JCPA2017: It’s A Wrap

The Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA)’s Annual Conference brought together nearly 200 of the top Jewish community relations lay leaders and professionals to discuss and debate a path forward on important issues at a time when our community and our nation are divided. We also focused on strengthening the power of the community relations network at a time it needs to be the most effective.

As one of the last remaining forums that convenes members from the left and the right, Orthodox and Reform, lively disagreements about politics and engaging with the new Administration abounded. But one sentiment that all seemed to agree on was the necessity of reaching out to a diverse array of ethnic and religious groups. In policy-driven sessions, participants not only learned from experts, but also from their peers, who showcased their successful models for local community engagement on civil rights, immigration and refugee policy, policing and criminal justice reform, and advancing a two-state solution.

We have put together an overview of the Conference with resources and links to some of our major sessions for those who were not able to attend or would like to share these exciting discussions with their networks.

At the Conference:


Cheryl Fishbein
JCPA Chair

Vivian Bass and Renny Wolfson
Co-Chairs of JCPA2017

JCPA Presented Awards to William Daroff, Marcia Greenberger, and Wade Henderson


Rabbi David Saperstein
presenting William Daroff
with the Tikkun Olam Award
Judith L. Lichtman presenting
Marcia Greenberger with the
Albert D. Chernin Award
Rabbi David Saperstein
presenting Wade Henderson
with the Tzedek Award


JCPA Passed Three New Policy Resolutions

After a rousing debate, JCPA approved resolutions on domestic and sexual violence, voting rights, and on the 50th anniversary of the unification of Jerusalem in the wake of Israel’s 1967 Six Day War. To read the resolutions click below:



JCPA Launched its Criminal Justice Reform Initiative

Packed sessions grappled with how to reengage the Jewish Community in Civil Rights work with a specific focus on Criminal Justice Reform. The Conference opened with a plenary session featuring Glenn E. Martin and Rabbi Jonah Pesner followed by breakout groups featuring top leaders in the field focusing on Juvenile Justice, Life After Lock-Up and Police Reform.




Click on the links below to watch video recordings:


JCPA’s Workshops Addressed Policy Concerns Since the 2016 Elections & How To Strengthen the Community Relations Network


The Israel Sessions Focused on Countering BDS and Achieving a Two-State Solution

Some highlights –



The Conference Ended with Two Powerful Plenary Sessions That You Can View

We were honored to have NAACP President, Cornell Brooks, speak to our Board and our Conference participants.


Overall, our goal was to grapple with the major challenges facing our volunteer leaders and professionals. We built on our strong foundation of national policy setting and our expertise in community outreach with legislators, civil, interfaith, and ethnic leaders, to strategize on how to meet the challenges of today as an effective network locally at the grassroots level and in synch at the national level.

So many of us arrived at JCPA2017 on the brink of exhaustion, but left energized. A big thank you from the JCPA staff!


For more information and videos from JCPA2017 please go to our website. Please click here for the full JCPA2017 program.