Tune in to JCPA’s CRCast series, in which we tackle the issues of the day. In each webcast, JCPA’s David Bernstein interviews a special guest expert or practitioner about the most pressing topics that are affecting the Jewish community and the Community Relations field. From the rise of anti-Semitism worldwide to the new Administration to the challenges facing Israel , we will provide insight into not just complex issues, but practical solutions.
The CRCast airs every other Wednesday when you can watch it live or on our YouTube page at your convenience. Hope you find it useful and share it far and wide.
MARCH 28 at 4:00 P.M. Overcoming Political Polarization: Dialogue Across Differences
Today’s politics are more divisive than ever. What are the root causes of this problem? How can we create a political culture that allows for dialogue across differences and the potential to find common ground?
Rob Fersh is the President and Founder of Convergence Center for Policy Resolution, a non-profit organization founded in 2009 to promote consensus solutions to issues of domestic and international importance. Immediately prior, Rob served as the United States country director for Search for Common Ground, an international conflict resolution organization. While at SFCG, he directed national policy consensus projects on health care coverage for the uninsured and U.S.-Muslim relations.
In the 1986-98 period, Rob served as president of the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC), a leading NGO working to alleviate hunger in the United States. Rob also served on the staffs of three Congressional committees, working for U.S. Representative Leon Panetta and for Senators Patrick Leahy and Edmund Muskie. While a Congressional staff member and at FRAC, he was deeply involved in shepherding passage of bipartisan legislation to reduce hunger in the United States.
Rob has held additional positions in the federal executive branch and non-profit sector. He was a 1994 recipient of the Prudential Foundation Prize for Non-Profit Leadership. Rob holds a law degree from Boston University and a bachelor’s degree in Industrial and Labor Relations from Cornell University, where he has served as a guest lecturer and co-instructor of a course on collaborative decision making and public policy. He is married, has four children, and one grandchild.
MARCH 14 at 2:00 P.M. The Global Jewish Advocacy Agenda
What role do American Jews play in global affairs? How can we make a difference in how other countries relate to Israel, view anti-Semitism, and pursue human rights?
David Harris is the CEO of AJC: Global Jewish Advocacy, and has led them since 1990. Described by the late Israeli President Shimon Peres as the “foreign minister of the Jewish people,” he has been invited to speak at some of the world’s most prestigious forums. He has been honored a total of 15 times by governments around the world for his international efforts in defense of human rights, advancement of the transatlantic partnership, and dedication to the Jewish people.
FEBRUARY 28 at 2:00 P.M. What’s at Stake with the Census? Literally Everything!
The U.S. Census is just around the corner, yet it is already riveted with controversy. It’s not just a matter of numbers, it’s a matter of the future political map, and which groups get fair and accurate representation.
Terri Ann Lowenthal is a nationally recognized expert and frequent speaker on the U.S. census and policy issues affecting federal statistics. During a 14-year career as a congressional aide, she was staff director of the House census oversight subcommittee from 1987-94, and later covered the Census Bureau and broader federal statistical activities for the 2008 Obama Presidential Transition Team. Terri advises FCCP’s Funders Census Initiative (FCI 2020), The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, state and local governments, and business and industry data users. Previously, she was a co-director of The Census Project (and its predecessor, the Census 2000 Initiative) and frequently posted on the Census Project Blog.
FEBRUARY 14 at 4:00 p.m. Encountering Palestinian Narratives
Encounter was formed in 2007 to expose American Jewish leaders to Palestinian narratives. To this date a number of JCRC leaders have participated. Why is it important for Jewish leaders to understand the Palestinian experience? What does Encounter hope to accomplish in this work?
Yona Shem-Tov has worked as a Jewish educator for over 20 years. Prior to joining Encounter in 2011, Yona pursued graduate studies at The Hebrew University and doctoral research in Education and Jewish Studies at New York University as a Wexner Graduate Fellow.
JANUARY 31 at 2:00 P.M. What’s in our children’s textbooks (and what to do about it)?
How can we ensure unbiased Middle East education in our Public and Private Schools today? As text books become more outdated, how can we make sure Israel and the Jewish people are properly represented? The Institute for Curriculum Services (ICS) promotes accurate educational materials and instruction on Jews, Judaism, and Israel for America’s K-12 students. Its work impacts the quality of education for the millions of public and private school students who learn about Jewish subjects in social studies classes each year.
