JPPI's Jewish World Dialogue

Exploring the Jewish Spectrum in a Time of Fluid Identity


This year’s Dialogue Process marks the third year that JPPI has been building a structure for a systematic discourse on issues that are at the core of the collective interests of the Jewish people globally. Exploring the Jewish Spectrum in a Time of Fluid Identity, discussing together how the different streams approach Judaism, is a main component of our project on Pluralism and Democracy in Israel and the Diaspora. We are grateful to the William Davidson Foundation for supporting this endeavor and encouraging a deeper understanding among Jews globally.

The 2016 Jewish World Dialogue was co-headed for the first time by an Israeli JPPI Senior Fellow in tandem with an American one. Shmuel Rosner and John Ruskay, representing the two largest Jewish communities in the world, started a personal conversation before widening it to 49 different seminars worldwide. They didn’t neglect the smaller communities, which many times present the most difficult challenges.

JPPI’s effort to enhance pluralism in the Jewish world has, from its inception, enjoyed the encouragement of Israel’s leaders, such as former President Shimon Peres, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and JAFI’s Chairman Natan Sharansky as well as the participating communities and Jewish organizations abroad. President Reuven Rivlin, who is dedicated to bridging gaps in Israel and world Jewry, launched a tradition with JPPI to bring together representatives of all the streams to study together Jewish texts. The Dialogue is approaching the point when it should culminate in a deeper results-oriented conversation at the highest echelons of leadership on how we should fulfill our common destiny.

The Jewish people is undergoing a period of radical change in its internal dynamics: generational transitions; the promise of some normalization of Israel’s situation in the Middle East; a shift in Jewish Identification and sense of community. The external environment of the Jewish people is changing radically as well: globalization; geostrategic shifts; value transformations; scientific and technological innovations; new manifestations of anti-Semitism. All these create new realities and challenges that provide the Jewish people unprecedented opportunities for thriving but also pose serious risks of decline.
Enriching the dialogue in the Jewish world between different communities, streams, and political orientations may help us take advantage of opportunities and avert dangers and threats.

We are continuing in making an effort to internalize and implement the lessons learned from each year of JPPI’s Structured Dialogue Process.

I want to thank the Institute’s leadership, and especially Stuart Eizenstat, Dennis Ross, and Leonid Nevzlin, who head our Professional Guiding Council, for their continuing commitment to, and support of, our work. Special thanks, once again, to the William Davidson Foundation for its confidence and trust.

Avinoam Bar-Yosef

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Exploring the Jewish Spectrum in a Time of Fluid Identity

The Jewish People Policy Institute’s 2016 Dialogue process on “Exploring the Jewish Spectrum in a Time of Fluid Identity” included a number of key research components: a comprehensive survey and in-depth analysis of background literature on definitions and interpretations of Judaism, and on collective identity in our time; several dozen seminars in communities throughout the world, some of which were facilitated by JPPI moderators while others were facilitated locally; distribution of a questionnaire to all discussion group participants; reading and analyzing opinion articles from all over the world on this topic; analysis of the Dialogue survey data and written seminar summaries,; and data from JPPI’s 2016 Pluralism in Israel Survey.
Materials produced by the Institute in advance of this year’s Dialogue process
Background report prepared prior to the seminars;
PowerPoint presentation for showing at the seminars, and detailed instructions to facilitators on how to use the presentation;
Questionnaire that was distributed to all the discussion group participants (attached above);
Chapter in the annual evaluation report for 2014-2015 by the Jewish People Policy Institute.

