JCPA2017: The Path Forward Feb 25-28, Washington, DC: At Time of Unprecedented National Debate Jewish Communal Leaders Convene to Shape Agenda Under the New Administration

by Haya Luftig

New York, NY — The first weeks of the new administration have been a dizzying roller-coaster ride for Americans; a time of unprecedented divisiveness, protests and debate about the nature of our democracy. The Jewish community in particular faces a number of difficult challenges in the months and years ahead.

We are living in exciting, volatile times. It is within this context that the Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA) is hosting its annual conference, JCPA2017: The Path Forward, which will take place February 25-28 at the Capital Hilton in Washington, D.C. The annual conference — formerly known as the Plenum — is where hundreds of activists come together to shape our community relations agenda as the voice of our 125 Community and 16 National Member Agencies.

Characterized by a high degree of engagement on timely and relevant topics within an inclusive setting, JCPA2017 aims to raise the bar ever higher, convening thought leaders, community leaders, pundits, observers, policy makers and others from across the wide swath of communal life at this crucial moment in our nation’s history.

The schedule of JCPA2017 is focused on timely, hot-button topics including Fighting Anti-Semitism and Islamophobia; the Civil Rights Challenges of 2017; The Global Refugee/Humanitarian Crisis; Criminal Justice Reform; the Implications of the Forthcoming 50th Anniversary of Israel’s Six Day War; the Challenges of the New Administration; America’s Status as a Nation of Immigrants and other matters that have dominated the headlines and news broadcasts in recent weeks and months.

Among the prestigious roster of presenters at JCPA2017 are Cornell Brooks, President and CEO of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP); Marcia Greenberger, Founder and Co-President of the National Women’s Law Center; Wajahat Ali, journalist, lawyer, consultant for the U.S. State Department and Creative Director of Affinis Labs; Aaron David Miller, Vice President for New Initiatives and a Distinguished Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars; Rabbi Batya Steinlauf, Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington’s Director of Social Justice and Interfaith Initiatives; Wade Henderson, President of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and counsel to the Leadership Conference Education Fund; Glenn E. Martin, President and Founder of JustLeadershipUSA(JLUSA); Gidi Grinstein, Founder of the Reut Institute; Reverend Dr. Roy W. Howard, Pastor of Saint Mark Presbyterian Church in North Bethesda Maryland; William C. Daroff, Senior Vice President for Public Policy and Director of the Washington Office of The Jewish Federations of North America; Rabbi Leonard Gordon, co-chair of Interfaith Partners for Peace; Reverend Todd Stavrakos, pastor of the Gladwyne Presbyterian Church (GPC) …and many more.

The JCPA reflects a unique and inclusive partnership of national member agencies, local community relations councils and committees, and the federations of which they are a component part or affiliated agency. It convenes the “common table” around which member agencies, through an open, representative, inclusive and consensus-driven process, meet to identify issues, articulate positions, and develop strategies, programs, and approaches designed to advance the public affairs goals and objectives of the organized Jewish community.

A leading voice for civility, the JCPA’s leadership role is needed now, more than ever.

Due to the rapid political changes underway, we are tweaking and adapting our program so as to address the most current situation. Please visit for our schedule and list of speakers but check often as we will be updating information.

JCPA2017 is an exciting and intense three-day communal experience. We hope you will join us and report on this important event. Due to the attendance of many representatives from the Jewish Community Relations Councils around the country, this a national story with local interest. Do not hesitate to contact us for specific details or local sources.

For further information or to RSVP please contact Shira Dicker at or 917.403.3989. PLEASE NOTE: Press must receive security clearance prior to the conference.


The mission of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs is to lead, support, shape, coordinate and represent the Jewish community relations movement in order to advance the interests of the Jewish people, support Israel’s quest for peace and security, and promote a just American society and world. JCPA represents 125 local Jewish Community Relations Councils and 16 national Jewish agencies.

About the Author

Haya Luftig