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It’s almost time for J Street’s 2021 National Conference (April 18-19)! Here’s everything you need to know, including some programming suggestions customized for you! Please read the entirety of this email, as all information is new for our virtual conference.

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It’s almost time for J Street’s 2021 National Conference (April 18-19)! Here’s everything you need to know! Please read the entirety of this email, as all information is new for our virtual conference.

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How to Participate in the Conference

All conference attendees will receive an invitation email to join J Street’s Conference platform on Sunday, April 11. The email will come from “J Street 2021 Virtual National Conference” at the address “[email protected]” with the subject line “Join the J Street National Conference.” If you do not see that email in your inbox on Sunday, please check your spam folder or your “Promotions” tab if you have Gmail. In the email, click the button that says “Sign-in to website.”

You will be brought to your personal attendee profile page. Some information will be filled in already from your registration. Fill in the remaining information, topics you are interested in and your J Street region and chapter (if applicable). Be sure to click “Save,” then click “Home” to explore the Conference. Please bookmark that conference website, as this is where you can access all of the conference events.

Technology Requirements

In order to get the most out of your conference experience, we recommend participating using the most updated version of the Google Chrome web browser on a desktop or laptop computer. Internet Explorer is not recommended.

There is not a mobile app for the conference, but a mobile version of the conference website will be available on your smartphone or tablet.

Some conference events will take place in Zoom (all Zoom links will be found in the agenda of the conference platform — see below). In order to fully participate in these events, please make sure you have the latest version of Zoom installed.


The 2021 J Street National Conference will have four mainstage or plenary sessions over the course of two days:

  • Sunday, April 18, 1:00-3:30pm ET: On the Ground in Israel, Palestine and the Region
  • Sunday, April 18, 7:00-9:30pm ET: The American Political Moment
  • Monday, April 19, 1:00-3:30pm ET: Living Our Progressive Values
  • Monday, April 19, 7:00-9:30pm ET: American Policy in the Middle East in the Biden Era

All of our mainstage sessions will be broadcast directly to the conference homepage. To see a more detailed schedule, speaker information and to participate in the live-chat, watch the mainstage content via the agenda page (click the appropriate date in the agenda dropdown, then click on the mainstage sessions).

On the agenda tab, you will also see other programming. To add them to your personal schedule, click the “+” button. You can view your personal schedule by clicking “View My Agenda” on the agenda tab.

Still looking for more J Street content? Click on our Video on Demand Library in the conference platform and browse dozens of additional programs!

Meet Other Conference Attendees

While we will miss seeing everyone in DC this year, you will still have the opportunity to meet and network with fellow J Street supporters! Click on the “attendee” tab and use the search feature to find fellow conference attendees by name, chapter, topic of interest or organization.

By clicking on the three dots next to an attendee’s name, you can send them a private message (“Send message”). Private messages you receive will show up in the “Conversations” tab under “inbox.”

If you are looking for a face-to-face connection, you can schedule a video meeting with other attendees (“Schedule meeting”). You can add up to thirty conference attendees to a private meeting — and browse their schedules to find a time. After you have scheduled a meeting, it will show up in your personal calendar. You can accept or decline an invitation to attend a meeting, as can other participants.

Please note: Although conference speakers are listed in the attendee list, they will not be receiving messages. You can message other attendees and J Street Staff.

Visit Our Exhibit Hall

Interested in learning about some of J Street’s fantastic partner organizations? Explore our virtual Exhibitor Hall by browsing through our forty partners. Click on their logo and then their name to learn more about their organization, explore videos and documents they have uploaded and talk to a representative via the “talk now” button.

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Advocacy Week

Thank you for registering for Advocacy Week, which will take place from Tuesday, April 20 – Friday, April 23. The 30-minute virtual meetings held between members of Congress (or their staff) and groups of J Street supporters during this week are crucial to our work all year.

Participants will receive their individualized Advocacy Week schedules on Friday, April 16 (via email from [email protected]), which will also include information on how to access your advocacy meetings.

All Advocacy Week participants must attend their region-specific Advocacy Week training session. These sessions will take place in advance of the mainstage programming on Sunday, April 18 and Monday, April 19.

You can find the timing and link for your region’s Advocacy Week training in your conference agenda once you log in to the conference website. Click on the ‘Agenda’ tab, then the appropriate date, then find and click on your region’s Advocacy Week Training session, which will bring you to the Zoom meeting.