Below is a list of the communities that took part in the Dialogue process:

Communities that held seminars facilitated by JPPI fellows


Organizing body

Seminar dates

Number of participants

Number of groups


Bina Israel gap year program





JPPI December Conference





Ein Prat Mechina program





Career IsraelMasa/Israel Experience program





Forum Hashlamafor promoting HarediSecular connections





Federation of Miami





Federation of Dallas





Federation of Detroit





Federation of Palm Beach





Federation of Cleveland





Shnat NetzerMaayan, WUPJ





Federation of Pittsburgh





UJAFederation of New York





Federation of Washington DC





JUFFederation of Chicago





Federation of Atlanta





Federation of Baltimore





Federation of Philadelphia





CJPCombined Jewish Philanthropies, Boston




Communities that held seminars that were facilitated locally


Organizing body

Seminar dates

Number of participants

Number of groups


Zionist Federation of Australiathe Zionist Council of Victoria





University Jewish ChaplaincyLeeds & Yorkshire





Jewish Confederation of Brazil (CONIB)

Jewish Federation in São Paolo (FISESP)





Jewish Federation in Rio De Janeiro (FIERJ), CONIB





Zionist Federation of AustraliaState Zionist Council of Queensland





Zionist Federation of AustraliaState Zionist Council of NSW





Zionist Federation of AustraliaState Zionist Council of South Australia





Federation of St. Louis





Board of Deputies of British Jews





The Jewish Society of Bahia (SIB), CONIB





Federation of Portland










Partial List of participants:

Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta
הפדרציה היהודית באטלנטה
Seminar coordinator: Cheri Levitan and Aaron Levi
Note taker: Aaron Levi

Janice Blumberg
Shelley Buxbaum
Renee Evans
Amy Glass
Jeremy Katz
Renee Kutner
Lisa Lebovitz
Aaron Levi
Cheri Levitan
Melissa Miller
Blair Rothstein
Kenny Silverboard
Beverly Stahl
Rich Walter
Rachel Wasserman

Bina Gap Year in Tel Aviv
ישיבת בינה
Seminar Coordinator: Yuval Linden

Shoham Dror
Noa Gordon-Guterman
Kineret Grant-Sasson
Jazlyn Hellman
Yaira Kalender
Sally Klapper
Alexander Leopold
Eva Stein
Ronit Van Der Schaaf

The Associated: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore
הפדרציה היהודית בבולטימור
Seminar coordinator: Mary Haar

Allison Baumwald
Barry Bogage
Reut Friedman
Randy Getz
Mary Haar
Beth Hecht
Liora Hill
Gregory Krupkin
Suzanne Lapides
Dixie Leikach
Amanda Levine
Shelly Malis
Yehuda Neuberger
Mark Neumann
Mimi Rozmaryn
John Shmerler
Chana Siff
Marc Terrill
Harel Turkel
Helene Waranch
Martha Weiman
Larry Ziffer

CJP of Greater Boston
הפדרציה היהודית בבוסטון

Seminar coordinator and note taker: Alex Thomson

Brad Balter
Arinne Braverman
Rachel Chafetz
Renee Finn
Steven Finn
Paul Gershkowitz
Betsy Hecker
Harold Kotler
Ann Levin
Lawrence Marks
Gil Preuss
Leonard Saxe
Barry Shrage
Adam Smith
Todd Spivak
Alex Thomson
Larry Tobin
Lauri Union

Board of Deputies of British Jews
הועד המנהל של יהדות בריטניה

Seminar coordinator and note taker: David Walsh
Seminar Moderator: Richard Verber

David Berens
Stephen Curtis
Elliot Jebreel
Colin Lang
Amos Schonfield
Richard Verber
David Walsh
Gabriel Webber

JUF /Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago
הפדרציה היהודית בשיקגו

Seminar coordinator: Elissa Polan

Jewish Federation of Cleveland
הפדרציה היהודית בקליבלנד

Seminar coordinator: Erika Rudin-Luria
Seminar facilitators: Dan Zelman, Enid Rosenberg, Bruce Goodman, Dan Polster, Randy Korach, Gary Gross, Keith Libman, Beth Rosenberg, Rick Horvitz
Seminar note takers: Stephanie Kahn, Kari Blumenthal, Varsha Balachandran, Rebecca Stolarsky, Jessica Semel, Jen Schwarz, Jill Pupa, Melanie Halvorson, Elizabeth Klein
Staff: Abbie Levin, Alan Gross, Dayan Gross, Jessica Cohen, Amy Kaplan, Barry Reis, Dahlia Fisher, Shelley Marcus, Tami Caplan, Lakshmi Nebel, Hedy Milgrom

