National Convening on Jewish Poverty logo

March 19, 2019
Hilton Union Square Hotel San Francisco

2:00 – 5:00 p.m. PST

5:00 – 6:00 p.m. PST

*The reception will include a volunteer activity to honor the Purim tradition of giving gifts to the poor. Purim begins at sundown on Wednesday, March 20, 2019.

The Convening, hosted by the Weinberg Foundation, will be a series of conversations among a diverse audience of experts on Jewish poverty, including researchers, direct-service providers, federation leaders, and philanthropists.

Weinberg Foundation Leadership

The Convening will include participation by four Weinberg Foundation Trustees—Chair Robert T. Kelly, Jr., Ambassador Fay Hartog-Levin (Ret.), Paula Pretlow, and Gordon Berlin—as well as President and CEO Rachel Garbow Monroe.

Keynote Panel

The panel will discuss the challenges of poverty in general throughout the US, as well as the unique aspects of Jewish poverty. It will also assess the current research on low-income Jewish households and identify potential next steps related to national Jewish poverty.

Panelists include

Wes Moore

Wes Moore
Robin Hood Foundation

Alan Cooperman

Alan Cooperman
Director, Religion Research
Pew Research Center

Sarah Abramson

Sarah Abramson
VP, Caring, Community Impact and Strategic Partnerships
Combined Jewish Philanthropies

Interactive Breakout Sessions

Sessions will focus on specific aspects of Jewish poverty, including services for Holocaust survivors, perspectives from the press, building a system of comprehensive case management for low-income Jews, enhancing research and data on Jewish poverty, among others. Leading experts in their fields have each authored a specific concept paper (linked below). Those in attendance will have the opportunity to hear these experts speak further on their papers and to engage in an active discussion during the breakout sessions.

Advancing Research on Jewish Poverty:
Improving and aligning the data we collect so that Jewish communities can identify and serve vulnerable populations.
Led by Alan Cooperman (Pew Research Center) and Laurence Kotler-Berkowitz (Jewish Federations of North America)

Innovative Approaches to Combating Hunger:
How two Jewish Federations are leveraging technology and data to decrease hunger and increase dignity in their communities.
Led by Alexandra Roth-Kahn and Abbe Pick (UJA-Federation of New York) and Raquel Romirowsky (Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia)

Jewish Poverty in the Media:
Why are poor Jews rarely found in media portrayals of the American Jewish community, and how can the media make Jewish poverty a more urgent concern?
Led by Jane Eisner (The Forward)

No Wrong Door:
One Jewish Federation’s approach to addressing poverty in our community.
Led by Sarah Abramson and Amanda Badolato (Combined Jewish Philanthropies)

The Silent Predictor:
Exploring the intersection of gender and Jewish poverty.
Led by Naomi Tucker (Shalom Bayit)

When More Than Half a Billion Dollars is Not Enough:
The efforts and challenges faced by the Claims Conference and its partner agencies, such as in Chicago, in addressing the unmet need of vulnerable Holocaust survivors.
Led by Miriam Weiner (Claims Conference) and Yonit Hoffman (CJE SeniorLife)

Bright Spots

This will be a fast-paced series of presentations by nonprofit and community leaders sharing examples of evidence-based, replicable programs.

  • A Vision for Change:
    One synagogue’s story of helping to catalyze a city to end family homelessness.
    Led by Rabbi Ryan Bauer (Congregation Emanu-El)
  • Community in Action:
    Leaving egos at the door, Detroit Jewish leaders use design thinking to combat poverty.
    Led by Perry Ohren (Jewish Family Service of Metro Detroit)
  • Shelter as a Holistic Refuge:
    The missing link in a coordinated community response.
    Led by Joy Solomon (The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Center for Elder Justice at the Hebrew Home at Riverdale)

For any questions, please reach out to Jon Hornstein at