Conservative Judaism Questions Assumptions and Explores New Paradigms at USCJ Convention 2017

Conservative Judaism Questions Assumptions and Explores New Paradigms at USCJ Convention 2017

Posted on November 20, 2017

This December 1-5, leading Jewish thinkers and doers will convene in Atlanta, GA to meet the challenges of an authentic and dynamic Jewish future at USCJ Convention 2017. The convention will address critical issues in the Jewish community, inspiring participants to innovate and advance Conservative Judaism’s role in North America, Israel, and around the world.

“The issues facing Conservative Jews are clear. We’ve had, and will continue to have, debates about them, but it’s our duty to do more than just discuss the state of the union,” said Rabbi Steven Wernick, USCJ CEO. “It’s time to start laying the foundation for our future and offer ideas that will help congregations navigate the new paradigms of a rapidly changing world.”

 The convention will provide ideas and tools for how congregations can embrace change, engage key demographics such as teens and empty nesters in their Jewish journeys, and renew passion for pillars of Jewish life prayer, social justice, and Israel.

 Speakers include recognized thought leaders and innovators such as Jeffrey Goldberg, Editor and Chief of The Atlantic; Dr. Yehuda Kurtzer, President of the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America; Yael Cohen Paran, Member of Israeli Knesset and Co-Chair of the Green Movement; Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League; Reverend Natosha Reid Rice of the Ebenezer Baptist Church; Rabbi Noa Kushner, founder of The Kitchen; Rabbi Ed Feinstein, Senior Rabbi of Valley Beth Shalom in Encino, CA; Rabbi Mike Uram, author of Next Generation Judaism; and Archie Gottesman, the brand guru behind Manhattan Mini-Storage.

 Attendees can also take advantage of USCJ and lay leadership experts with “brain dates,” one-on-one and small group discussions about the current issues facing congregations including member recruitment and retention, financial sustainability, and more.

 In addition to sessions and workshops, the convention will host a multi-generation Shabbaton for Conservative Jews of all ages. Filled with celebration and learning, the weekend will culminate with a Havdalah concert from Joey Weisenberg of Mechon Hadar’s Rising Song Institute.

 Weisenberg’s performance is part of a three-concert series USCJ is hosting during the convention for the local community. Other performers include headliner Neshama Carlebach and Nava Tehila. Carlebach and her Gospel Choir will perform at the Ebenezer Baptist Church, the famed pulpit of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, on December 3 at 8PM. Tickets are currently on sale to the public at

 “I am excited that the Conservative Jewish world has the opportunity to experience Southern hospitality and learn about the rich Jewish heritage here,” said Margo Gold, USCJ International President and longtime Atlanta resident. “Our hope is that all who attend will be personally inspired and return home overflowing with ideas, motivation, and energy to ‘Dare Together’ in their own communities.”

 The Atlanta convention is co-chaired by Harvey and Lainie Rosen of Congregation Beth Sholom in Teaneck, New Jersey. Other committee chairs include Dana Sharon Winer, Program Chair; and Pia Koslow and Robbie Medwed, Host Committee Co-chairs.

 USCJ Convention 2017 will be held at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis in Atlanta, GA, December 1-5. For more information please visit

About USCJ

Founded in 1913, USCJ is the network of nearly 600 Conservative Jewish communities across North America. We represent the values and beliefs of an authentic and dynamic Judaism in the United States, Canada, Mexico and Israel. Our work strengthens kehillot (Jewish communities inside and outside the walls of a synagogue) by providing visionary leadership training, creating opportunities for Jews of all ages to learn and grow, sharing essential resources, and seeding innovative ideas. Learn more at