Sheila Allenick
Oren Baratz
Susan Borison
Tami Caplan
Alan Charnas
Reneé Chelm
Jessica Cohen
Barry Feldman
Andrea Kanter Grodin
Gary L. Gross
Stephen H. Hoffman
Richard Horvitz
Suellen Kadis
Elizabeth D. Klein
Jennifer Korach
Hedy Milgrom
Stephen Monto
Robert Nosanchuk, Senior Rabbi
Anshe Chesed Fairmount Temple
Dan Polster
Barry Reis
Enid Rosenberg
Barbara S. Rosenthal, Esq.
Erika Rudin-Luria
Kyla Epstein Schneider
Jessica Bell Semel
Jeanne Tobin
Idelle K. Wolf
Dan Zelman

Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas
הפדרציה היהודית בדאלאס

Seminar coordinators: Anita Zusman Eddy and Talia Kushnick

Rabbi Ariel Boxman
Rabbi Nancy Kasten
Rabbi Michael Kushnick
Rabbi Ariel Rackovsky
Rabbi Debra Robbins
Rabbi Adam Roffman
Rabbi David Stern
Rabbi Benjamin Sternman
Rabbi Shira Wallach
Rabbi Stefan Weinberg
Rabbi Shawn Zell
Rabbi Elana Zelony
Rabbi Brian Zimmerman
Lindsay Feldman
Jay Liberman
Michelle Meiches
Melanie Rubin
Jason Schwartz
Zev Shulkin
Dawn Strauss
Ben Weinstein

Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit
הפדרציה היהודית בדטרויט

Seminar coordinators: Jeffrey Lasday and Susan Higgins
Note takers and facilitators: Barrett Harr, Harvey Leven, Gail Greenberg, Melanie Rivkin

Kari Alterman
Norm Beitner
Michael Berke
Sue Birnholtz
Rabbi Azaryah Cohen
Rachel Ellis
Rabbi Jeffrey Falick
Suzanne Gildenberg
Jodi Goodman
Rabbi Arianna Gordon
Robert Gordon
Kenneth Goss
Gail Greenberg
Cheryl Guyer
Wren Hack
Barrett Harr
Jessica Katz
Richard Krugel
Jeffrey Lasday
Lori Serbin Lasday
Harvey Leven
Judy Loebl
Debbie Morosohk
Alicia Nelson
Rabbi David Nelson
Melanie Rivkin
Rabbi Steven Rubenstein
Sue Salinger
Susan Salinger
Marilyn Gans Shelberg
Lisa Siegmann
Lisa Soble Siegmann
Rabbi Aaron Starr
Simcha Tolwin
Michael Wolf

Ein Prat Mechina Program
מכינת עין פרת מדרשה למנהיגות חברתית

Seminar coordinator: Hagai Ivri

Forum Hashlama -for promoting Haredi-Secular connections
פורום השלמה לקידום יחסי חרדים-חילונים

Seminar coordinator: Ohad Shpak

University Jewish Chaplaincy Leeds & Yorkshire
– הקהילה היהודית באוניברסיטת לידס ויורקשיר

Seminar coordinator and facilitator: Eli Magzimof

Noam Adler
Spencer Bronson
Sophia Ellis
Alice Engler
Dan Mackenzie
David Maskill
D. Weissmann

