Doing Good: Rescue, Relief and Renewal around the World

Houston, Texas

November 1, 2015

The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee and Jewish Federation of Greater Houston present

Doing Good: Rescue, Relief and Renewal around the World

Sunday, November 1, 2015
1:00-5:30 pm

Congregation Beth Israel 
5600 North Braeswood Blvd

Robin Stein and Martha Freedman



1:00 pm


Registration Opens

1:30 pm


Symposium Chairs Martha Freedman and Robin Stein

1:45 pm


Challenges and Threats to Jews around the World: An Inside Look



Our world is a complicated one, and we see that reflected in the impact on Jewish communities around the world, whether through ongoing or deepening anti-semitism, economic upheaval, or violence. This opening conversation will put a lens on those challenges and how they play out in some of the most critical parts of the globe, along with the constructive role the Jewish community is committed to playing through Federation’s partnership with JDC.

Alan Gill, JDC Executive Vice President in conversation with 
Lee Wunsch, Jewish Federation Executive Director 

Masha Shumyastkya, Ukrainian Jewish young activist

2:45 pm


Breakout Session I – The Big Picture



JDC 101: An Introduction to Jewish Humanitarian Care
The Jewish community has a long history of caring for communities in need and reaching out to communities in crisis. In this session we will touch upon that history and come to understand the unique web of caring and support the JDC has created today and of which we are all a crucial part.

Asher Ostrin, JDC Senior Executive for International Affairs, with Stanley Rabin, JDC President-Elect, and Debra Cohen, Federation and JDC leader



JDC 201: A Deeper Look at JDC’s Work Today
Strategic Challenges Facing Jewish Humanitarian Care

While our Jewish community’s commitment to humanitarian relief and care is unwavering, its work is not without challenges, given the nature of responding to communities in crisis. This session will help attendees understand those challenges and how JDC responds today and plans for an uncertain future.

Alan Gill with Beth Osher del Pico, community leader

3:45 pm


Breakout Session II – No Passport Required: A Look Into the Field



Building a Stronger Israel from Within
While Israel is the Start-Up Nation of unrivaled technical achievement, it is also a nation grappling with deep inequality and growing poverty, especially among the young and the old, among the ultra-Orthodox, Arab Israelis and immigrant populations – such as Ethiopian Jews.  JDC is working to develop scalable solutions to these problems, empowering more Israelis to share in the country’s extraordinary success.

Asher Ostrin and Robin Stein



Ukraine and Russia: Jews at risk
The ongoing crisis in Ukraine has put that country’s Jewish community (some 300,000) in a newly vulnerable situation -- subject to violence, economic deprivation and uncertainty, and displacement.  JDC has responded, on the ground, with direct relief.  How is JDC working in Ukraine and what are the important success and ongoing challenges?

Masha Shumyastkya with Cheryl Fishbein, JDC Ambassadors co-chair



Latin America Today: focus on Cuba and Venezuela
Exciting developments in Cuba may change the future of a small but active Jewish community that has been developing there since JDC reentered the country in 1991. Latin America remains volatile, however, with unraveling social and economic fabric in Venezuela and question marks on developments in Argentina and beyond.  This session provides a chance to learn about Jews who are our most immediate neighbors from JDC’s unique vantage point.

Michael Novick, JDC Executive Director for Strategic Development, with Buzzy Bluestone, 2016 Jewish Federation Annual Campaign Chair and Cuba Mission Chair



Fast Changes in Eastern and Western Europe
In the face of rising anti-Semitism and far-right rhetoric, how are Jewish communities fairing and what are they experiencing on the ground?  JDC is at the vanguard of building the next generation of Jewish leaders in Europe.  Through JDC's non-sectarian work, we are also looking at effective ways of bringing people together.

Jutke Lubeck, JDC Hungary, Martha Freedman, and Rebecca Neuwirth, JDC Director of Strategic Engagement

4:45 pm


What is Global Jewish Opportunity? A panel of young Jews from Houston and abroad



 Our Jewish community has been active on the global stage for over 100 years, and it is especially exciting to see a younger generation of Jews take up the mantle of caring for those in far corners of the world.  Come hear directly from just a few of them and learn about Jewish resilience and hope for the future.

Eric Barvin, JDC Entwine Houston Committee Member
Masha Shumyastkya
Jutke Lubeck
Moderator: Asher Ostrin

5:30 pm


Bringing it All Together / Close




Honorary Chairs

Frieda Dow
Rose Finkelman
Fred and Velva Levine
Elizabeth Osher Del Pico
Stanley and Barbara Rabin
Ron Romaner and Jaynie Schultz
Howard and Leslie Schultz

Programming Committee

Eric Barvin
Tali Blumrosen
Andy Bursten
Debra G. Cohen
Carol Goldberg
Michelle Gorman
Stephanie Kohll
Stefanie Miller
Carol Nelkin
Yaacov Polatsek
Elise Sheppard

Host Committee

Ken Arnold • Denis Braham • Gabriel Braun • Steve Breslauer • Andy Bursten • Vikki Evans 
Linda F. Block • Cheryl Fishbein • Nancy Freed • Fran Friedman • Terry Gardner 
Jon and Judy Harris • Elyse and Lewis Kalmans • Seth and Kathryn Kaplan 
Richard Leibman • Morey Levovitz • Mindy Mitzner • Ben Proler • Jeff Rasansky 
Max Reichenthal • Susan Reichenthal • Russ Robinson • Paula Stein • Gavin Susman 
Rabbi Ranon Teller • Ellen Trachtenberg • Haya Varon • Benjamin Warren • Sany Weiner 
Dolores Wilkenfeld • Shira Yoshor

In Partnership with



Event Location

Congregation Beth Israel
5600 North Braeswood Blvd
Houston, Texas 77096

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