Program

PERSONALIZED PROGRAMS

Experience the GA Your Way

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EXPLORE THE PROGRAM

Join us in T-Street Lobby to register, mingle and get ready for an inspiring 3 days!

This Cabinet-only session is an opportunity for members to hone their leadership skills and continue the discussion of topics introduced during this past summer's retreat.

Join us for the annual meeting of the National Federation/Agency Alliance.

Our Jewish healthcare agencies are in the midst of sweeping transformation. Recently enacted laws, and innovative ways of delivering and financing health care are emerging to help Americans – even the nation’s most vulnerable -- live healthier and longer lives. Join JFNA’s Strategic Health Resource Center for an engaging discussion and lunch on the state of play for healthcare at the national level with a new President and Congress as we explore ways to further advance this transformation through innovative, bipartisan solutions.

Join Eric Fingerhut, President and CEO of Hillel International, and a member of JFNA's leadership to launch this year’s unique GA student experience. This welcome event is an opportunity for all college students at the GA to gather and celebrate, while getting your bearings before diving in to what will be an incredible few days. 

Jerry Silverman

President & CEO, Jewish Federations of North America

Speaker
Eric Fingerhut

President and CEO, Hillel International

The first-ever group meeting for Joshua Society members! Join us for a lunch with Emmy Award-winning TV personality Andy Cohen, as he talks about how Judaism shapes his identity.

Speaker
Andy Cohen

Emmy Award Winner & TV Personality

Our Jewish journey begins with an extravaganza featuring young adult Jewish experiences powered by Federation. We’ll celebrate the more than one million young people whose lives have been changed by our work.

The inspirational Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks sets the tone for our three-day journey. Then “Meet the Press” host Chuck Todd and a roundtable of political pundits analyze the impact of the election on the Jewish community.

Signature multimedia moments take us on a voyage—around North America, to encounter the most innovative Federation programs, and around the world, to meet people whose lives we touch on nearly every continent.

Lay Leader
Cynthia D. Shapira

GA Co-Chair

David Shapira

GA Co-Chair

Speaker
Jonathan Rahmani

Springboard Fellow, Queens College Hillel

Lauren Elizabeth Kerner

Student, University of California, Irvine

Jordana Kroft

Global Jewish Service Corp Fellow, JDC Entwine

Tiffany Harris

Board of Directors Member, Moishe House

Speaker
Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks

International Religious Leader

Session Host
Chuck Todd

Moderator, Meet the Press, NBC

Speaker
William Kristol

Editor, The Weekly Standard

Additional speakers pending

Additional speakers pending

No matter what your prayer preference, at this GA we've got you covered. Join us for either traditional or egalitarian services!

No matter what your prayer preference, at this GA we've got you covered. Join us for either traditional or egalitarian services!

Federations are launching some of the most vibrant, thriving and critical change efforts in the Jewish world today. Learn from inspiring professionals and lay leaders who have launched impressive initiatives and explore ways to bring these ideas home to your community. 

Hear from five Federations that are successfully fighting anti-Israel efforts in their communities.

Learn about five Federations’ approaches to encouraging planned gifts and thanking endowment donors.

Find out how five Federations are using creative strategies to engage young families. 

Five Federations present their successful approaches to making day school, Sunday school and preschool classrooms more compelling.

Five Federations present cutting-edge ways to connect with families that are changemakers in their communities.

Hear from six Federations about innovative ways to engage donors and raise dollars.

Find out how six Federations are reinventing their engagement with Israel.

Hear from five Federations that are committed to strengthening Israel’s south.

Six Federations use service programs to turn passion into action.

Learn how six Federations are meeting the challenge of helping people with disabilities succeed.

Speaker
Jerry Silverman

President & CEO, Jewish Federations of North America

No matter what your prayer preference, at this GA we've got you covered. Join us for either traditional or egalitarian services!

Buses depart from the Terrace Level Lobby (near Registration). By invitation only.