Masa-Israel experience Career Israel
מסע-חוויה ישראלית קריירה

Seminar coordinator: Itzik Tamir Yehezkel

Jewish Federation of Greater Miami
הפדרציה היהודית במיאמי

Seminar coordinator: Yahaira Taveras
Seminar note taker: Michelle Labgold

Saby Behar
Sara Bejar
Dahlia Bendavid
Robert G. Berrin
John M. Bussel
Mojdeh K. Danial
Amy N. Dean
Isaac K. Fisher
Steven Gretenstein
Jill Hagler
Simon Kaminetsky
Ian Kaplan
Laura P. Koffsky
Steven J. Kravitz
Michelle Labgold
Stave Lande
William Lehman
Jeff Levin
Norman Lipoff
Shelley Niceley Groff
Mark E. Oren
Ofi Osin-Cohen
Sidney M. Pertnoy
Aaron Podhurst
Bonnie Reiter-Lehrer
Sheree Savar
Jeffrey Scheck
Michael Scheck
Maxine E. Schwartz
Lily Serviansky
Mytyl Simancas-Bister
Jacob Solomon
Stanley Weinstein

Shnat Netzer – Ma’ayan
תכנית שנת נצ”ר – קבוצת מעיין

Seminar coordinators: Adi Blum and Yael Efraim

Samuel Bard
Rosa Cass
Ayanda Dlomo Lawrence
Chloe Glantz
Mia Gottleib
Tommy Grantley
Ella Janner- Klausner
Charlotte Katan
Nancye Kochen
Henry Leonard
Kiara Meltzer
Noa Opat
Daniel Parker
Sophie Peterman
Sophie Phillips
Beth Raphael
Tamara Reichman
Benjamin Reiff
Miranda Robshaw
Sarah Sadique
Ella Sandler
Maxine Silbert
Rachel Stanton
Barney Stubbs
Rebecca Szabo
Mikaela Webb
Jordon Woods
Ben Wyatt

State Zionist Council of New South Wales
הפדרציה הציונית בסידני

Seminar coordinator, moderator and note taker: Teneille Murray

Sosho Aronjan
Hayley Hadassin
Michael Misrachi
Teneille Murray
Gareth Narunsky
Yigal Nisell
Natalee Pozniak
Ran Wiser

UJA – Federation of New York
הפדרציה היהודית בניו יורק

Seminar coordinators: Jessica Chait, Rachel Goldrich

Sanford Antignas
Annie Cohen
Zachary Cohen
Melvin Epstein
Harry Frischer
Rachel Goldrich
Harold Obstfeld
Hindy Poupko
Joseph Rafalowitz
Karen Rafalowitz
Rebecca Saidlower
Felicia Sol
Elisheva Urbas
Judith West

Jewish Federation of Palm Beach
הפדרציה היהודית בפאלם ביץ

Seminar coordinators and note takers: Josephine Gon and Patricia Gilbert

Melissa Arden
Phil Avruch
Sandy Baklor
Debra Berney
Nir Buchler
Charles Cohen
Marjorie Federman
Barry Feinberg
Libby Fishman
Shelly Friedman
Patricia Gilbert
Sandra Goldberg
Josephine Gon
Ilan Hurvitz
Lynne Lieberman
Rabbi David Paskin
Joel Passick
Suzan Sankel
Susan Sher
Marvin Suskin
Stephen Sussman
Gary Walk

Jewish Federation of Philadelphia
הפדרציה היהודית בפילדלפיה

Seminar Coordinators: Deborah Glanzberg-Krainin and LaJonel Brown
Seminar note taker: LaJonel Brown

Naomi Adler
Arlene Fickler
Joel Freedman
Deborah Glanzberg-Krainin
Ernest Kahn
Adam Kessler
Rena Kopelman
Linda Roth
Rabbi Lynnda Targan
Hillel Zaremba

Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh
הפדרציה היהודית בפיטסבורג

Seminar coordinators: Deborah Baron and Tracy Grandelis

David Ainsman
Meryl Ainsman
Jim Busis
Jeff Finkelstein
Rabbi James Gibson
E T Kaplan Goldstein
Scott Leib
Jan Levison
Adam Shear
Rabbi Ron Symons
Randy Whitlatch

