Photos from JOI’s Women’s Summit

Last Friday we wanted to immediately blog about our Women’s Summit for a More Welcoming Jewish Community, which had taken place a day earlier in New York City. Today we are following that up with some photographs from the event. While it’s not as exciting as actually having been there, you can see from the photos how engaged the attendees and presenters were in grappling with some of the most important issues we face as a community. Here they are…

JOI senior program officer Liz Marcovitz welcomes conference participants.

Joyce Rappeport of the Albin Family Foundation and the JOI Women’s Advisory Board provides the vision for the day.

Mady Caslow of the Jewish Women’s Foundation of New York explains why such a conference was so important to the Foundation.

JOI director of training Eva Stern led a session on “Welcoming In” that had the whole room of over 100 participants fully engaged.

Rabbi Elyse Frishman spoke on transformation, relevance, innovation, and purpose.

Barbara Lerman-Golomb of Hazon offered thoughts after lunch about the Jewish value of understanding where our food comes from (including apples).

JOI program officer Rachel Gross facilitated a conversation about applying new skills.

Shifra Bronznick led a lively discussion on successful strategies for change.

JOI executive director Rabbi Kerry Olitzky introduces Beth Zasloff and Edgar Bronfman, who discuss their new book, “Hope, Not Fear: A Path to Jewish Renaissance”.

All conference participants received a copy of “Hope, Not Fear” at the end of the day.


  1. Over 50% of marriages fail normally. Imagine the complications arising from intermarriage. The odds of having a successful maariage, is to have as much in common as your mate. It’s a no-brainer.Aaron Braunstein.

    Comment by Aaron Braunstein — May 5, 2009 @ 8:57 am

  2. Hi Aaron,

    Thanks for your comment. I think you’re providing a pretty simplistic view of the world and I would suggest life ain’t so easy. For example, my wife is not Jewish and I am, but we both have the same religious view: agnostic. So is that a commonality or a difference? Both my parents are Jewish but they got divorced. That’s why suggesting that Judaism is the make-or-break commonality that couples need in order to maintain a happy marriage is something I am simply never going to believe. There is a long list of things that couples can have in common, and for most of them who are not religious people (and the majority of American Jews don’t consider themselves religious), Judaism can fall pretty low on that list.

    People simply don’t choose spouses based on the odds—the odds of staying together, the odds of raising Jewish children. If the goal is to engage more people in the Jewish community, we have to provide positive reasons why it would be valuable and meaningful for them to do so, rather than messages of negativity. That, to me, is the no-brainer.


    Comment by Paul Golin — May 5, 2009 @ 10:56 am

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