The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington announced a new partnership this week with the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America (SHI). Convening leaders from across the Greater Washington area, the initiative will be a strategic response to the current challenges facing American and Jewish civic societies and tailored to the unique dynamic of Greater Washington — bridging ideological, political, denominational, and geographic gaps.
The initiative will officially launch in the fall of 2018, and will include public lectures, institutional seminars, and forums with the focus of establishing ongoing cohorts of leaders learning about and developing strategies to strengthen Jewish life and American civil society through a Jewish lens. The programming will bring together Jewish leadership across the nonprofit, political, and business sectors.
SHI is one of the leading centers of pluralistic Jewish thought and education serving Israel and world Jewry.
“We are eager to integrate Jewish traditions, debates, and ideas to help contextualize and shape our current societal discussions for thought-leaders from various fields, creating connections between the Jewish content and the civic discourse in which so many Washingtonians are already involved,” said Federation CEO Gil Preuss. “This partnership seeks to elevate and reshape the Jewish communal conversation on its most pressing issues.”
The hope is that the initiative will not only be of great value to the Greater Washington community, but also be a potential model for communal discourse for Jewish communities around the United States.
“The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington is well-positioned to take the lead in this communal approach to change,” said SHI President Yehuda Kurtzer. “As conveners, strategic leaders, and facilitators of partnerships, The Jewish Federation and Shalom Hartman Institute of North America will leverage our shared expertise and relationships to create meaningful change in communal discourse.”