A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity: Join us for the first major event at the brand-new Museum of African-American History and Culture on the National Mall.  Against this backdrop, we’ll have the honor of joining civil rights activists Rep. John Lewis and Susanna Heschel for an intimate discussion of the many issues facing society today.

Speaker
The Hon. John Lewis

U.S. Representative, 5th Congressional District of Georgia

Susannah Heschel

Eli Black Associate Professor of Jewish Studies, Dartmouth College

Buses depart from the Terrace Level Lobby (near Registration).

Join us for one of the three only-in-D.C. exclusive nighttime events below. Don't forget to pre-register! 
 

Get an exclusive tour to one of the most recognizable symbols of the nation’s capital and a representation of democracy in the world. Get a glance at the historical areas and meet with a congressman.

A moonlight tour of the famous monuments and memorials of our nation’s capital. Enjoy an entertaining history of the nation’s capital while exploring many interesting locations like the Lincoln Memorial, the Washington Monument, the White House and many other landmarks.

100 years in the making, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture finally opened this September. This is your opportunity to join one of this groundbreaking museum’s first tour groups and immerse in the African American experience.

No matter what your prayer preference, at this GA we've got you covered. Join us for either traditional or egalitarian services!

Come join us in Columbia Hall or the International Terrace Level to enjoy some breakfast and network before the breakout sessions start. 

Learn how to land your dream job in the Jewish communal sector at this interactive skill-building workshop. The skills you learn in this workshop will come in handy not only while networking at the GA, but also throughout your college career and beyond. Learn how to network with professionals in your areas of interest and position yourself for transformative opportunities after college. Don’t miss the opportunity to put your new skills to work at this evening’s networking event. 

Jewish education remains a huge priority for Federations. But it’s still a gray area when it comes to defining a gold standard of excellence. This session will explore how to create impactful programmatic investments and reinvigorate Jewish education in your community.

Facilitator
Ariel Burger

Jewish Educator

Additional speakers pending

Everyone wants to engage Millennials, but what do we mean by ‘engagement’? Discover how Jewish learning can be a strategy to build relationships to not only meet Millennials where they are, but to help them decide where to go next.

Facilitator
Avram Mlotek

Co-Founder, Base

Additional speakers pending

On every continent you’ll find Federation and our partners at work. Take this opportunity to go on your own global juggernaut and meet the pros working on the ground in these places. Learn more about the thriving Jewish presence around the world and what role Federations play in the communities that need help.

Moderator
Rebecca Caspi

Senior Vice President for Global Operations, The Jewish Federations of North America

Speaker
Roni Akale

Director General, Ethiopian National Project

Omer Egozi

Director of Resource Development, Israel Trauma Coalition

Talia Levanon

Director, Israel Trauma Coalition

Zoya Shvartzman

Director of Strategic Partnerships, JDC Europe

Roman Polonsky

Director, Russian-Speaking Jewry Unit, The Jewish Agency for Israel

Tomi Buchler

Program Director, Minyanim & The Jewish Agency for Israel

Additional speakers pending

Creating a community where people with disabilities are seamlessly included can be a challenge. Join this interactive brainstorm session and take away tools from colleagues and experts to make space in the Jewish tent for all.

Facilitator
Liviya Mendelsohn

Manager, Accessibility and Inclusion, Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre

Speaker
The Hon. David Tatel

Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals, District of Columbia

Fundraisers and philanthropists alike are increasingly implementing strategies involving donor advised funds (DAFs) in their communities. This session will provide answers to all your DAF questions and highlight the road to success for Federations looking to employ DAFs with fantastic results!

Moderator
Kevin J. McGrath

Executive VP, Client Advancement, RenPSG

Speaker
Charles Glassenberg

Vice President, Gift Planning & Investment Partnerships, Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Boston

Susan Gutterman

Endowment Director, Jewish Federation of Greensboro

Stories, not statistics, evoke the emotion and desire to help. To give. It’s the stories of the people we serve, the lives we change, that will bring the next donor to the table. How can you distill a global movement’s narrative down to an emotional story and turn it into an effective ask? Explore the unique power of storytelling and how to tailor your pitch to your desired audience.

