From May 6-9, several JOI staff members attended the JCCA Biennial, a 4-day conference for Jewish communal professionals and volunteer leaders from Jewish Community Center across North America. This year, the conference took place in the fun city of New Orleans, and included several different types of sessions, including seminar tracks, Jewish learning groups, and plenary (or keynote) sessions.
Throughout the conference, JOI Associate Executive Director Paul Golin, Senior Director of Training Eva Stern, and Director of Development Jamie Black met with Jewish communal professionals and volunteer leaders from across North America and beyond– including representatives from Spain, South America, Hungary, and Poland– about opening the tent of individual Jewish communities, as well as of the “big tent”, or as well like to call it, following the ideals of Big Tent Judaism.
“At the JCCA Biennial, it was incredibly affirming to see how the ideas of JOI’s programs resonated with the communal professionals and volunteer leaders who were there” said Senior Director of Training Eva Stern. “While there is excitement about institutional growth within the JCCA world, there are countless folks who came to our booth who expressed a need to go beyond the four walls of their JCCs, and saw JOI’s outreach programs and Big Tent Judaism methodology as the perfect way to meet that need. We were thrilled to meet so many wonderful professionals and volunteer leaders, and look forward to helping them raise the bar of inclusion both in their communities throughout North America, and the world.”
Jamie Allen Black, JOI’s Director of Development, had these thoughts to share: “The opportunity to interact with the dedicated lay leaders and professionals from JCCs throughout the world was inspiring. We had many substantive conversations with JCC representatives who are clearly committed to opening the Jewish tent as wide as possible, but unsure how to go from here to there.”
Eva, Jamie, and Paul spoke with many Jewish communal professionals about how they can help their Jewish communities reach out to the less-engaged Jews and interfaith families around them. Through invitations to the Big Tent Judaism Professional Affiliates program, we are excited to grow these new relationships and continue to expand the tent of the Jewish community.
Did you pick up your free “Inclusion Means More Than Lip Service” lip balm at our booth? Send us pictures!
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