War in Ukraine
The war in Ukraine has displaced more than 3.5 million Ukrainians. Jewish Federations have been working closely with our partners overseas to provide aid, shelter, and a way to safety for refugees.
We are all feeling and seeing the effects of the rise in global antisemitic attacks. From Poway to Tree of Life and the recent attack in Israel, it is up to us to secure our Jewish communal spaces.
As these crises continue and escalate, we need leaders, allies, and partners like you to show up, make history, and make a difference. From effecting change in a single neighborhood to advocating on a national scale, it is part of who we are as a people to provide support where it is needed most.
Steeped in a long legacy of effecting change, the 2022 Washington Conference will bring together leaders, experts, and community influencers to network, train, and advocate for some of the most pressing issues facing our communities.
Between the humanitarian needs in Ukraine to securing our Jewish communal spaces locally, Washington Conference 2022 will gather leaders like you to focus on crucial legislation and government initiatives that address these issues. It is our job, collectively, to push for sweeping change while empowering local communities to advocate for themselves.This work does not get done alone.Register Now
When we come together as one community to address the issues that matter most to our Jewish community, we make a real difference.
Today, we are all focused on so many issues related to our Jewish community. From the ramifications of the war in Ukraine, to antisemitism and security, to the hate we see across our communtiies.
Washington Conference is the place where we come together to address them - and our opening program is designed to frame the issues and ensure we are ready to lead the way forward.
This year’s Washington Conference is about the US and the change WE can make when we come together.
These sessions will be divided into two parts: Education and Advocacy Training.
For these sessions, we’ll focus on four major advocacy areas of our work that you will have the opportunity to lobby on the following day - and in the days and months following.
Forum Sessions Part II
We’ll continue the conversation with another round of conversation and interaction.
Offsite Reception at the U.S. Institute of Peace
Rounding out our day of learning, the last event of the day will feature Pittsburgh Steelers’ offensive tackle Zach Banner. In July, 2020, Zach Banner took a public stand against hate when Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver, DeSean Jackson, posted an antisemitic message he attributed to Adolf Hitler on social media. Banner came to the defense of the Jewish community in a series of tweets and videos that he said he hoped would educate others who might have misconceptions about Jews. And he has been calling out antisemitism and racism ever since.
Join us in hearing Zach’s experience, the lessons he has for all of us, and what more we can do when we take a stand for each other.
But that’s not all! Zach will be joined by exciting government and community leaders, including Rabbi Lauren Holtzblatt, who will share deep insights about leadership on the national stage in the fight against antisemitism and all forms of hate.
Morning Breakouts | Lobbying Members of Congress
We spent the first day of the Washington Conference focused on the issues that matter most. Today, we put it all into action by lobbying our policymakers. We will include specific Thank Yous or specific requests based on Congressional positions. Our conversations will be focused on:
• Increasing NSGP (Nonprofit Security Grant Program) to at least $360 million
• Funding The No Hate Act at least at $15 million
• Aid to Ukraine and support of refugees
Closing Program | Bringing it Home
In this engaging and interactive closing session we’ll partner with some of the leading Members of Congress and community leaders. Together, we’ll focus on making change through policy and come up with plans to bring this work home to our communities. This session will be hosted by Jewish Federations of North America’s President & CEO.
President & CEO, Jewish Federations of North America
U.S. Senator for Maryland
Asian American Senior Liaison, White House
US Representative for Louisiana's First District & House Republican Whip
Milwaukee Jewish Federation
What’s the purpose of the Washington Conference 2022?
With the recent attack in Colleyville, Texas – coupled with Pittsburgh, Poway, Boston, Monsey, Jersey City, Los Angeles, Manhattan and elsewhere – fighting antisemitism and protecting Jewish institutions and communities are now top priorities of the Federation system, working together with strategic partners around the world, including law enforcement.
In the Pew Study of the American Jewish community, 75% of those surveyed reported an increase in antisemitic activity compared to five years ago, and 53% say they feel less safe now than they did five years ago AJC’s 2021 State of Antisemitism report found that 90% of American Jews believe antisemitism is a problem. Today, Jewish communities suffer more reported hate crimes than any other religious or ethnic minority.
