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Consultation on Conscience 2019 Schedule and Speakers


Note: We are adding new content all the time! Check back for updates. 

UPDATE: Speaker Nancy Pelosi will address the 2019 Consultation on Conscience in our Tuesday morning program. 

Sunday, May 19, 2019

10:00amPRE-CONSULTATION PROGRAM: Social Justice, Progressive Politics, and Israel: How we, as Reform Jews, reclaim Zionism as a social justice issue, represent a pro-Israel stance in progressive circles, and help our constituents find ways to engage and further these discussions. Presented in partnership with ARZA. 

11:00am: Registration Opens

11:00am: Delegation Office Hours

1:00pm: Opening Plenary: Featuring Desmond Meade, Sister Norma Pimentel, and an introduction to the new Gilbert and Eleanor Kraus Initiative for Immigration Justice

2:30pmWorkshop Block 1

  • Anti Semitism, White Supremacy and White Nationalism: Charting a Path Forward 
  • Beyond the Book: Moral Resistance and Spiritual Authority as a Tool for Action 
  • Called to Coalition: Working in Partnerships Across Faith, Class, and Race
  • Community Organizing 101: Introduction and Principles to Bring Your Congregation Into Action
  • Community Organizing 201: My Congregation Wants to Organize - Now What?
  • Doing the Work: Pursuing Racial Justice Within Our Own Communities 
  • Getting Our Reform House in Order: Gender Bias in Reform Institutions and What We Can Do About It 
  • Immigration Justice in a Time of Moral Crisis
  • Lobbying 101: Best Practices for a Memorable Visit

4:15pmWorkshop Block 2

  • A Culture of Respect: Fostering Sacred and Civil Conversation within a Diverse Congregation
  • And You Shall Tell: The Power and Importance of Storytelling in Social Justice Work
  • Community Organizing 301: Building Effective Social Justice Campaigns
  • Community Organizing 301: Engaging Non-Activists 
  • Enough is Enough: The Reform Movement's Gun Violence Prevention Campaign
  • Implicit Bias is Everyone's Problem: Training Ourselves to See and Hear Past Our Biases
  • Purpose, People, Process: Exploring Different Models of Congregational Social Justice Efforts
  • Small Congregations, Big Impact: Engaging in Impactful Social Justice Work

4:15pm: The Lois and Richard England HUC-JIR Student Seminar Dinner (Invitation Only) 

4:15pm: Rabbi Balfour Brickner Clergy Fellowship Program and Dinner (Invitation Only) 

5:30pm: Dinner Break 

7:30pm: Jewish Songs of Protest and Hope 
In partnership with the American Conference of Cantors (ACC)

9:15pm: Clergy Reception

9:15pm: Reception for Former and Current CSA Members and Legislative Assistants 


Monday, May 20, 2019

7:30am: Breakfast

7:45am: Delegation office hours

8:45am: Morning Worship: Led by Rabbi Kim Herzog-Cohen and Cantor Josh Breitzer        

9:45am: Morning Plenary: Featuring addresses by Rev. Al Sharpton, Eric K. Ward, a distinguished panel on young leadership, and a tribute to departed friends. 

11:45am: Workshop Block 3

  • Communicating Social Justice: From Message to Media
  • Jews of Color: What We Experience in Mostly Ashkenazi/White Congregations
  • Leaders of Today: Teenage Leadership in your Congregation's Justice Work
  • Lobbying 201: Building Lasting Relationships with Elected Officials
  • Moral Resistance and Spiritual Authority: From Beginning to Bookshelf
  • States of Justice Part I (CA, IL, OH, NY, TX) 
  • To Till and To Tend: Protecting the Environment and Countering Climate Change 

1:15pm: Lunch Program and States of Justice Part II

3:00pm: Afternoon Plenary: In honor of Al Vorspan, Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner calls us to action to re-covenant with one another for the justice work to come

4:15pm: Lobby Preperation Breakouts 

6:00pm: Together as One: A Night of Inspiration and Celebration
Honoring Liz Dunst (ticketed)


Tuesday, May 21, 2019

7:30am: Luggage Storage opens


7:45am: Delegation office hours

9:00amMorning Plenary
Featuring Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senator Chris Coons (DE),  Rep Pramila Jayapal (WA), Rep Ted Deutch (FL), and Paul Teller from the White House

11:30am: Buses Depart for Capitol Hill

1:00pm: Capitol Hill Visits 

7:00pm: CSA Meeting General Session 



Plenary Speakers 

Desmond Meade is a formerly homeless returning citizen who overcame many obstacles to eventually become the current State Director for Florida Live Free Campaign, President of the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition (FRRC), and a graduate of Florida International University College of Law. Meade spearheaded the Second Chance Campaign, an initiative which successfully re-enfranchised 1.4 million formerly incarcerated Floridians. Desmond has testified before Congressional members and staffers and was a part of a delegation to the United Nations where he gave testimony regarding disenfranchisement in Florida.

