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Israel [clear filter]
Saturday, March 17
 

12:45pm

This Year in Jerusalem: Trump's Announcement, Middle East Policies, and Their Impact on U.S.-Israel Relations and the International Community
President Trump has introduced new Middle East policies, including the move of the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem. The policies have triggered an ongoing debate in Israel and within the Jewish community in the United States about their short- and long-term impact on U.S.-Israel relations and the role of Israel and the region more generally. The session will discuss recent legal and political developments in the United States, the drivers behind policy changes, and the consequences for the Middle East region.

Speakers
avatar for Efraim Chalamish

Efraim Chalamish

Efraim Chalamish is an international economic law scholar and practitioner. He has been involved in international legal practice in New York, Paris, and Israel, along with research and analysis of cutting- edge areas in public and private international economic law. He founded the... Read More →


Saturday March 17, 2018 12:45pm - 1:45pm
Room 12, Gates of Prayer

2:00pm

Reclaiming and Reaffirming Zionism as a Progressive Cause
How is it that a movement once understood as an aspiration toward morality and beauty is now wholesale condemned as the opposite? Early Zionists sought to transform the condition and the character of the Jewish people through a movement of national self-liberation. It was a movement that sought to achieve freedom, justice, and equality for a historically marginalized people, and through moral and humanitarian means. Zionism succeeded in many major ways, while it has failed to realize its vision in some ways as well. In this interactive session, we will explore the language, values, and aspirations of Zionism from its earlier days. With this understanding of Zionist philosophy, we will uncover a more moral and inclusive framework in which to relate to Israel, advocate for it, and even critique it. The ultimate goal of this program is to better comprehend and articulate the progressive nature of Zionism in a way that is both instructive and inspiring.

Speakers
avatar for Zachary Schaffer

Zachary Schaffer

Zachary Schaffer serves as the Community Strategy Associate at the Israel Action Network, a project of the Jewish Federations of North America. In this role, he counsels Jewish professionals and activists on relationship-building, advocacy, and storytelling. He empowers people to... Read More →


Saturday March 17, 2018 2:00pm - 3:00pm
Room 1, Gates of Prayer
 
Sunday, March 18
 

9:00am

From Iran to China: How World's Events are Changing Israel and the Middle East
Israel’s security and economy are always affected by world events. These events create opportunities for new strategic alliances, such as with India and the African continent, and also give old crises a new meaning. The session will look at recent developments in Asia, the Middle East, and other parts of the world, and how they change Israel’s strategic position.

Speakers
avatar for Efraim Chalamish

Efraim Chalamish

Efraim Chalamish is an international economic law scholar and practitioner. He has been involved in international legal practice in New York, Paris, and Israel, along with research and analysis of cutting- edge areas in public and private international economic law. He founded the... Read More →


Sunday March 18, 2018 9:00am - 10:00am
Older Adult Lounge, JCC

10:15am

Swords Into Plowshares: Building Partnerships Between Jewish and Arab Citizens of Israel
In Israel today, 22% of its citizens are Palestinian Arabs, and 78% are Jewish. Yet Jews and Arabs live in almost total separation from one another, and in the context of ongoing conflict between these two communities, the strengthening of partnership and “shared society” is of paramount importance. This session will focus on this shared society and partnership building in Israel. The Hand in Hand organization will be presented as a successful example of this kind of work. Background information on Jewish-Arab relations in Israel will be presented and a number of short videos will be screened. Ample time will be left for questions and discussion.

Speakers
avatar for Martha Freedman

Martha Freedman

A retired attorney specializing in immigration law, Martha Freedman currently serves on the boards of American Friends of Hand in Hand, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, and the Holocaust Museum Houston. She also serves on various committees of other non-profit boards... Read More →
avatar for Lee Gordon

Lee Gordon

Lee Gordon is co-founder of Hand in Hand and executive director of American Friends of Hand in Hand. He is a native of Portland, Oregon, and lived for 20 years in Israel, where he received a master’s degree in social work from Hebrew University and graduated from the Mandel Institute’s... Read More →


Sunday March 18, 2018 10:15am - 11:15am
Dance Studio, JCC

11:30am

Israel Delegitimization & BDS: What You Need to Know
The delegitimization movement uses many tactics to demonize Israel. Here, we explore the history, strategies, and emerging trends of the BDS movement. Some specific topics we may look at include intersectionality on college campuses, disinformation campaigns in churches, socially responsible investing in the corporate arena, and anti-normalization in progressive spaces. This session will help participants to better understand the history, goals, and tactics of the BDS movement in the context of its successes and failures.

Speakers
avatar for Zachary Schaffer

Zachary Schaffer

Zachary Schaffer serves as the Community Strategy Associate at the Israel Action Network, a project of the Jewish Federations of North America. In this role, he counsels Jewish professionals and activists on relationship-building, advocacy, and storytelling. He empowers people to... Read More →


Sunday March 18, 2018 11:30am - 12:30pm
Youth Activities Lounge, JCC

1:30pm

The Disarming Power of Narrative: How Storytelling Can Transform our Conversations about Israel
The ultimate goal of storytelling is emotionally experienced understanding – the cultivation of empathy. Effective narratives have the power to dismantle the defensiveness of those who hear them. By depoliticizing dialogue, stories engage the head and the heart, allowing people to transcend and transform our relationships with fear. An effective narrative does not just communicate facts; it uncovers the meaning and values behind the facts. When we hear a great story, we recognize ourselves in one another, and others in ourselves. This allows for more constructive and connective dialogue across difference. In this workshop, we will work towards better understanding and articulating the stories that define our relationships with Israel. After reviewing some storytelling methodologies and spending some time applying them to our experiences, participants will have the opportunity to practice sharing their stories with the group.

Speakers
avatar for Zachary Schaffer

Zachary Schaffer

Zachary Schaffer serves as the Community Strategy Associate at the Israel Action Network, a project of the Jewish Federations of North America. In this role, he counsels Jewish professionals and activists on relationship-building, advocacy, and storytelling. He empowers people to... Read More →


Sunday March 18, 2018 1:30pm - 2:30pm
Youth Activities Lounge, JCC

2:45pm

Resilience in the Face of Chronic Trauma: Lessons from Israel
This session presents the findings of an innovative research study that found a set of 83 "trauma truisms” related to buffering, or protective mechanisms, which contribute to resilience from the trauma associated with living in conditions of the chronic threat from terror and war.   This research was carried out in Israel with a group of the country’s leading trauma experts.  The session reports on the process by which an expert panel generated this set of truisms. Each has practice implications and can be translated into behaviors that enhance the likelihood of resilience in the face of trauma.

Speakers
avatar for Ron Marks

Ron Marks

Ron Marks is Dean Emeritus at the Tulane School of Social Work, having just stepped down after 15 years in that position. His PhD is in social welfare from the School of Social Work at the University of Pittsburgh; he also has an MSW and a master’s degree in public health. Ron has... Read More →


Sunday March 18, 2018 2:45pm - 3:45pm
Youth Activities Lounge, JCC