Speaker
Melanie Schnoll-Begun

Managing Director, Morgan Stanley Wealth Management

Global conflicts, anti-Semitism and economic upheaval paint a unique picture, with original challenges and achievements, for each Jewish community around the world. Erudite experts will look closely at how foreign policy and the geopolitical landscape will impact what our communities look like, and struggle with, ten years from now in this deep dive conversation.

Additional speakers pending

What’s the best way to counter BDS? Paint a picture—with your words. Learn how to craft and tell emotional stories of Israelis whose lives have been affected by ongoing conflict with Palestinians, then practice how to use them in two major arenas for BDS action: churches and college campuses.

Moderator
Ethan Felson

Executive Director, Israel Action Network

Speaker
Max Chamovitz

Deputy Director, Israel Action Network

Geri Palast

Executive Director, Israel Action Network

Additional speakers pending

If you’re wondering if Gen Y means Millennials, this session is for you. Gen Y wants different things out of work—and the workplace. Learn how their traits align with a great office, and how your organization can align with their goals.

Facilitator
Anne Loehr

President, Anne Loehr and Associates

Over the next decade, $400 trillion will change hands in the greatest transfer of wealth to date. And the majority of that money will be in the hands of women. Women are already stellar examples of philanthropic giving. How can you encourage your community to invest in this cohort specifically to attract more donors?

Speaker
Laurie Burns McRobbie

First Lady, Indiana University Foundation

Debra Mesch

Director, Women's Philanthropy Institute, Indiana University Lilly School of Philanthropy

2016 was a turbulent year for Jewish pluralism in Israel. The government approved then backpedaled on a new prayer area at the Western Wall. The Knesset pushed a controversial bill to limit ritual bath use for Reform and Conservative Jews. But where is the Israeli public on these issues? Can North Americans and Israelis find common ground and how can we move the needle together?

Moderator
Haviv Retig-Gur

Political Correspondent, The Times of Israel

Speaker
Prof. Ruth Halperin Kaddari

Professor , Bar-Ilan University

Chaya Gilboa

Program Director, Hartman Institute

Federations may have an expansive investment portfolio but often have few resources to spend on evaluation. Learn what it means for a Federation to engage in evaluation across initiatives, how we can partner with evaluators as grant-making organizations and how to use data to drive our own work.

Additional speakers pending

Veteran federation professionals will set up an open dialogue designed to tackle complex conversations about Israel and answer tough questions, like what to do when a donor wants to rescind their gift, how to handle disengagement affected by BDS, or how to best explain investing in Israel. 

Moderator
David Brown

Chairman, JFNA Global Operations, Israel and Overseas

Speaker
Rebecca Caspi

Senior Vice President for Global Operations, The Jewish Federations of North America

Jacob Solomon

President & CEO, Greater Miami Jewish Federation

Lay-professional partnerships are key to creating vibrant organizations that attract and retain the best talent. When these partnerships are strong, the benefits are exponential. When they are not, the costs are dramatic. Join us for a session about how lay leaders can nurture strong relationships that build great workplace cultures and get results.

Facilitator
Susan Ditkoff

Partner, Bridgespan Group

Additional speakers pending

Transparent. Democratic. Relational. These values guided the 93% of Millennials who made a charitable gift in 2010. Young adults represent over $300 billion in total purchasing power and will receive an estimated $41 trillion in wealth from Baby Boomers. Explore how Millennials’ philanthropic concerns can change your organization and your young adult engagement strategies.

Facilitator
Kari Dunn Saratovsky

Principal, Third Plateau Social Impact Strategies

Federations are all about creating real-life Jewish connections. But our world is increasingly digital, and we need to be at the forefront. Join us as we explore the possibilities of Jewish engagement in the digital age.  We’ll work with experts in online learning to explore the assets and limitations of the internet as Jewish classroom and playground and hear from Federation leaders who are investing in this area.

