2013 Plenum Acts Day 1 by jcpainfo

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      JCPA Plenum Day 1 - Sunday March 10, 2013                                         THE DAY AHEAD
                                                                                        “From Many Paths to The
Plenum Awards Ceremony                                                                  Creator, A Common Path to
                                                                                        Social Justice”: At 9:15 am,
                                                                                        national faith leaders
                                                                                        Sister Simone Campbell and
                                                                                        Reverend Jim Wallis will
                                                                                        join JCPA President Rabbi
                                                                                        Steve Gutow to discuss the
                                                                                        faith community’s shared
                                                                                        commitments to social
At the conclusion of the 2013 JCPA Plenum’s first day, we honored some of those in      justice and how shared
our community who make our work possible and inspire us to go further. First,           advocacy experience can be
Michael Newmark introduced Judith Lichtman, this year’s recipient of the Albert D.      used in areas like the
Chernin Award. Named for the JCPA’s Executive Vice Chair Emeritus, the Chernin          federal budget, civil
Award is given to Jewish leaders whose life work best exemplifies the social justice    rights, and the environment.
imperatives of Judaism, Jewish history, and the protection of the Bill of Rights.
                                                                                        “Jewish Consensus and
Lichtman, a leading women and children’s activist for decades, stepped down as          Controversy: Same Sex
president of the National Partnership for Women & Families in 2004. She credited        Relationships”: In response
her Jewish heritage with instilling in her the responsibility to leave the Earth a      to a tabled resolution on
better place than we found it. In accepting the award, Lichtman proudly pointed to      gay marriage, Professor Amy-
the four generations of family that were with her, and her hope that we pass on the     Jill Levine, Rabbi David
values of tzedakah and tikkun olam.                                                     Saperstein, Yehuda
                                                                                        Neuberger, and Jeremy Burton
Also honored were San Francisco’s David Steirman and Dallas’s Marc Stanley who
                                                                                        will be using the subject of
received the Tikkun Olam Award for their commitment and service to the JCPA,            same sex relationships to
Jewish community, and beyond. David currently is the Board Chair of UpStart Bay         explore the JCPA’s unique
Area, Board President of the North Peninsula Jewish Campus, and immediate past          role in finding and
Board Chair of the Jewish Education Service of North America (JESNA). He serves         maintaining Jewish community
as an officer of the JCPA, Moldaw Residences and the Jewish Senior Living Group         consensus at 10:45.
and is a board member of the Jewish Federations of North America and the Jewish
Home & Senior Living Foundation. David previously served as President of the            “Welcoming the Stranger:
Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin and Sonoma           Pursuing a Just National
counties, the Jewish Community Relations Council and the Bureau of Jewish               Immigration System”:At 4:30,
Education.                                                                              Secretary of Homeland
                                                                                        Security Janet Napolitano
Marc currently serves as Chairman of the National Jewish Democratic Council and         will speak about the
as Co-Chair of the Foundation for Jewish Culture. In addition, Marc is an officer of    Department of Homeland
the JCPA, and was appointed by President Obama to the US Holocaust Memorial             Security’s priorities,
Museum Council in June 2011. He was also appointed by Governor Ann Richards to          including immigration and
serve as Chairman of the Texas Public Finance Authority. In his hometown of             efforts to prevent gun
Dallas, Marc serves as a Vice-Chair of the Legacy Senior Living Communities and sits    violence.
on the Executive Committee of the Dallas JCRC. In his professional life, Marc is a
                                                                                        “Off the Record – A Special
trial lawyer and has also served as President of the Dallas Trial Lawyers Association
                                                                                        Discussion on the Middle
and the Texas Trial Lawyer Association.
                                                                                        East”: Immediately following
                                                                                        the resolutions sessions,
                                                                                        join us for an off-the-
                                                                                        record discussion on Israel
                                                                                        and the Middle East. While
                          JCPA Plenum Day 1 – Sunday March 10, 2013

Plenum’s First Day
As the largest annual gathering of Jewish community relations professionals in the country, the JCPA Plenum
hosted a series of forums and workshops to discuss best methods of community action and prepare for the
challenges to come. On Sunday, this included a discussion ranging from
reframing the Zionist narrative, to defending Israel here and abroad, to
grassroots activism on human rights, to the best uses of social media as an
organizing tool.

How individual Jewish communities can respond to the movement to
delegitimize Israel through boycotts, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) was
the main focus of a discussion that centered on strategic and appropriate responses. "We need to be careful
not to add to the fire, but to provide our own grass roots with 'stuff to do'" said Sara Saber-Freedman of
Canada's CIJA. Saber-Freedman and co-panelists David Dabscheck of the JCPA/JFNA Israel Action Network and
David Prystowsky highlighted appropriate means such as "buycotting," a counter-protest measure that
involves consumers actually buying products that BDS proponents have targeted for boycott.

In a concurrent workshop, “Israel Advocacy with Interfaith and Intergroup Partners,” panelists Batya
Abramson-Goldstein from St. Louis, Jeremy Burton from Boston, and Rabbi Yehiel Poupko from Chicago
stressed the importance of sharing and spreading support for Israel with other civil society partners. Coalition
building strategies need to be tailored in order to most effectively partner with other community agencies.
Burton described the success and understanding an Israel mission for interfaith leaders can bring.

These were just a few highlights of the first day. For updates on each session as the Plenum continues, follow
the tweets from participants at #JCPAplenum.

Oren, Goldberg, and the US-Israel Relationship
 Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren discussed President Obama’s upcoming trip to Israel and the importance of
strong bonds between the two counties in an interview-style conversation at the opening plenary of the Jewish
Council for Public Affairs’ annual Plenum.

Noting that not many other Presidents have visited Israel,
Ambassador Oren said that doing so is a significant gesture,
particularly as the first overseas trip of President Obama’s second
term. With a stalled peace process and the ongoing efforts to isolate
the Jewish state, Oren said the most important purpose of the trip is
to send a message about the “vibrant and deep relationship”
between America and the people of Israel.

While details of the trip remain to be determined, Ambassador Oren announced to the JCPA Plenum delegates
that president Obama will in fact lay a wreath at the tomb of Theodore Herzl, founder of modern Zionism. This
reinforces reaffirms to the whole Middle East the historical Jewish claim to the land. “Palestinians have an
unassailable right to a state of their own,” said Oren. And President Obama’s trip, particularly his stop at Herzl’s
grave, will underscore the need for Palestinians to recognize that “reciprocal right of the Jews.”

								
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