Reform Jewish Movement to Convene 2017 Consultation on Conscience: Building the World We Want

Media Advisory
April 28, 2017

Contact: Max Rosenblum or Graham Roth
202.387.2800 |

Press Release from the Religious Action Center

The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism will host its largest ever leadership conference in Washington, DC, bringing together rabbis and activists from across North America

Washington – More than 800 Reform Movement leaders, clergy and activists from across North America will come together from Sunday, April 30 to Tuesday, May 2, for the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism’s (RAC), Consultation on Conscience. The conference will feature prominent national leaders including incoming-President and CEO of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights Vanita Gupta, NAACP President Rev. Cornell William Brooks, Orange is the New Black Author and Activist Piper Kerman, Michael Waldman of the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU, former Gov. Jack Markell of Delaware, Mayor Darrell Steinberg, Representative Jamie Raskin, Representative Joe Kennedy III, Representative Lee Zeldin, Representative Jerrold Nadler, and Representative Jacky Rosen.

The 2017 Consultation on Conscience: Building the World We Want will be the largest in the over 50-year history of the Religious Action Center, with attendees forming more than 85 congregational and community-based delegations. The Consultation will help them strengthen relationships and build their skills to pursue Tikkun Olam at the local, state and federal levels, with the goal of protecting the most vulnerable members of our society.

The Consultation will focus on addressing the vital issues of racial justice, criminal justice reform, immigration, transgender rights, and more, and building an effective grassroots movement at the state and local levels. Consultation attendees representing over 200 synagogues from across North America will also learn about community organizing through action-oriented workshops and training sessions. On Tuesday, the conference will culminate in a Lobby Day on Capitol Hill, during which hundreds of Reform Jewish leaders will visit their senators and representatives.

Who: Reform Movement clergy, lay leaders and allies. Speakers include (Program still in formation):

  • Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner, Director, Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism
  • Rabbi Rick Jacobs, President, Union for Reform Judaism
  • Anat Hoffman, Executive Director of the Israel Religious Action Center
  • Vanita Gupta, Incoming President and CEO of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and former head of the Civil Rights Division at the US Department of Justice
  • Rev. Cornell William Brooks, President, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)
  • Megan Black, National Clergy Organizer, PICO National Network
  • Piper Kerman, Author and Activist, Orange Is the New Black
  • Michael Waldman, President, Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law
  • Isabel Rose, Singer, Writer, Parent, and Activist for Transgender Equality
  • Ari Ne'eman, CEO,
  • Rabbi Rachel Timoner, Senior Rabbi, Congregation Beth Elohim (Brooklyn, NY)
  • Rabbi Gayle Pomerantz, Temple Beth Sholom, Miami Beach, FL
  • Cantor Rosalie Boxt, Temple Emanuel, Kensington, MD
  • Governor Jack Markell, Former Governor of Delaware
  • Mayor Darrell Steinberg, Mayor of Sacramento, CA
  • US Representative Jamie Raskin (MD-8)
  • US Representative Joe Kennedy III (MA-4)
  • US Representative Lee Zeldin (NY-1)
  • US Representative Jerrold Nadler (NY-10)
  • US Representative Jacky Rosen (NV-3)

What: Consultation on Conscience, the Reform Jewish Movement’s premier social justice leadership and advocacy conference

Where: Renaissance Arlington Capital View Hotel
             2800 South Potomac Avenue
             Arlington, Virginia 22202
             (Sunday and Monday)

             Sixth and I Historic Synagogue
             600 I Street, NW
             Washington, DC 20001
             (Tuesday only)         

When:  Sunday, April 30 to Tuesday, May 2, 2017

RSVP:  The event is open to the media and coverage is welcome. To request media credentials, please register here.

More information about the 2017 Consultation on Conscience, including speaker and programming updates, can be found at:


The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism is the Washington office of the Union for Reform Judaism, whose more than 900 congregations across North America encompass 1.5 million Reform Jews, and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, whose membership includes more than 2,000 Reform rabbis. Visit for more.