Additional speakers pending

How do you take the sting out of words like legacy, inheritance or even last will and testament? Giving in perpetuity should feel like an opportunity, not an invitation to the Grim Reaper. Explore how to identify and cultivate donors (they may not be who you’d think!) in your community who are ready for the endowment conversation.

Additional speakers pending

While many of the headlines about the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Movement against Israel come from college campuses, a quieter divestment strategy has gained momentum in the boardrooms of corporations and institutional investors. Explore what local communities can do to fight the embedding of an anti-Israel doctrine within the socially responsible investing movement.

Facilitator
Julie Hammerman

Founder, JLens

No community in North America is immune to the impact of the rapidly aging population. Nashville and Pittsburgh have already begun implementing programs that address age-related problems like memory loss and social isolation. Learn how your community can be better prepared to support our senior population. 

Speaker
Dr. John Feather

Chief Executive Director, Grantmakers in Aging

Ilene Rinn

Senior Manager, Planning and Allocations, Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh

How can Federation-funded programs such as the Foundation for Jewish Camp, or the Holocaust Survivors Initiative—which often share a donor base with local Federations—be turned into partnership opportunities, not competition? How can we leverage this rising trend of supplemental giving without cannibalizing the Annual Campaign?

Speaker
Gil Preuss

Executive Vice President, Combined Jewish Philanthropies

Neil A. Wallack

Co-founder and Managing Director, 1901 Partners

Join us for a buffet lunch and network with colleagues and friends!

Cultural and creative experiences have long been a building block for Jewish community. These thoughtfully curated sessions offer new views on distinct cultural lenses through which we create and fuel our Jewish journeys, from the cerebral to the whimsical.

What’s it’s like to cover stories for Jewish media? How does this important work affect journalists’ Jewish identities? Join us at the press stage to hear about these topics and more from some of the world’s most renowned members of the Jewish press.

Additional speakers pending

Meet Alicia Jo Rabins—writer, composer, performer and Torah teacher whose work tackles the complicated lives of Biblical women. What brought her to write A Kaddish for Bernie Madoff, her one-woman chamber-rock opera, and how does she use her voice to express or even find her Jewish identity? In this unique conversation, she’ll reveal how she reinvents herself with every piece of art.

Performer
Alicia Jo Rabins

Writer, Composer, Performer & Torah Teacher

What is it about borekas or mom’s special kugel recipe that evoke such specific memories of a Jewish childhood?  Why does food evoke so many emotions? Explore how Jewish food has evolved over thousands of years to earn its place on some of the top restaurant lists in the world. Hear from a renowned chef and food writer about the evocative connection of food and identity in this interactive conversation about Jewish cuisine.

Speaker
Shannon Sarna Goldberg

Editor, The Nosher

Elizabeth Alpern

Co-Founder, Gefilteria

In the 20th century, institutions defined Jewish community and Jewish identity. But that’s not how we live today. Facebook and Instagram are our communities as much as the synagogues we belong to – or don’t belong to.  As we diversify and decentralize our lives, how can we both critique institutional life and preserve what’s great about it?  Let’s create a vision for the Jewish community of the 21st century. 

Speaker
Aliza Kline

Executive Director, OneTable

Rabbi Elliot Cosgrove

Rabbi, Park Avenue Synagogue

Additional speakers pending

Join us for a magical hour of live radio performance with the creators of Israel Story, —the award-winning radio show and podcast that tells real authentic Israeli stories on a monthly basis. With its unique blend of live storytelling and surprising multimedia, Israel Story introduces us to a different Israel: real-sized, bold, truthful, and funny.

Performer
Israel Story Team

Israeli National Radio

Though it is well-known that Jews invented Hollywood, few Jews there are trying to make Jewish movies. Join us for a screening of scenes from recent movies followed by intimate chats with their directors as we try to explore just what makes a Jewish movie…Jewish.

