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Washington Institute August 18, 2015

The next Washington Institute will be held March 13-15, 2016 in Washington, DC. Check back for more details …


Wow, what an inspiring few days Cathy and I spent at NCJW’s  premiere policy event, The Washington Institute. The idea is to learn how to meet with our representatives in congress and effectively present our concerns on issues of importance to us…..and then we actually do it.  After several days of briefings from impassioned experts, advocates, and social action leaders that covered gun violence prevention, immigration reform and the Hyde Amendment, we confirmed meetings with our congressional representatives. We stopped by and dropped off materials at Rep. Matheson’s office and then met with staff members of Reps. Chaffetz and Stewart and Sens. Hatch and Lee. While we found none of these folks particularly receptive to our views on these issues, they did listen and we did feel we made our voices heard. We must continue to let them know they represent people who have different, yet valid, views on these subjects. Several awards were presented. The one I remember most was The Women Who Dare award presented to Melissa Harris-Perry, who hosts one of the most in depth, thoughtful and thought provoking shows on TV. In accepting her award she mentioned her Jewish connections – her daughter attended preschool at the JCC in Chicago (“of course”) and her classes at Tulane, where she is a professor, are taught in the Hillel building. But she said her activism comes from her mother who grew up in Utah and attended BYU. Her grandparents were Mormon pioneers….who would have thought! Cathy and I were stunned…but, happily impressed. The three day event culminated in an emotional tribute to Sammi Moshenberg, who is responsible for the NCJW Washington Office. The words of her family, friends and colleagues of thirty years were heart felt and inspiring. We should all be like Sammi. And, we should all plan to attend the next Washington Institute…2016. Put it on your bucket list.

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