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Have Questions or Need Help?

J Street recognizes that a virtual conference is a new experience for all of us! It is our goal to make the J Street conference a positive experience for everyone — one that is easy to use, interesting and engaging.

Throughout the conference, if you have any questions or need any assistance — please click on the “Support/FAQ” tab. There you will find answers to common questions, tutorial videos to help you navigate the site and a link to our dedicated support staff.

The support form will ping a live support person who will chat with you in real-time as soon as they are able.

If you have any questions in advance of the conference or when the FAQ is not immediately available, please feel free to reply to this email or write to [email protected].

Get Social: J Street Regional Meetups

Join other J Street supporters local to your area for time to socialize and a preview of the conference platform and experience. All meetup events can be found in the conference agenda on the conference platform.

  • Northwest Meetup: Sunday, April 11 at 2:00pm ET
  • New England Meetup: Monday, April 12 at 5:30pm ET
  • Tri-State+PA Meetup: Tuesday, April 13 at 5:30pm ET
  • Midwest Meetup: Tuesday, April 13 at 6:00pm ET
  • Capital South Meetup: Wednesday, April 14 at 5:00pm ET
  • Southwest Meetup: Wednesday, April 14 at 9:00pm ET

Please also check the conference agenda for other social events throughout the conference.

J Street’s Values and Code of Conduct

We value respectful and productive conversations, even while discussing hot-button issues. Therefore, we will require all participants to abide by J Street’s Values & Code of Conduct, which still apply to our new virtual space. If at any time during the conference you feel another participant has violated the code of conduct, please use the support line on the “Support/FAQ” page. Please include a screenshot if applicable.

Guided by our Jewish and democratic values, J Street works daily to cultivate and advance an environment in which all individuals are treated with respect and dignity. Each individual has the right to work, volunteer and congregate in a professional atmosphere that promotes respect and that prohibits discriminatory practices and abusive behavior, including harassment.

Therefore, J Street expects that all interactions and relationships among persons in the workplace and within J Street-hosted spaces will be respectful, professional and free of bias, prejudice, bullying and harassment.

If any individual is found in violation of J Street’s values and code of conduct, J Street reserves the right to refuse such individual admission and/or participation rights, and to remove such individual from any J Street event, gathering or communal space.

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Personalized Recommendations

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National Leadership Circle Events

As a committed member of our National Leadership Circle, you are invited to a special track of more intimate, off-the-record programs in the lead up to and during the conference. Here you will have a chance to interact in a smaller setting with some incredible leaders, ask important questions and celebrate the movement we have built together.

NLC Opening Reception
Thursday, April 15 at 8:00pm ET
Help us launch J Street’s first-ever virtual conference with a special opening reception just for NLC members. We will be joined by Congresswoman Karen Bass, a longtime J Street champion, who will share her insights on the political moment we’re in and what the Biden era has in store for our movement. We will also be joined by Ambassadors Martin Indyk and Dan Shapiro who will speak candidly with Jeremy Ben Ami about the unfolding geopolitical reality of the Middle East and its impact on developments in Israel/Palestine. This will be a chance to come together in anticipation of the conference, as a community of J Street leaders who care deeply about domestic politics and the politics of Israel/Palestine.

National Leadership Circle Session: Exclusive Conversation with Senator Catherine Cortez Masto and J Street President Jeremy Ben-Ami
Sunday, April 18 at 5:30pm ET
Join us for a conversation between Jeremy Ben-Ami and Senator Catherine Cortez Masto. The Senator is a JStreetPAC endorsee and has been a good friend of our movement since she was first elected in 2016. Prior to that, she was a criminal prosecutor for the US Attorney’s Office in Washington, DC, before serving as the Chief of Staff to Nevada Governor Bob Miller, and then as Nevada Attorney General. Senator Cortez Masto served as chair of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) in the 2020 election cycle, playing a critical role in Democrats winning the Senate majority.