Speaker
Rama Burshtein

Filmmaker

Additional speakers pending

No matter what your prayer preference, at this GA we've got you covered. Join us for either traditional or egalitarian services!

Experience two very different Jewish journeys: the paths of a dynamic U.S. Supreme Court Justice and of a bestselling author.

Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg shares her Jewish story in conversation with esteemed attorney Kenneth Feinberg. Then six-time bestselling author and TED Talk star Bruce Feiler takes us along on the perilous literal and spiritual Jewish path he chronicled in his book Walking the Bible.

What do the next ten years look like for Israel and world Jewry?  The founding editor of The Times of Israel David Horovitz moderates a conversation with renowned Atlantic Monthly correspondent Jeffrey Goldberg and top Israeli journalist Nadav Eyal about the impact of major global events on the Jewish community.

Signature multimedia moments take us on a voyage—around North America, to encounter the most innovative Federation programs, and around the world, to meet people whose lives we touch on nearly every continent.

Moderator
Kenneth R. Feinberg

Attorney, The Law Offices of Kenneth R. Feinberg

Speaker
The Hon. Ruth Bader Ginsburg

U.S. Supreme Court Justice, U.S. Supreme Court

Speaker
Bruce Feiler

New York Times Best-Selling Author

Additional speakers pending

Moderator
David Horovitz

Founding Editor, The Times of Israel

Speaker
Jeffrey Goldberg

National Correspondent, The Atlantic

Nadav Eyal

Chief International Correspondent, Channel 10, Israel

Lay Leader
Richard Sandler

Chair, Jewish Federations of North America

No matter what your prayer preference, at this GA we've got you covered. Join us for either traditional or egalitarian services!

You can chart your own course Monday evening. You get to choose from a variety of stop-in-and-chat receptions, community dinners or you can plan your own night on the town with new friends! 

National Young Leadership Cabinet members, young adult lay leaders and Federation young leadership professionals are invited to a special reception to honor Young Leadership Award winners from across North America. We also invite young leaders who are interested in learning more about Cabinet, JFNA's premier young leadership development program.

This event is your opportunity to meet Jewish professionals who are affecting change in the world at leading Jewish organizations. Learn about opportunities in areas you are passionate about by talking with professionals who live their passion every day.

Meet your fellow committee members and learn about the latest developments at JFNA Washington.

No matter what your prayer preference, at this GA we've got you covered. Join us for either traditional or egalitarian services!

Come join us in Columbia Hall or the International Terrace Level to enjoy some breakfast and network before the breakout sessions start. 

Holocaust survivors are in increasing need of assistance to age in place in their homes and communities. This is especially true for the one in four survivors who are poor. Federations have responded to this crisis by launching special campaigns and the U.S. federation government has awarded JFNA $12 million to advance services for Holocaust survivors. Join us for a breakfast meeting to learn about successful fundraising models and get more information about what we do.

The most important aspect of any transformative experience like the GA, is turning your inspiration in to action. The Delegation Breakfast is your opportunity to meet with other students, Hillel professionals, and Jewish communal life professionals from your geographic region to meet with your home communities. 

This meeting is a unique opportunity to network, dialogue and consult with fellow Federation presidents and excutives from your city-size group.

This meeting is a unique opportunity to network, dialogue and consult with Federation presidents and executives from your city-size group.

This meeting is a unique opportunity to network, dialogue and consult with fellow Federation presidents and executives from your city-size group.

This meeting is a unique opportunity to network, dialogue and consult with fellow Federation presidents and executives from your city-size group.

Here's a second chance to hear about some of the most vibrant, thriving and critical change efforts in the Jewish world today. Learn from inspiring professionals and lay leaders who have launched impressive initiatives and explore ways to bring these ideas home to your community. 

Hear from five Federations that are successfully fighting anti-Israel efforts in their communities.
 

Learn about five Federations’ approaches to encouraging planned gifts and thanking endowment donors.
 

Find out how five Federations are using creative strategies to engage young families. 
 