Jewish Federation of Portland
הפדרציה היהודית בפורטלנד

Seminar coordinator: Caron Blau Rothstein
Seminar moderators: Joe Hertzberg (primary) Caron Rothstein (secondary)
Seminar note takers: Laura Renner Satushek (primary) Caron Rothstein (secondary)

Marilyn Abend
Steve Albert
Jessica Bettelheim
Marc Blattner
Ben Charlton
Michelle Denov
Julie Diamond
Anna Epstein
Jordan Epstein
Hannah Ferber
Aki Fleshler
Max Forer
Debbie Frank
Sylvia Frankel
Jodi Fried
Bonni Goldberg
Kenneth Gordon
Eli Gregory
Merrill Hendin
Shari House
Daniel Isaak
Wendy Kahn
Aaron Kaufman
Priscilla Kostiner
Rhonda Kruschen
Naomi Leavitt
Alex Linsker
Susan Marcus
Judy Margles
Natan Meir
Josh Monifi
Alan Montrose
Sarah Philips
Naomi Price
Brian Rohr
Joshua Rose
Michael Rosenberg
Ilene Safyan
Rochelle Schwartz
Arden Shenker
Steve Sirkin
Nate Smith
Len Steinberg
Joanne Van Ness Menashe
Julia Weiss
Jordan Winkler
Yehudah Winter

State Zionist Council of Queensland
הפדרציה הציונית בקווינסלנד, אוסטרליה

Seminar coordinator: Hadas Palevsky
Seminar moderator and note taker: Avi Michaeli

Trevor Brazil
Shakina Burdo
Libby Burke
Jenny Creese
Karen Demartini-Scacheri
Tzuri shaddai Demartini-Scacheri
Noga Erlbaum
Norma Erlbaum
Eve Fraser
Carolyn Goldsmith
David Groen
Rivka Groen
Hila Jacobi
Sheila Levine
Elke Mendels
Jason Steinberg
Olia Zvenyatsky

Jewish Federation in Rio De Janeiro (FIERJ), CONIB
הפדרציה היהודית בריו דה ז’ניירו

Seminar coordinator and note taker: Dr. Alberto Milkewitz
Seminar moderators: Sergio Napchan and Dr. Alberto Milkewitz

Ana Marlene Starec
Claudio Goldemberg
Cristiane Feldman
Daniel f. Israel
David Albagli Gorodicht
Debora Rosman
Eduardo Cukierkorn
Evelyn Freier Milsztajn
Helio Feldman
Henry Rosenberg
Jeanette Bierg Erlich
Julia Aizenman
Tamar Bakman
Melina Lifschitz Goichman
Michel Ventura
Mourad Belaciano
Nadia Monteiro
Nelly Starel
Patricia Tiomno Tolmasquim
Paula Haas
Paulo Maltz
Regina Lupu
Rubem Ferman
Stella Rosita Goldberg
Vanya Bayon Dodeles

Jewish Federation in São Paolo (FISESP), CONIB
הפדרציה היהודית בסאו פאולו
Seminar coordinator and note taker: Dr. Alberto Milkewitz
Seminar moderators: Sergio Napchan and Dr. Alberto Milkewitz

Abraham Goldstein
Adrian Gottfried
Alberto Milkewitz
Alon Feuerwerker
Bruno Laskowsky
Celso Zilbovicius
Charles Kirschbaum
Daniel Blatt – Netzach
Daniel Douek
David Diesendruck
Eduardo Wurzrnann
Enrique Mandelbaum
Fabio Topczewski
Felipe Pait
Franklin Kuperman
Gaby Milevsky
Guilherrne Brein
Heloisa Pait
Henry Gherson
lzy Rahmani
Jacques Griffel
Jaques Marcovitch
Joel Rechtrnan
Juliana Portenoy Schlesinger
Karen Didio Sasson
Michel Schlesinger
Mirko Leibl
Rabino Rogerio cukierrnan
Rafael Schur
Raul Meyer
Revital Poleg
Ricardo Berkiensztat
Ruth Goldberg
Sam Osrno
Samuel Feldberg
Sergio Napchan
Sergio Simon
Silvio Brand
Yael Barnea