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National Leadership Circle Session, by Invitation Only: Exclusive Conversation with UAE Ambassador Otaiba and J Street President Jeremy Ben-Ami
Monday, April 19 at 5:30pm
By invitation only: Join us on Monday at 5:30 PM ET for an exclusive conversation between UAE Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba and J Street President Jeremy Ben Ami. Ambassador Otaiba has been an enthusiastic champion of the UAE-US relationship since assuming his Washington post in 2008. Promoted to a Minister of State of the UAE in 2018, the Ambassador was a key architect of the 2020 normalization agreements between Israel, the UAE and other Arab nations. He has helped facilitate interfaith dialogues in the US and region and has been an ardent advocate and mentor for women in the UAE diplomatic service.

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Leadership Events

As a member of our Leadership, we want to make sure you have the tools and resources you need to succeed in your work in communities across the country. Our leadership will have access to sessions exclusively for J Street’s leadership. These sessions include:

Leader Conference Office Hours
Monday, April 12 at 2:00pm ET
Still have questions about what exactly a virtual conference is? Join J Street’s Conference Team to get a sneak peek at the conference and have all of your questions answered.

Navigating J Street
Wednesday, April 14 at 7:00pm ET
J Street has a clear mission, a defined strategy and a structure built to achieve its goals. Do you have questions about what those are? Join J Street’s President, Jeremy Ben-Ami, for a presentation and discussion focused specifically on the opportunities leaders have to get involved in the organization and contribute to its success. New J Street leaders are particularly encouraged to attend. We will begin at 7 PM ET with some schmoozing and getting to know one another before we dive into the content of the session.

Storytelling for Social Change: Developing your progressive Israel story
Sunday, April 18 at 4:00pm ET
Storytelling is the signature of humanity. Stories help us make meaning of the world; stories can build empathy, illuminate common causes, and generate collaboration. Stories are a universal language that speaks to our hearts as well as our heads. Thus, storytelling is central to J Street’s organizing model. As part of this year’s conference, J Street will offer leaders the opportunity to acquire the tools to tell their own progressive Israel story. Adding to our advocacy toolbox, leaders will practice using storytelling to bring people together for action and to develop and empower future leaders.

How To Talk About J Street’s Work in the Biden Era
Sunday, April 18 at 4:00pm ET
While J Street’s core values and goals have stayed constant throughout its history, our work and messaging have also evolved over time to address pressing challenges and meet the political moments we find ourselves in. It’s critical that we use the freshest, urgent and precise language to explain what we do and why we do it. In this session, join J Street’s Vice President of Communications Logan Bayroff to learn and discuss how J Street leaders can best frame our movement’s work, mission and unique role in our new political era.

Building J Street’s Advocacy Power in Congress
Sunday, April 18 at 4:00pm ET
Join us for an in-depth conversation on what it takes for J Street to build a successful advocacy infrastructure across the country that is prepared to lobby in the Biden administration and for years beyond. Dylan Williams, J Street’s Senior Vice President for Policy and Strategy, will share the highlights of where our advocacy work has succeeded and grown in the past 10+ years and where we need to go to achieve our mission. We’ll then hear a behind-the-scenes look at how J Street crafts our advocacy agenda for the current Congress from Debra Shushan, J Street’s Director of Government Affairs. The session will wrap up with an opportunity to hear a perspective from the other side on what makes for effective advocacy with congressional staffer Kate Gould, Legislative Director for Rep. Ro Khanna.

The Power of Peer to Peer Fundraising
Monday, April 19 at 4:00pm ET
Fundraising is scary! Well, your fellow leaders are here to tell you otherwise. Join a group of leaders from across the country for a conversation about how to effectively reach out to new prospective supporters of J Street. You’ll come away inspired and empowered, whether you are planning to be an individual ambassador or to build a development committee within your J Street chapter. There is no more powerful advocate for J Street’s growth than YOU!

Breaking Down J Street’s Political Strategy
Monday, April 19 at 4:00pm ET
Join J Street’s Political Committee of the Board for a conversation about our big picture strategy for the 2022 election cycle. Reflecting on both the lessons learned from the last cycle and looking ahead to new maps and a round of redistricting, we’ll discuss how different chapters and leaders across the country can be involved in shaping our political work.

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Rabbinic and Cantorial Track

There are several sessions and networking opportunities we think will be of great interest to clergy, seminary students, and Jewish communal professionals. All events can be found in your conference agenda.

T’ruah and J Street Happy Hour
Monday, April 12 at 6:00pm ET
T’ruah and J Street’s Rabbinic and Cantorial Cabinet invite all clergy and T’ruah supporters to join us for a happy hour. Meet your clergy colleagues, seminary students and leaders from both organizations.

