No Time for Neutrality: Rabbinic Convening


February 5, 2017

4:30 PM

to February 7, 2017

2 PM


New York, NY


“This is no time for neutrality. We Jews cannot remain aloof or indifferent. We, too, are either ministers of the sacred or slaves of evil.”

—Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel

As rabbis and cantors, we commit to raising our moral voices to protect human rights, and to create the strong relationships and skills we will need to move forward. The convening will include training in practical skills for the work ahead, spiritual practice and tools for spiritual sustenance, Jewish learning, and planning for how we move forward together. There will also be special sessions for rabbinical and cantorial students on mobilizing the voices of students and new clergy.

Rabbinic Convening Full Schedule


Note: Schedule subject to change

Sunday, February 5

4:30 pm: Registration Opens

5:30pm: Opening Remarks, Rabbi Jill Jacobs

6:00pm: Dinner

7:00pm: Opening Keynote: Anthony Romero, Executive Director of the ACLU, interviewed by Rabbi Felicia Sol (Reception Room)

8:15pm: The Rabbinic Role in our Current Moment

  • Breakouts
    • Into the breach: What does it mean to begin a rabbinate in this moment? (student session) Rabbi Simkha Weintraub and Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg
    • Ties that bind: Pastoring to a politically polarized congregation in a time of fear and uncertainty, Rabbi Angela Warnick Buchdahl (ordained clergy only)
    • The sacred work of justice: Activism as a spiritual practice, Rabbi Marc Margolius
    • The role of liturgy in social justice work, Rabbi Menachem Creditor
    • Rabbinic self-care in an age of overwhelming demand, Rabbi Ilanit Goldberg-Gradess

9:30pm: Dessert

              Music of the movement

Monday, February 6

7:30am: Shacharit with BJ Minyan

7:30am: Shacharit and storytelling, Rabbi Amichai Lau-Lavie (Reception Room)

8:30am: Breakfast (Middle Room)

9:15am: Our Precarious Community: The Rabbinic Response to Anti-Semitism

  Power and powerlessness in Jewish text, Rabbi Jill Jacobs

9:45 Breakouts

    • What to do when neo-Nazis come to town: Case studies on recent incidents of anti-Semitism, Rabbi Francine Roston and Deborah Lauter, ADL Senior Vice President, Policy and Programs
    • Re-educating our progressive movements on anti-Semitism, Eric Ward and Eric Alterman, moderated by Rabbi Rachel Grant Meyer
    • A pastoral space for rabbis who have dealt with hate incidents, Rabbi Jo Hirschmann
    • On the front lines: The role of the campus rabbi, a look into challenges and best practices, Rabbis Rachel Gartner and Adam Lavitt


11:00    Learning with Rabbi Shai Held on Ahavat Ha-Ger (Reception Room)


Lunch 12-12:45pm–Informal meeting time for denominations 


1-2:30   Love the Stranger as Yourself: Dismantling Systems of Oppression


    • Bringing your synagogue into the new sanctuary movement: An introductory training, Reverend Alexia Salvatierra
    • How to be an “Upstander,” Debbie Almontaser
    • Praying with our Feet: Protests and civil disobedience, Audrey Sasson and Mackenzie Reynolds  
    • MLK+50: A jubilee year of truth and transformation, Rabbi Arthur Waskow


2:45pm: Mincha


3:15: No Time for Neutrality: Organizing for Justice, a framing from Jewish sources, with Rabbi J. Rolando Matalon



  • Breakouts
    • Organizing 201: Synagogue community organizing with Jeannie Appleman from JOIN for Justice
    • Organizing 101: How to meet your congregants where they are, and get them involved in human rights campaigns–Rabbi Stephanie Kolin
    • Power mapping and organizing at rabbinical school with Salem Pearce and Sarah Barasch-Hagans (Student session)
    • Case study: New models for synagogue organizing–Rabbi Rachel Timoner


5:15pm: Training for the evening action

6:00pm: Dinner

6:30pm: Ma’ariv

6:45 PM: Jewish community stands with immigrants and refugees: Action. Meet at 88th and Broadway

Tuesday, February 7

8:00am: Shacharit meditation, Rabbi Lisa Goldstein (Chapel)

9:00am: Breakfast, including reflection on action

9:45am: Yovel: The Fiftieth Year of Occupation (introductory text study), Rabbi Rachel Sabath Beit Halachmi


10:30 Addressing Israel this Year (Breakouts)

  • Crafting a liberal Zionist identity for this moment, Rabbi Jeremy Kalmanofsky and Rabbi Deborah Waxman
  • How to have inclusive conversations about Israel across the political divide, Rabbi Jessica Kate Meyer
  • If you will it, it is no dream: How to take action in the 50th year, Rabbi Jill Jacobs and Danny Blinderman
  • Building a prophetic voice: Op-eds and other public writing, Dan Friedman


12:00 Closing Plenary with Rabbi Susan Talve and Reverend Traci Blackmon (Sanctuary)

1:15pm: Lunch