network schools should use the discount code CADNON to activate Canadian school pricing.

Elizabeth Abel, Tamar Appel, Eric Javier
Traci Reisberg
Development Professionals

Register before:

Registration is Open!

Monday, July 15, 2024 - Wednesday, July 17, 2024 // 9-11 Tamuz 5784
Hosted at Golda Och Academy (West Orange, New Jersey.)

Join the 8th annual Senior Development Professionals Retreat hosted at Golda Och Academy in West Orange, New Jersey. This intentionally designed experience for senior development professions will provide the opportunity to network, collaborate and learn from one another in meaningful, thought-provoking ways. Deepen your connection to a community of colleagues with powerful learning and practical conversations. Together with peers from across North America, explore ideas that work and innovative approaches that you can bring back and apply to your own school and community.

In-person learning and networking is invaluable and amplifies the work of our schools and the field of day school fundraising. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to spend time together again this summer.

This program is open to veteran school-based development professionals, which are often categorized as professionals with 8 or more years of fundraising experience. If you are interested in the retreat but have fewer than 8 years of experience, please be in touch with Traci Reisberg.

Program Outline

To make the most out of this experience, please plan on participating in-person for the entire retreat.

The program will begin at 1:00 PM on Monday, July 15, 2024 and end at 2:00 PM on Wednesday, July 17, 2024.  The schedule below is subject to change and a final schedule will be sent to participants in advance of the retreat. 

Monday, July 15, 2024

12:00 PM    Registration opens, light lunch available
1:00 PM    Welcome and opening session
2:00 PM    Giving USA Report: Impact on our relationships with donors/investors and a sneak peak into CCS’s report on Jewish philanthropy post October 7. (Elizabeth Abel and Eric Javier, CCS Fundraising)
4:15 PM    Assessing our strengths to guide our relational work
5:30 PM    Participant presentations:
            Michael Bressman (Golda Och Academy): Crisis fundraising 
            Amy Klotz (Rashi School): Comprehensive campaigns
6:30 PM    Dinner

Tuesday, July 16, 2024

8:30 AM    Breakfast
9:00 AM    Conversation with Rebecca Hindin, Director of Jewish Day School Initiatives at the Jewish Federation of Greater Metrowest: Building relationships with federations
9:30 AM    Ethical considerations in donor relations
11:00 AM    Endowment - the forever relationship 
12:15 PM    Lunch
1:15 PM    Travel to Golda Och Upper School for a school tour and social action project, in memory of our colleague, Frances Bigman z”l
3:15 PM    Relational dilemma’s of practice
4:15 PM    Participant presentation:
            Danny Spiegel (Milken School): Strategic major donor planning
5:00 PM    Donor panel: unpacking donor motivations and relationships
6:30 PM    Dinner

Wednesday, July 17, 2024

8:30 AM    Breakfast
9:00 AM    Participant presentation:
            Stephanie Bash-Soudry (Golda Och Academy): Building a strong advancement team
9:45 AM    Roundtable Conversation:  The director of development and the head of school
10:30 AM    Maximizing the relationship with our teams: supervising, coaching and managing up (Tamar Appel, Hidden Sparks)
12:30 PM    Lunch
1:15 PM    Closing activity/wrap up
2:00 PM    Program ends

Meals and Snacks

Registration fees include lunch and dinner on Monday; breakfast, lunch and dinner on Tuesday and breakfast and lunch on Wednesday. Snacks and beverages will be provided throughout the retreat.

All food served at the Senior Development Professionals Retreat will be strictly kosher. More information about the catering arrangements and kosher supervision will be made available to participants in advance of the gathering.

Hotel and Travel Information

For your convenience, Prizmah has arranged a block of hotel rooms at The Courtyard by Marriott West Orange (8 Rooney Circle) at a reduced rate of $169 per night, available on a first-come-first-served basis until June 1, 2024. Please book here.

Golda Och Academy about 45 minutes west of NYC. We will be meeting at our Wilf Lower School Campus, located at 122 Gregory Avenue, West Orange. If you are traveling by plane, please fly to Newark Airport (EWR), which is a 20 minute drive from the school. If you are traveling by train on Amtrak from DC or Boston, the best stop is Newark Penn Station, which is also about 20 minutes away. From NYC, take NJ Transit to either South Orange or Millburn (10 min from the school). Ride shares are easily accessible at the airport and all train stations. We are happy to help arrange participant connections for shared travel.


Elizabeth Abel
Senior Vice President

Elizabeth Abel is a thought leader in Jewish philanthropy and expert in nonprofit fundraising. She has led capital campaigns and development initiatives that have collectively raised nearly one billion dollars for Jewish, education, arts and culture, healthcare, and advocacy organizations. Since joining CCS in 2013, Elizabeth has partnered with institutions to plan and implement large-scale fundraising campaigns with revenue goals ranging from $5 million to over $1 billion. In this role, she provides counsel on strategic planning, major gifts fundraising, and board engagement. Elizabeth has also directed feasibility and campaign planning studies, served in interim development roles, and managed annual campaigns and special fundraising events.


Beyond her work at CCS and for the past six years, Elizabeth has taught a philanthropy course at the University of Pennsylvania to graduate students in the Nonprofit Leadership Program. She serves on the School of Social Policy and Practice (SP2) Dean’s Alumni Advisory Board, and in 2020, she was inducted into the SP2 Alumni Hall of Fame for her work with mission-driven organizations. Elizabeth has received industry recognition for her commitment to the nonprofit sector: in 2024, she was recognized by the New York Jewish Week in their annual “36 to Watch” as a “thought leader in Jewish philanthropy;” and in 2022, BELLA Magazine recognized Elizabeth as a “Woman of Influence in Philanthropy.” Elizabeth holds a Masters in Nonprofit Leadership from the University of Pennsylvania and a Bachelor of Arts from Tufts University. Elizabeth resides in New York with her husband and their two daughters.


Director of Education

Tamar is the Director of Education at Hidden Sparks, an organization that partners with Jewish day schools to increase their capacity to serve all learners. Previously, she was the Associate Principal of Ma’ayanot Yeshiva High School for Girls for 12 years. Tamar believes that communication and understanding one’s own areas of strength and opportunities for growth are crucial components of leadership development. Tamar was a member of the 2015-2016 YOU Lead (then YU Lead) cohort and then served on the editorial board of the Prizmah journal HaYidion. She also participated in the 2018 Harvard Graduate School of Education’s Summer Institute for Principals. Tamar has undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Pennsylvania. She lives with her husband and sons in Englewood, NJ.

Principal & Managing Director

Eric is the Principal & Managing Director at CCS Fundraising. For more than 20 years he has been a trusted advisor to leading nonprofit executives, trustees, and development leaders. He has helped design and implement more than 200 fundraising campaigns and initiatives that have raised over $2 billion to make a positive difference in communities all around the world.

Eric’s primary areas of expertise include feasibility and planning studies; capital and endowment campaigns; major donor programs; principal gift solicitation strategies; strategic development planning; case messaging and storytelling; board development; and coaching and training. “The truest definition of philanthropy is ‘love of humanity.’ It’s a privilege to work with passionate leaders who are working so hard to make positive change in the world. Philanthropy is the fuel that makes that change possible,” says Eric. Eric frequently speaks about philanthropy and development strategy at professional conferences, including the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS), and the League of American Orchestras. Eric is a proud graduate of Regis High School and the College of the Holy Cross. He resides in Westchester, NY with his wife, Kristin, their two daughters, and rescued dog, Oscar.