Clergy Track Session: Zionism: Unpacking the word on the Left and Right
Sunday, April 18 at 4:00pm ET
“Zionism” is a litmus test on the right and the left. What is more important – the word or the meaning behind it? When do we use the word “Zionist” and when might we shy away from it for fear of controversy? Is there space to be a progressive Zionist? This session will include a text study and sharing our stories. This session will be led by Rabbi Jill Jacobs and Ken Bob.

Reconstructionist Movement Gathering
Sunday April 18 at 5:30pm ET
Join members of Reconstructing Judaism for a social hour at the J Street Conference. This meetup is hosted by Rabbi Elyse Wechterman and Rabbi Maurice Harris.

Conservative Rabbi Gathering
Monday, April 19 at 3:45pm ET
Conservative Movement Rabbinic Gathering hosted by Rabbi Jacob Blumenthal. Open to all members of the Rabbinical Assembly

Clergy Track Session: Getting Back to Action: From Israel Alienation to Israel Engagement
Monday, April 19 at 4:00pm ET
Given that Israel is one of the most contentious issues in the Jewish community, it is not surprising that American Jews are increasingly choosing not to engage with the topic. At the same time, polls continue to indicate that a significant majority of Jews do feel a special connection to Israel and care about its survival and success. And, 70% of those Jews do align with J Street’s pro-Israel, pro-peace, anti-occupation mission. But in order to succeed, we need to figure out how to get them off the sidelines and into the conversation. This session will be led by Rabbis Maurice Harris, Sharon Kleinbaum and Rachel Timoner.

URJ, ARZA, and Reform Movement Gathering
Monday, April 19 at 5:30pm
Come together as Reform leaders and friends at the J Street Conference. Rabbi Josh Weinberg and other leaders will brief you on movement updates and just say hi to one another. Representatives from HUC-JIR will also join.

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Student Track

In addition to our mainstage programming, please be sure to attend our sessions exclusively for students:

Is There Room For Young Progressives on Israel Study & Volunteer Programs? (Conference Lead-Up Program)
Sunday, April 11 at 1:00pm ET
Gap-year program discussion, open to everyone
J Street U is thrilled to be able to host this panel conversation moderated by Elliot Glassenberg of BINA: The Jewish Movement for Social Change, which will showcase a range of progressive gap-year programs for students and recent graduates looking to spend some time in Israel/Palestine.

Hill Staffers Sid Ravishankar and Sarah Benzing
Sunday, April 18, 4:00-5:15pm ET
This networking event will feature J Street lobbyist Zach Spitz, in conversation with Congressional staffers Sid Ravishankar Foreign Policy Advisor, Congressman Joaquin Castro and Sarah Benzing, Chief of Staff to Senator Sherrod Brown. We hope you can join us for this conversation where you’ll hear about life on the Hill, what it’s like to work as a Congressional staffer and how to pursue careers in the political and government sectors.

Student Journalist Press Conference
Sunday, April 18 at 5:30-6:30pm ET
Open to all reporters at college papers
Join J Street Vice President of Communications, Logan Bayroff and J Street U President Yoni Slater for a press conference open to all student journalists. We’ll be discussing topics raised throughout the conference and answer questions about the important advocacy role that J Street and J Street U can play during the Biden Administration and on college campuses.

Student-Only Social Hour
Sunday, April 18 at 9:00pm ET
J Street U students will be getting together after conference programming ends for the night on Sunday to have a social hour meeting students from all over the country!

Digital Organizing Student Training
Monday, April 19, 4:00-5:15pm ET
We do hope that you can join us for this digital organizing training, led by the students behind J Street U’s dynamic communications team who’ve been organizing and engaging a movement of thousands in a fully online world for the past year. Join J Street U to learn more about their work and about how you too can organize your community in a fully digital environment.

Student-Only Conversation with Peter Beinart
Monday, April 19 at 5:30-6:30pm ET
Join J Street U leaders for a conversation with renowned NY Times and Jewish Currents writer, Peter Beinart to discuss the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the injustices of occupation and the role of the US government and the American Jewish community. We’re delighted to be able to have this student-only conversation where Peter will speak about his work as a journalist and his experience advocating for peace, human rights and equality.

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