The Washington Conference will bring together 450 Jewish community leaders from across North America to take a stand against the rising tide of antisemitism and work collectively to ensure the safety and security of the Jewish community through education, advocacy, and action – both while in DC and locally back at home.
What’s the history behind the Washington Conference? Why is it now returning, and what’s the vision going forward?
From the late 1970’s through 2004, JFNA’s Young Leadership Cabinet (‘Cabinet’) planned a major public policy conference biennially in Washington DC that galvanized the North American Jewish community around important policy and public affairs issues. At its high point, the Washington Conference reached over 3000 participants and featured top elected officials, high-level government leaders, scholars, and activists meeting over several days.
Last summer (2021), Cabinet piloted a successful fly-in to DC focused on fighting antisemitism. Over 250 Cabinet members and alumni engaged with Members of Congress, senior Administration representatives, and antisemitism experts. The Advocacy Corps – through which Jewish lay leaders advance legislative and policy priorities – was launched at the gathering as a key follow-up strategy.
The enthusiastic response from the participants last summer and the strong interest in further action prompted moving forward with the May 2022 conference, now open to all leaders, and hosted by Cabinet, together with National Women’s Philanthropy and the Jewish Federations’ Advocacy Corps.
Assuming the conference continues to gain traction and interest remains high, it will be offered more consistently going forward – aligned with the original Washington Conference vision – and showcasing the breadth of JFNA’s growing public policy agenda, while raising awareness among top legislators around the policy issues most important to the Jewish community.
Who is the audience for the Washington Conference?
The conference is open to individuals (and community delegations) with interest in tackling the challenges of antisemitism, the delegitimization of Israel, and security needs through legislation, advocacy, community relations, and allyship. Participants will range from those curious and wanting to learn more about these issues to those already actively leading campaigns and initiatives to fight antisemitism, to advocate on behalf of Israel, and to strengthen the security infrastructure and training in their communities.
The conference is designed to be welcoming and inclusive, open to those involved with Federation, CRC’s, Federation partners, synagogues and other community organizations who see themselves as advocates (or aspiring advocates) in the public space.
Many in the Jewish community feel frustrated at this moment – overwhelmed, and worried about antisemitism. They are concerned about their safety and the safety of their families. This conference intends to equip participants with the tools, resources, basic skills, and information – and confidence – to make their voices heard in Washington, DC.
How do I register?
Registration is open. Space is limited and registrations will be accepted in the order they are received. Each registration is time- and date-stamped once submitted. Click here to register.
How much is the registration cost and what’s included?
The charge to attend the conference is $250 due upon registration. The fee includes the full program, lunch on Wednesday, 5/11; evening reception (hors d'oeuvres) on Wednesday, 5/11; and breakfast on Thursday, 5/12. Please see below for hotel information.
When will registration close?
Registrations will be accepted on a first come/first served basis until the capacity of 450 participants is reached. At that point, a waitlist will be created. Registration (and the waitlist) will remain open through Monday, May 2.
What happens if my plans change, and I need to cancel my registration?
Cancellations received through 11:59 PM PST on Monday, April 25 will be fully refundable, upon request. Cancellations received thereafter are non-refundable Cancellation requests should be directed to email@example.com.
How do I make hotel reservations?
JFNA has reserved a block of rooms at a discounted, base rate of approximately $270/night at the Hilton Washington DC National Mall/The Wharf. The Hilton’s reservation link will be provided automatically when registering to attend the conference. All hotel reservations and hotel payments are handled through the Hilton directly. Overnight accommodations are not included in the registration fee. Participants are welcome to stay at the Hilton or anywhere else in the greater DC area they may prefer.
The hotel is located at the L’Enfant Plaza Metro Station adjacent to the National Mall and easily accessible via the yellow, green, blue, orange, and silver Metro subway lines.
What’s the best airport?
The closest airport to the conference is Ronald Reagan/Washington National DCA – a 15-minute Metro subway ride or 20/25-minute cab ride. The other two regional airports – BWI and Washington Dulles – are approximately an hour+ cab ride away from the hotel, pending traffic, and are not accessible via the Metro subway. BWI is accessible to downtown DC’s Union Station via Amtrak and then Metro to the hotel.
How could I organize an advocacy group from my community to attend?