State Zionist Council of South Ausralia
הפדרציה הציונית בדרום אוסטרליה

Seminar coordinator and moderator: Alison Marcus
Seminar note taker: Merrilyn Ades

Merrilyn Ades
Bernice Cohen
Matthew Cozens
Ilana Culshaw
Jack Gubbay
Billie Hocking
Alison Marcus
Michelle Morris
Lesley Rosenthal
Sarah Trifoi
Helen Tversky Steiner
Andrew Tversky Steiner
Berry van Vuuren

Jewish Federation of St. Louis
הפדרציה היהודית בסיינט לואיס

Seminar Coordinator: Maharat Rori Picker Neiss
Seminar moderator: Barry Rosenberg
Seminar note taker: Cyndee Levy

Ariel Axelbaum
Brent Efron
Molly Fink
Ben Fox
Tasha Kaminsky
Jean Morgan
Rebecca Nathanson
Nicky Rainey
Paul Sorenson
Gabriela Szteinberg
Andrew Warshaver

The Jewish Society of Bahia (Salvador), CONIB
הפדרציה היהודית בסלבדור, ברזיל

Seminar coordinator and note taker: Dr. Alberto Milkewitz
Seminar moderators: Sergio Napchan and Dr. Alberto Milkewitz

Ana Zalcbergas
Antonio Marcos Wanderley dos Santos
Fernando Coifman
Igor Brachmans
Jorge Goldstein
Juceni David
Lea Ester Sandes-Sobral
Liliane Orenstein
Luciano Fingmout
Luciano Gomes
Mauro Zalcbergas
Nilson Goldstein
Perola Pekelhaizen
Raquel Maguilniklen
Reveca Laizen
Ricardo David
Roberto Camoraja
Saul Kaminsky
Sergio Kopinski Ekerman
Sergio Rabinovitz

Jewish Federation of Greater Washington
הפדרציה היהודית בוושינגטון

Seminar Coordinator: Lynn Jatlow

Mindy Berger
Anne Feinberg
Michael Feinstein
Kevin Fishkind
Michael Flyer
Neil Gurvitch
Karen Herron
Ron Kabran
Sherry Kabran
David Kalender
Leslie Kaplan
Sam Kaplan
Billy Kreisberg
Danny Krifcher
Jocelyn Krifcher
Jennie Litvack
Marcia Nusgart
Albert Perry
Jamie Poslosky
Steve Rakitt
Susan Schor
Jane Shichman
Mindy Strelitz
Stuart Tauber
Stuart Weinblatt
Ed Weiss

State Zionist Council of Victoria
הפדרציה הציונית במלבורן

Seminar coordinator: Jane Rapke
Seminar moderator: John Searle
Seminar note-taker: Eileen Freed

Jarred Abrahams
Rachel Adams
Michele Bernshaw
George Erlichster
Leonie Fleiszig
Eileen Freed
Emily Gian
Ariel Golvan
Nathan Guttman
Sharene Hambur
Rinat Kedem-Bart
Julian Kowal
Uri Levin
Jodi Liebenberg
Andrew Markus
Leon Orbach
Daniel Rabin
Brandon Raiter
Jane Rapke
Ian Samuel OAM
Ginette Searle
John Searle
Solomon Silverstein
Hadar Slonim
Adam Stein
Simone Szalmuk- Singer
Lauren Winn

Jewish Community in Zurich
קהילה יהודית בציריך

Seminar coordinators: Guy Spier and Lynda Brandt
Seminar moderator and note taker: Guy Spier

Naama Baram
Elizabeth Kalmin
Guy Spier
Lori Spier
Avital Levi