Convention 2020

April 23-25, 2020 in Chicago, IL


 Leading with Soul: Becoming Your Authentic Self
Facilitator: SooJi Min-Maranda, Executive Director, ALEPH: Alliance for Jewish Renewal
During this Shabbat workshop, come actively practice Jewish mindfulness meditation and embodied movement. Through this lens, learn how to build compassion for the self and others so that you can truly connect and lead authentically. Together, we will begin to awaken our hearts, slow down our minds, learn to move together, and increase our resilience to do difficult social justice work.

Using Stories for Social Change
Facilitator: Judith Rosenbaum, Chief Executive Officer, Jewish Women’s Archive
The stories of NCJW’s 125-year history need to be heard, honored and preserved. Story Aperture, a new story-collecting app from the Jewish Women’s Archive (JWA), provides a fun, simple, and interactive way to capture and celebrate your stories and to add them to the larger narrative of Jewish women. In this workshop, JWA staff will offer an engaging, inter-generational experience that will honor the stories of veteran advocates, while inspiring and empowering young leaders to carry the organization into the next century.

 From Tzedakah to Tzedek, Charity to Justice
Facilitator: Abby Cortrin, Chicago Program Director, Avodah
This workshop will put direct service within the larger context of systemic poverty. By exploring the root causes of poverty and large-scale systems related to poverty, you will understand the opportunities and limitations inherent in direct service. Further, you will develop plans to create or adapt current direct service projects in light of these learnings through an interactive component.

A Public Health Approach to Gun Violence Prevention
Facilitator: Logan Zinman Gerber, National Campaign Organizer, Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism
Learn concrete organizing skills through the lens of gun violence prevention. Come to this session to gain knowledge about the scope of gun violence in America, learn solutions that address gun violence using a public health model, and practice creating an organizing strategy. Share your own knowledge and experience as we build a comprehensive plan for how to proactively reduce gun violence. You will also engage in a simulation where you act as an organizer tasked with building a campaign to pass the Extreme Risk Protection Order legislation. Everything you learn is applicable to your community and to ANY issue.

How to Build a Pipeline of Young Leaders
Facilitators: Amanda Stein, Board Member, NCJW St. Louis Section and  Ellen Alper, Chief Executive Officer, NCJW St. Louis Section
Are you looking to engage new members? Would you like some of your members to deepen their involvement with NCJW? Do you need a pipeline for volunteers to become board members? Come learn how to model NCJW St. Louis’ leadership class in your community and hear how the section has used evaluation data to evolve its leadership program. You will walk away with essential resources and a plan for creating a leadership class in your own section.

Trans Inclusion in Jewish Organizations
Facilitator: Essie Shachar-Hill, Chicago Education and Training Manager, Keshet
Join Keshet, the national organization working for LGBTQ equality in Jewish life, to learn about transgender inclusion. While most organizations value inclusion, it takes a concerted effort and investment to put that vision into practice. This workshop will help you understand the basics of trans identities and trans inclusion and will provide you with the tools to effect change in your organization. This session will explore core concepts of sex and gender, allowing you to acquire tangible tools for including transgender people and to understand the importance of trans inclusion through a Jewish lens.

 With Our Powers Combined: Using Direct Service and Organizing to Build Movements
Facilitators: Hannah Forman, Program Manager, Repair the World Detroit  and Emilia Diamant, JOIN for Justice
(Re)explore how to build strategic movements that intentionally integrate meeting immediate needs and creating system-wide change. Learn about the distinctive and overlapping demographics that direct service and organizing attract, and how we can leverage this to broaden our bases without diluting our messages. Dive into examples of how Feminist movements that incorporate organizing and volunteering can increase sustainability and engage a more diverse and cross-sectional base. Then, imagine how to implement these strategies in your own work.

Taking White Nationalism to Court: Charlottesville
Facilitator: Amy Spitalnick, Executive Director, Integrity First for America
With anti-Semitism, racism, xenophobia, and other forms of bigotry on the rise, Integrity First for America’s Charlottesville lawsuit uniquely takes on the leadership of the extremist white nationalist movement –– making clear that violence and hate have no place here. In August 2017, neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and other far-right extremists descended on Charlottesville, VA –– orchestrating a weekend of violence that resulted in Heather Heyer’s death and extensive injuries. Integrity First for America’s landmark lawsuit was filed on behalf of a diverse coalition of students and community members injured, taking on the extremists and hate groups responsible and holding them accountable for their violent conspiracy. In this workshop, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of the rise of white nationalism and violent extremism and learn concrete tools to fight back through advocacy, partnership, and more.

From Vision to Reality: Project Development
Facilitator: Renee Karp, President, NCJW Dallas Section
Looking to start new projects in your section? Learn how to use each stage of development to heighten your impact and effectiveness. This workshop will interactively lead you through the process of project visioning, research, design, and evaluation, providing detailed resources each step of the way. Using this approach, you will learn how to create a Research and Development team in your section, how to choose the best people to serve on this team, and what criteria to set for this assessment. You will also explore the methods for creating the implementation team that will make your project a reality, as well as how to design the criteria to evaluate your project. When you decide to launch a new project back home, you will have all the tools you need to implement this process.

Taking Action for Asylum Seekers: Ideas and Strategies for your Community
Facilitators: Merrill Zack, Vice President for Community Engagement, HIAS, Bettie Forman, NCJW Austin Section, and Elyse Rosenberg, Texas State Policy Advocate, NCJW Austin Section
At a time when our asylum system is under attack and the US is failing to meet a basic obligation to victims of war, terror, torture, and persecution, how can we – as US citizens and as Jews – take action for asylum seekers? In this workshop, you will be briefed on the impact of US policy at the US/Mexico border, learn about national advocacy and service approaches, and hear from NCJW Austin about their efforts. Through a social justice lens, you will have the opportunity to learn from each other and brainstorm ideas for local action in support of asylum seekers and preserving the Jewish and American values of welcoming immigrants in our country.