Communities may send delegations, organized through (for example) their local Federation Women’s Philanthropy, Cabinet/Young Leadership, Government and/or Community Relations affinities. The timing of the conference is designed for groups to arrive early (before lunch on Wednesday, May 11) and/or to stay-on once the conference concludes (late morning on Thursday, May 12) for ‘wraparound’ experiences specifically curated to local community priorities (e.g., meeting with Members of Congress from hometown districts). Delegations will be coordinated and staffed by local community professionals. If you would like to learn more about organizing a delegation, please contact Seth Lipkin at JFNA.
What will happen during the conference?
The Washington Conference focuses specifically on two key issues facing the Jewish community today: antisemitism, security, and the delegitimization of Israel. Participants will have the opportunity to learn from experts, network with each other, receive training, engage with key decision-makers, and return home with action items and tools to advocate for change. The conference will strengthen our community’s ability to fight antisemitism, meet our pressing security needs, and - through shared values and priorities – create deeper relationships with allies.
As a result of attending the Washington Conference, participants will:
1. Be prepared and mobilized to actively engage in JFNA’s strategic public affairs efforts to fight antisemitism and safeguard the security of local Jewish communities
2. Understand key legislation of interest to the Jewish community and advocate on its behalf, through ongoing involvement in Jewish Federations’ Advocacy Corps
3. Activate personal networks and local community organizations to build coalitions and engage allies in fighting antisemitism and safeguarding Jewish life
4. Strengthen personal advocacy skills and networks + relationships with top government officials
How can I find out about the program
This website includes the most up-to-date public information available about the specifics of the program. For questions or clarification, please reach out to Seth Lipkin.
What’s the recommended attire?
Business casual appropriate to a professional gathering.
What’s the Advocacy Corps?
The Advocacy Corps is a new initiative of Jewish Federations’ Public Affairs Department designed to engage lay leaders in the legislative and policy process and deepen relationships with elected officials. Anyone may sign up to join the Advocacy Corps and receive action alerts and updates on legislation aligned with JFNA’s public policy priorities. Attendees at the Washington Conference will learn more about how to sign-up to participate in the Advocacy Corps.
How can I spread the word?
We’ve created a social media toolkit with graphics and messaging for FB, Twitter, and email. The best recruitment strategy is person-to-person through phone calls, text, and personal emails. If you plan to attend, encourage your likeminded friends to join you!
May I participate remotely?
Unfortunately, no The conference is organized as an in-person gathering, and some sessions are expected to be off-the-record. The design of the sessions and opportunity to deepen relationships with elected officials is best achieved through meaningful face-to-face conversations and interactions.
What are the COVID precautions being taken?
* COVID procedures are subject to change, in compliance with DC ordinances and regulations and the guidance of JFNA’s medical advisory committee. All participants will be required to demonstrate proof of COVID vaccination, including booster, and a negative PCR test not more than 48 hours preceding the event. At this time – with the anticipating lifting of the DC mask mandate, participants may choose to wear a mask, or not, at their own discretion. Those showing signs of illness (sore throat, cough, fever, chills, fatigue, loss of smell, etc.) leading-up to the conference are asked to remain at home and avoid attending the event.
Who’s serving on the Planning Committee?
Cece Feiler (Los Angeles)
Bobby Gibbs (Dallas)
Carolyn Gitlin (Hartford)
Lindsey Glantz (Broward County)
Andy Hochberg (Chicago)
Rachel Hoffer (Phoenix)
Aron Karabel (Nashville)
Karen Kasner (New York)
Shelly Kupfer (Washington, DC)
Adam Miller (Orange County)
Dan Rosen (Minneapolis)
Julie Shapiro (New York)
Judith Sydney (Boston)
Jason Wuliger (Cleveland)
Who should I contact for questions?
Customer service, registration, payment, and logistics: Lindsay Matloff, firstname.lastname@example.org
Community delegations, CRC/Government Relations pros, and Advocacy Corps: Seth Lipkin, email@example.com
Marketing and digital media strategy: Alexandra Coffey, firstname.lastname@example.org
Program and speakers: Elana Broitman, email@example.com
NWP/National Women’s Philanthropy Pros: Mandy Kaiser-Blueth, firstname.lastname@example.org
Cabinet & Young Leadership Pros: Ben Schindler, email@example.com