Aliza Craimer Elias is the Director of the Institute for Curriculum Services. She became ICS’s first full-time staff person in 2006, after completing her Masters with distinction in Modern Jewish Studies at Oxford. Aliza oversees ICS’s internal operations and external relationships with JCRCs and publishers. She spearheads ICS’s resource development, communications, and the development of new research and initiatives, such as the five-year, million dollar Texas project that successfully improved the accuracy of textbooks in one of the most influential states on the textbook market and ICS’s national professional development scale up.
NOVEMBER 27 at 4:00 P.M. The Atmosphere on College Campuses: Michigan as a Case Study
A discussion with University of Michigan Hillel Executive Director Tilly Shames. Michigan has been one of the most popular schools for Jewish students. After many failed attempts, however, student government recently passed a BDS resolution. What was the atmosphere on campus before and after this resolution? What can be done to ensure that Michigan remains a hospitable environment for all its students?
Tilly Shames is the Executive Director of University of Michigan Hillel. Tilly has worked with Hillels in Toronto and Michigan for 14 years in various positions, including Director of Israel Affairs and Associate Director, before becoming Executive Director at the University of Michigan in 2012.
OCTOBER 11 at 4:00 P.M. Ongoing Iranian Nuclear Threat
Mark Dubowitz is the CEO of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), a Washington, D.C.-based nonpartisan policy institute, where he leads projects on Iran, sanctions, countering threat finance, and nonproliferation. He is an expert on Iran’s global network including the regime’s nuclear, terrorist, missile and cyber threats to the United States and other allies, and is widely recognized as one of the key influencers in shaping sanctions policies to counter the threats emanating from Iran and its surrogates.
SEPTEMBER 27 at 4:00 P.M. Understanding and Responding to the White Supremacist Threat
Joseph Levin is co-founder of the Southern Poverty Law Center. From 1971 until 2004, he served the Center in various capacities, including Legal Director, Chair of the Board, President & CEO, and General Counsel, retiring in 2016. The Southern Poverty Law Center monitors hate groups and other extremists throughout the U.S. and exposes their activities to law enforcement agencies, the media and the public.
JULY 17 at 2:00 P.M. Slashing $10 billion in Jewish social services: What’s at stake for your community?
William Daroff is the Senior Vice President for Public Policy and Director of the Washington Office of JFNA. Daroff guides the Jewish community’s advocacy efforts on the Federation movement’s key domestic policy issues, principally on health and human services, such as Medicare and Medicaid, long-term care, and policies affecting older Americans, homeland security programs and strengthening the capacity of charities to care for those in need.
JULY 5 at 4:00 P.M. What is the Alt-Right (and What Should we do About Them)?
Marilyn Mayo is the Research Fellow at the Anti-Defamation League’s (ADL) Center on Extremism. Marilyn is an expert on right-wing extremists in the United States, ranging from white supremacists to academic racists to anti-immigrant groups. She has been with the ADL for 20 years, having previously served as the Associate Director of Investigative Research.
JUNE 21 at 4:00 P.M. Strategic Framework for Battling the Delegitimization of Israel
Gidi Grinstein is the founder of the Reut Institute, a non-profit organization, designed to be an effective force of change in Israel and the Jewish World. He is also the author of Flexigidity: Secret of Jewish Adaptability, a recent best-seller in Israel, and believes that a vibrant Diaspora is a Zionist imperative. Click here to read more.
JUNE 7 at 4:00 P.M. Lessons Learned 50 Years After the Six-Day War
Dr. Michael Oren is the Deputy Minister for Diplomacy and Special Envoy in the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office and served as Israel’s Ambassador to the United States from 2009-2013. He is a world-renowned historian and author and wrote a publication on Six Days of War which was a New York Times Bestseller. Click here to read more.
MAY 17 at 4:00 P.M. The Socially Responsible Investing Movements Influence
on Israel/BDS and Other Communal Concerns
Julie Hammerman is the Executive Director of JLens, an organization that serves as the bridge between the Jewish community and the increasingly influential responsible investing movement. JLens provides guidance on investing through a Jewish lens, and conducts shareholder advocacy with public companies on communal concerns (social, environmental, and support for Israel/combat BDS). Click here to read more.
MAY 3 at 4:00 P.M. Illegal: Reflections of an Undocumented Immigrant
Jose Angel N., author and advocate or writes about his experience as an
undocumented immigrant in the U.S. over the past 17 years.
A day after José Ángel N. first crossed the U.S. border from Mexico, he was caught and then released onto the streets of Tijuana. Undeterred, N. crawled back through a tunnel to San Diego, where he entered the United States to stay. Illegal: Reflections of an Undocumented Immigrant is his timely and compelling memoir of building a new life in America.Click Here to read more.