Five Federations present their successful approaches to making day school, Sunday school and preschool classrooms more compelling.

Five Federations present cutting-edge ways to connect with families that are changemakers in their communities.

Hear from six Federations about innovative ways to engage donors and raise dollars.

Find out how six Federations are reinventing their engagement with Israel.

Hear from five Federations that are committed to strengthening Israel’s south.

Six Federations use service programs to turn passion into action.

Learn how six Federations are meeting the challenge of helping people with disabilities succeed.

Twenty-five  years after nearly 15,000 Ethiopian Jews were airlifted to Israel in 36 hours, Operation Solomon continues to inspire us. We celebrate this accomplishment of a united global Jewish community.

Signature multimedia moments take us on a voyage—around North America, to encounter the most innovative Federation programs, and around the world, to meet people whose lives we touch on nearly every continent.

We’ll look at the reality of Israeli life today and identify the critical areas where Federations can make a difference. Stay tuned for confirmation of top leaders from both the American and Israeli administrations!

Additional speakers pending

Speaker
Tesema Samuel

Client Advisor Assistant, UBS Wealth Management Israel, Ltd.

Susan Stern

Immediate Past Vice Chair, Jewish Federations of North America

Additional speakers pending

Additional speakers pending

Speaker
Jerry Silverman

President & CEO, Jewish Federations of North America

Additional speakers pending

Join Israel and Overseas professionals and lay leaders to hear about their initiatives, data, trends, tips and more that can support you work connecting Federation efforts in Israel and in more than 70 countries around the world with fundraising in your community.

It's an overnight through 3 PM on Wednesday.

The SAC meeting continues through Wednesday afternoon at 3 PM.

Developing a strong partnership in leadership is key to the success of your Federation. This Mandel Center program will provide strategies and tools to enhance your partnership and build on the strengths each person brings to the table. The program continues until 11 AM on Wednesday!

“Engagement” has taken the Jewish world by storm, succeeding in involving the previously disconnected. But for all the investment, we have yet to stop and ask—what is this thing called engagement, and how do we take advantage of it? What are the best practices? What does it mean to be engaged, and is that different from what we’re already doing?

Through effective allocation strategies, Federations can implement a full and robust engagement agenda that will transform communities and change Jewish lives and our Jewish future.

FedEngage! will open up engagement and make the methodology transparent and accessible for Federation professionals. Leaders in the field will teach us what they do and why they do it. We’ll learn the details of their initiatives, meet with the professionals who have designed their work and leave ready to embark on our own engagement agendas. And finally, we’ll hear about the launch of JFNA’s specific initiatives to support Federations to lead in this area.

This session goes through Wednesday at 3:30 PM.

Join Israel and Overseas professionals and lay leaders to hear about their initiatives, data, trends, tips and more that can support you work connecting Federation efforts in Israel and in more than 70 countries around the world with fundraising in your community.

“Engagement” has taken the Jewish world by storm, succeeding in involving the previously disconnected. But for all the investment, we have yet to stop and ask—what is this thing called engagement, and how do we take advantage of it? What are the best practices? What does it mean to be engaged, and is that different from what we’re already doing?

Through effective allocation strategies, Federations can implement a full and robust engagement agenda that will transform communities and change Jewish lives and our Jewish future.

FedEngage! will open up engagement and make the methodology transparent and accessible for Federation professionals. Leaders in the field will teach us what they do and why they do it. We’ll learn the details of their initiatives, meet with the professionals who have designed their work and leave ready to embark on our own engagement agendas. And finally, we’ll hear about the launch of JFNA’s specific initiatives to support Federations to lead in this area.

This session goes through Wednesday at 3:30 PM.

This session runs through 3 PM on Wednesday.

The SAC meeting continues through Wednesday afternoon at 3 PM.

Developing a strong partnership in leadership is key to the success of your Federation. This Mandel Center program will provide strategies and tools to enhance your partnership and build on the strengths each person brings to the table. The program continues until 11 AM on Wednesday!