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Forums: Building Partnerships and Collaborations


Forum 3.1:

Teen Leadership for a Better World

The staff from Bridge Builders, an exciting Memphis-based youth leadership program for social change, will share activities, lessons learned, and advice for practitioners and organizational leaders who seek to build authentic youth leadership that betters their world.              

Chair, Ken Steinberg: Memphis, Tennessee


Dana Wilson, Vice President, Bridges

Mahal Burr, Coordinator of Bridge Builders, CHANGE

Alex Middleton, Curriculum and Training Coordinator, Bridge Builders

Location: Convention Center, 204/205 Room


Forum 3.2:

Finding Home: the Dilemma of Belonging

Indian-Jewish artist Siona Benjamin will discuss how she uses her art to engage JCC communities and invite deep conversations about what it means to belong. We will explore how JCCs are the place to belong, no matter which way you choose to be part of your Jewish community. Additionally, joined by Memphis JCC’s Arts and Culture director Marcy Stagner, we will talk about how arts and culture programming uniquely celebrates our large open tent, and lays the foundations for our extended communities to engage and partner with us.    

Chair: Lisie Gottdenker, Bethesda, Maryland


Siona Benjamin, Artist

Marcy Stagner , Program Director for Cultural Arts and Adult Services, Memphis JCC

Location: Convention Center, Mississippi Room


Forum 3.3:

Day Camp: The next “big thing” for Jewish philanthropists?

At this interactive panel session, you’ll hear from leaders of foundations already deeply committed to informal Jewish experiences but not yet captivated by Jewish day camp as a game-changing investment. Come hear what meaningful engagement looks like to them, what successful return on their investment would look like for a day camp, and what JCCs can do—starting this summer—to maximize the impact of the Jewish day camp experience for families.                                     

Chair: Thom Mandel, Akron, Ohio

Moderator: Steve Engel, CEO of Tamarack Camps


Barry Finestone, President and CEO, Jim Joseph Foundation

Harlene Winnick Appelman, Executive Director at Covenant Foundation

Mark Gold, Director, JCamp180, a program of the Harold Grinspoon Foundation

Location: Convention Center, Ballroom B



Forum 3.4:

Building Modern Communities of Meaning and Belonging

This interactive session will provide new and experienced community-builders with a refresher on the fundamentals of community building, as well as a fresh perspective on building modern Jewish communities of authenticity and depth.

Chair: Lisa Brill, Atlanta, Georgia

Presenter: Danya Shults, Founder, ARQ

Location: Convention Center, Sultana Room



Forum 3.5:

Family Engagement – Keeping our Children Safe

The Jewish community is not immune from the disturbing occurrences of sexual abuse of children in youth-serving organizations. Join us for an important conversation about proactively engaging families and protecting our children.

Chair: Andy Eisenberg, Boston, Massachusetts

Moderator: Joshua Avedon, Co-founder and CEO, Jumpstart Labs


Dr. Shira Berkovits, Founder and CEO, Sacred Space

Rochel Leah Bernstein, Deitcher, Founder, Child Safety Pledge

Adam Rosenberg, CEO, Baltimore Child Abuse Center


Location: Convention Center, Ballroom E



Forum 3.6:

Jewish Peoplehood: from Paradigm to Practice

Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.—Helen Keller. In today’s world, collaborating across the seas empowers and inspires. Come meet JCC Global leaders from around the world and learn how global JCC partnerships can enhance your mission and practice. We highly recommend you attend Avraham Infield’s presentation (Forum 2.5) as an introduction to the concepts of Jewish peoplehood, which are the premise of this session.

Chair: Adrienne Matros, JCC Global Amitim-Fellow, Board Member, Merage JCC of Orange County, California


Lia Amram, Board Member, Lisbon Jewish Community, Portugal

Aviad Friedman, IACC, Chair, Israel

Avi Hachuel, Executive Director, Rosh Pina Community Center, Israel

Monica Kibrit, Amitim-Fellow; Vice President of CDI Mexico

Dan Bernstein, JCC Global Amitim-Fellow, CEO, Merage JCC of Orange County, California

Wendy Stark, JCC Global Amitim-Fellow, Board Member, Merage JCC of Orange County, California

Jonathan Ornstein, Amitim-Fellow; Executive Director, JCC Krakow, Poland 

Aron Schuster, Deputy Director, ZWST, Frankfurt, Germany

Location: Convention Center, Ballroom D


Forum 3.7:

An Under-Used Resource: Engaging Boomers as Volunteers and More Active Program Participants

AARP has successfully engaged almost 60,000 volunteers across the country, leveraging extensive data on the demographics, interests, needs and activities of the senior population. Participants in this interactive session will learn about AARP successes and begin to develop an action plan for their JCC.

Chair: Sue Strait, Milwaukee, Wisconsin


Megan Stevens Hookey, Vice President, Office of Volunteerism Services, AARP

Sharon Gordon, Chief Program Officer, JCC MetroWest, West Orange, New Jersey

Location: Convention Center, Ballroom C


Forum 3.8:

Made in Detroit:  Partners in Community (pre – registration required)

This session describes how the Detroit JCC used the chevruta, or learning partners, model to bridge the religious divide in its community.

Chair: Carol Weintraub-Fogel, West Bloomfield, Michigan


Gary Torgow, Chairman, Chemical Bank, Founder, Partners Detroit

Rabbi Bentzy Schechter, Director, Partners Detroit

Mark A. Lit, President, MJL Associates

Location: Convention Center, Steamboat Room

Event Timeslots (1)

Monday, May 7, 2018

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