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Rabbis and Rebbetzins partake in Marriage Preparation Training

Last week a group of Rabbis and Rebbetzins of the Rabbinical Council of Victoria (RCV) participated in a two-day training course learning about the relationship education and counselling tool PREPARE/ENRICH. The National Coordinator or PREPARE/ENRICH, Mandi Smith led the training which was hosted at Caulfield Shule. The primary focus was showing the group how to use the program as a marriage preparation or enrichment tool. The workshop also provided the group with practical skills they can use in their work with couples and important messages about how couples need to be intentional to have healthy marriages and strong emotional intimacy.

The areas the training covered were the interpersonal areas, where many couples can struggle, such as communication and conflict management. Additionally, financial management, personality, relationship roles, family & friends, family of origin and other relevant influences that affect couples through their lives were explored. On the second day three Rabbi’s attended who have used PREPARE/ENRICH for some time and were able to share their experiences of working with the program with Jewish couples which was of great benefit to the rest of the group.

Mandi was impressed with the lively group dynamic and the enthusiasm shown by the Rabbis and Rebbetzins. “It is wonderful and so encouraging that helping couples as they prepare for marriage, or to enrich those who are already married, is high on the agenda of the people who attended the training. I enjoyed my time delivering this training immensely”.

Rabbi Ralph Genende,VP of the RCV and its Professional development coordinator commented:

“The RCV’s Yad B’Yad Marriage relationship program is based on the Prepare-Enrich questionnaire

The questions take account of the Jewish culture and religious context to which participants belong. The emphasis is on building healthy relationships and teaching problem-solving skills.

It's a reminder to couples that marriage isn't about the 5-6 hrs that a wedding lasts but about staying together for 50-60 years. It focuses on the families they come from and how this impacts on their relationship, strengthening communication and conflict management, prudent financial decisions. It helps couples recognize that conflict and challenge is normal to all marriages including and perhaps especially the most successful ones. It gives couples tools to communicate better, resolve differences or live with them more productively, to know that when they have problems they can't resolve to seek help.

Having their rabbi facilitate the process not only strengthens the rabbi-couple relationship, it deepens the couple’s connection to community and reminds them that spiritual growth and relationship strength are interwoven.”

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