Schedule of the Jewish People's Assembly

We will meet at the DC JCC (1529 16th St NW) from 9:30-1:30 and then march over to the Washington, DC Hilton outside Dupont Circle and protest from 2:00-3:00!

9:30-9:55: Official Welcome from Open Hillel Leadership and Description of Day's Events

10:00-10:55: "Jewish Community in Transition: Changing Communal Attitudes Toward Israel" - A presentation and Q&A with Prof. Dov Waxman and Rabbi Alana Suskin

Dov Waxman is a Professor of Political Science, International Affairs, and Israel Studies at Northeastern University, and the Stotsky Professor of Jewish Historical and Cultural Studies.  He is also the co-director of the Middle East Center at Northeastern University.  An expert on Israel, his research focuses on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Israeli foreign policy, U.S.-Israel relations, and American Jewry's relationship with Israel.  He received his PhD and MA degrees from the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) at Johns Hopkins University, and his BA from Oxford University.  He has previously taught at the City University of New York, Bowdoin College, and the Middle East Technical University in Ankara, Turkey; and he has been a visiting fellow at Tel Aviv University, Bar-Ilan University, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and Oxford University.  He is the author of The Pursuit of Peace and the Crisis of Israeli Identity: Defending / Defining the Nation (2006), Israel's Palestinians: The Conflict Within (with Ilan Peleg, 2011).  His new book Trouble in the Tribe: The American Jewish Conflict over Israel will be published by Princeton University Press in March 2016.
 
Rabbi Alana Suskin is the Director of Strategic Communications for Americans for Peace Now. An experienced pulpit rabbi and teacher, Rabbi Alana Suskin has for years taught and written on classical Jewish texts and their potential for justice and peacemaking. Rabbi Suskin currently serves as a board member of T'ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights as well asa Managing Editor of Jewschool.com, a leading Jewish faith blog, and is a founding fellow of CLAL's project, Rabbis Without Borders. She is a contributor to several other blogs including Jewish Values Online and MyJewishLearning, and has worked with and served on the boards of a variety of social justice organizations, including American Rights at Work (now Jobs with Justice) and Jews United for Justice. Rabbi Suskin has published articles in a variety of magazines, journals and anthologies, including The Daily BeastThe Huffington Post, and WashingtonPost.com. In addition to ordination and a Master's of Rabbinic Studies from AJU in Los Angeles, she also has a Master's degree in Philosophy from the University of Maryland.
 

11:00-11:50 - The North American Jewish Federations: What they do, why they're important, and how they limit the debate (with Seth Morrison): Why are we here, protesting the Jewish Federations of North America?  How does the federation structure work, and how do their policies influence the discourse on Israel within our communities?  How big is the gap between the opinions of rank-and-file Jews and federation policy?  And what can we do to close that gap and start to democratize our communities vis-a-vis the Federations?

Seth Morrison is on the national board of Jewish Voice for Peace and serves on the Steering Committee of the Washington, DC Metro JVP chapter.  He was formerly a leader in J Street and other Jewish organizations before becoming a BDS activist.  In 1986 and 1987 Morrison chaired the Joint UJA Community Fund Campaign in Tacoma, Washington.

11:55-12:45 - Breakout Sessions / Organizing Trainings - some practical advice and tips as we prepare for the protest, along with ways to get involved!

  • Media: Do you want to help with our media strategy for the protest?  Join us as we discuss the best ways to engage with the press.

  • Digital and Social Media: Want to try your hand at Facebook/Twitter?  We'll go over what you need to know to help spread the word about the Jewish People's Assembly protest on social media.

  • Campaign Planning: Organizing your Community: You want your Jewish community (your campus, synagogue, etc.) to be more open to criticism about Israel and other controversial topics, but aren’t sure how to go about it?  We’ll talk about who the power players are in different types of communities and practical courses of action.  

  • Coalition and Community Building: An open Jewish community starts with a critical mass of individuals coming together and voicing their concerns to leadership and fellow community members.  We'll discuss how to make connections among like-minded community members.

  • JFNA Protest Working Group: This is a special breakout session for attendees who are most looking forward to the protest to contribute their own ideas.  We’ll engage in some hard-core sign-making, chant brainstorming, and we’ll be polishing up a pre-written document of “asks” for the JFNA officials, and more!

12:45 - 1:30: Lunch and optional sign making 

~1:40 - Walk over to the Jewish Federations of North America General Assembly

2:00 - 3:00 - Protest the JFNA GA

3:15 - 4:15: Debrief Session:  We'll break up into groups to debrief the protest -- what went well, what didn't, and what our next steps are!