Norma Pimentel is a Sister with the Missionaries of Jesus. As Executive Director of Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley for over 12 years, Sister Norma leads emergency response efforts that provide relief in times of disaster and crisis in the Valley. She was instrumental in organizing community resources to respond to the surge of Central Americans seeking asylum in the United States and setting up the Humanitarian Respite Center at the Sacred Heart Church in McAllen, Texas. These efforts captured the world’s attention, drawing news media from around the globe to the Rio Grande Valley to cover the plight of the countless and distressed refugee individuals and families.

Rev. Dr. Al Sharpton is founder and President of the National Action Network (NAN). NAN is a not-for-profit civil rights organization that was formed in 1991 and has over 100 chapters nationwide that includes a Washington, DC Bureau and regional offices across the US. Rev. Sharpton has been identified as one of the nation’s most renowned civil rights leaders, who was often praised by President Barack Obama as "the voice of the voiceless and a champion for the downtrodden.” Rev. Al Sharpton hosts a daily syndicated radio show and a national cable news television show on MSNBC. He is also an established author.

Eric K. Ward is National Field Director of the Building Democracy Initiative of the Center for New Community. He is the organizer of Which Way Forward, a national framework for policy and program decisions about relationships between native-born black people and immigrants and has compiled “The Nativism Watch” since 2006. Eric has served on the boards of the Western States Center, McKenzie River Gathering Foundation, and A Territory Resource Foundation.

Elias Rosenfeld is a 21-year-old Jewish student at Brandeis University. When he applied for his driving learner's permit, he discovered that, due to his mother's untimely death while on a legal L1 visa in the United States, he was considered an undocumented immigrant. After obtaining some legal protections through the DACA program, Rosenfeld graduated at the top of his class and began his studies at Brandeis. Given the cancellation of the DACA program and continued inaction on the Dream Act, Rosenfeld could be deported to a country he does not call home. He is now an active immigrant justice activist. 

Matt Deitsch is the co-founder and chief strategist of March For Our Lives, a youth-led, grassroots movement to end gun violence in the United States. 

Zoe Terner a first-year college student from Lake Worth, Florida, is the current North American Social Action Vice President (SAVP) of NFTY, the Reform Jewish Youth Movement.  In her capacity as NFTY SAVP, she chairs both the Gun Violence Prevention and Sexual Violence Prevention Task Forces, works in partnership with the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, and has partnered with leaders from the Muslim Youth of North America (MYNA) to take action on gun violence prevention in cities across North America. She will serve as a Legislative Intern at the RAC this coming summer.

Dr. Andrew Rehfield is the 13th President of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR). A leading political scientist and distinguished Jewish communal leader, Dr. Andrew Rehfeld’s career has bridged both the academic and professional worlds as Associate Professor of Political Science at Washington University (2001 to 2019) and as President and CEO of the Jewish Federation of St. Louis (2012 to 2019).  The academic values of thinking, writing, and teaching are the core of his identity, coupled with a passionate commitment to building communities based on the Jewish values that are central to his life. 

Representative Pramila Jayapal represents the 7th district of Washington State which encompasses most of Seattle and surrounding areas. As the first Indian-American woman elected to the House of Representatives, Congresswoman Jayapal is dedicated to serving as a national advocate for women's, immigrant, civil, and human rights.

Representative Ted Deutch represents Florida's 22nd district which encompasses northern Broward County and southeastern Palm Beach County. He is currently serving his 6th term in Congress. He currently serves as the Chairman of the House Ethics Committee, as a senior member of the House Judiciary Committee, and the House Foreign Affairs Committee where he serves as the Chairman of the Middle East, North Africa, and the International Terrorism Sub Committee.

Senator Chris Coons represents the state of Delaware. He currently serves on the Senate Appropriations, Foreign Relations, Judiciary, Small Business, and Entrepreneurship, and Ethics Committees. Senator Coons is very dedicated to bipartisan engagement and has co founded and leads several caucuses to improve engagement.

Paul Teller is the former Chief of Staff for Senator Ted Cruz and former Executive Director of the United States House of Representatives Republican Study Committee. He currently serves as the Special Assistant to the President for Legislative Affairs at the White House.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi is the 52nd Speaker of the House of Representatives, having made history in 2007 when she was elected the first woman to serve as Speaker of the House. For 31 years, Speaker Pelosi has represented San Francisco, California’s 12th District, in Congress.  She has led House Democrats for 16 years and previously served as House Democratic Whip. Under the leadership of Pelosi, the 111th Congress was heralded as “one of the most productive Congresses in history” by Congressional scholar Norman Ornstein.