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About the Year of Civil Discourse Initiative

The Year of Civil Discourse (YCD) Initiative is designed to elevate the level of discourse in the Jewish community when discussing Israel. We envision an inclusive Jewish community where people from across the political spectrum can come together, discuss challenging topics, inspire and empower one another, leading to a stronger and more vital Jewish community. YCD will provide Jewish community members, institutions, and leaders with the tools to have respectful, vibrant, engaging conversations about Israel and emerging controversial issues. We hope you'll join us in this innovative effort!


    Randi Dodick Fields is Project Coordinator. Randi has extensive experience developing and producing large scale projects and programs, having spent more than 25 years in broadcast journalism and independent media production and having recently co-chaired the JCC Maccabi Games in San Francisco, which involved 1300 local volunteers and brought together nearly 2000 participants from across the country and the world.

    Rachel Eryn Kalish is Project Facilitator. Rachel Eryn has over 25 years of experience working with a wide variety of organizations, communities and families to transform conflict into creative, inspired and trusting relationships. Along with Abby Michelson Porth, she founded Project Reconnections, the catalyst for the Year of Civil Discourse Initiative.

    Abby Michelson Porth is Associate Executive Director of the JCRC. Along with Rachel Eryn Kalish, she founded Project Reconnections, the catalyst to the Initiative.

    David Katznelson is the Director of Outreach and Engagement for the Jewish Community Federation, and is coordinating the Federation's participation in the Initiative.

    Rabbi Marvin Goodman is Executive Director of the Board of Rabbis of Northern California. His work focuses on enhancing and sustaining the rabbis of northern California in their work with our Jewish Community.

Needs Assessment Committee

    The Needs Assessment Committee reviews applications of Jewish institutions seeking participation in YCD, and identifies useful opportunities and resources that will match those institutions' particular needs. Some institutions will have the opportunity to host Project Reconnections, and others will be provided with facilitator training, or other resources. We are grateful to the Needs Assessment Committee:

      Liki Abrams
      Al Baum
      Matt Berler
      Susie Colliver
      Rabbi David Cooper
      Dana Corvin
      Sue Diamond
      Adina Danzig Epelman
      Randi Fields
      Michael Futterman
      Rabbi Marvin Goodman
      Jennifer Gorovitz
      Michael Jacobs
      Rabbi Douglas Kahn
      Rachel Eryn Kalish
      David Katznelson
      Susan Koster
      Susan Lubeck
      Gerri Miller
      Abby Porth
      Susan Rothenberg
      Toby Rubin
      Mady Shumofsky
      Rabbi Eric Weiss
      Howard Zack

Jewish Community Relations Council    121 Steuart Street, Suite 301, San Francisco, CA 94105

phone: 415.957.1551    fax: 415.979.0981    info@jcrc.org

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JCRC is a beneficiary agency of the San Francisco-based Jewish Community Federation and the Jewish Federation of the East Bay.
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