The Program for Conveners
This painful and difficult time has amplified divisions within and across many of our communities. As communities continue to grapple with the impacts of COVID-19, a looming presidential election, nationwide protests, and political changes in Israel, The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles and Resetting the Table (RTT) invite Jewish organizations to apply to be part of our second Convener Cohort. Participating institutions will be introduced to RTT’s celebrated approach and practical toolkit for opening welcoming, productive discussion across charged differences.
Each Convener will select 2-3 team members to participate. Over the course of 10 months, these teams will receive a highly subsidized package of training, consultation, tools, resources, and access to trained facilitators in L.A.
Eight institutions will be selected to participate in the 2020-21 Convener Cohort. Cost for the program is $500. The program is generously supported by a Cutting Edge Grant from the Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles.
The deadline to apply is Friday, August 7th.
For more information, see the FAQs or send inquiries to email@example.com.
Timeline and Important Dates
- August 7: Application deadline
- August 10-28: Interviews for finalists
- End of August: Organizations notified
- October 18-25: Virtual Convener retreat
- October 2020-August 2021: Planning, consultation, and program implementation
Resetting the Table (RTT) is dedicated to building meaningful dialogue and deliberation across political divides. Drawing from facilitation and mediation expertise, Resetting the Table’s unique approach supports participants to move through charged conversations with trained facilitators and carefully structured process, enabling stakeholders to speak, listen, challenge each other, and make decisions together with honesty, mutual recognition and respect. RTT has provided communication skill-building workshops, multi-narrative educational sessions, and consultation to hundreds of communities and organizations in 30 US states, Canada, and Israel, including 75+ college campuses, 25 Jewish Federations, and dozens of innovation sector and other major Jewish organizations.
The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles is excited to partner with Resetting the Table to bring productive discussion across divides in order to build a healthier and stronger community. The Federation, as a “convener among conveners” of the community, is best poised to do this work in partnership with Resetting the Table, using our expertise with the local Jewish community and history of community engagement to tailor RTT’s model to Los Angeles.
In the face of an increasingly polarized and toxic political environment, this program aims to support Jewish communities throughout greater Los Angeles to foster healthy and important discussion and learning across divides on Israel and other charged issues. The program will support participating institutions to transform tension, fear and/or avoidance of difficult conversations into direct, respectful exploration, and collaboration.
Convening organizations will organize programs that customize RTT’s road-tested toolkit to:
- Foster communication where there is currently avoidance or tension, enabling stakeholders to talk openly about Israel or other charged issues without judgment or pressure to conform to any given views
- Bring community members into conversation with new, diverse partners
- Provide spaces for those who have been eager to learn, question, listen, and deliberate across differences, but have not found the right forums to do so
- Collaborate with other Conveners, if they so choose, to bring their respective constituencies together, opening up new bridges of conversation and relationships across networks
Team members from convening institutions will receive:
- Training with leading experts in the fields of Israel engagement, mediation, and facilitation
- Ongoing support, resources, and consultation to help Conveners design programs
- Use of our intensively trained facilitators, as needed and as able, for Convener events
Thanks to a generous grant from the Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles, this package of in-person training, facilitation, and consultation — ordinarily valued at $7,500 per institution — will be included with the $500 cost of participation.
Convening organizations will be expected to:
- Implement at least one event/process, including logistics and recruitment, that meets the program’s goals
- Make a good faith effort to bring to bear whatever personal and/or institutional resources are available to help support the production and implementation of Convener events
- Cover the Convener participation fee of $500
Participating team members will be expected to:
- Be ready, willing, and able to participate in direct, constructive conversations and collaboration across political differences. This does not mean that they will be asked to check their own views and passions at the door. Rather, it means that participants must have the desire and disposition to engage across differences in the spirit of our project. They must be willing to engage personally in open conversations as part of the training process, to experience firsthand at least some of the processes they are likely to convene.
- Participate in the virtual opening training from October 18-25
- Participate in an average of 4-5 visioning and design conversations with Resetting the Table staff to craft appropriate process(es) for their communities
The right Conveners will be organizations and/or communities who are eager to build a culture of honest, productive dialogue across divides in their contexts. The professional staff representatives should be “doers” and “connecters” who are committed to the mission of the program and empowered to bring programming home through this initiative.
Resetting the Table’s programs help participants “go toward the heat” to explore their differences directly. As such, Conveners themselves must be comfortable with difference and disagreement and able to sustain empathy and centeredness, even in the presence of views significantly different from their own. They do not need to have any particular background or formal training to apply.
Resetting the Table’s work in Los Angeles is run in partnership with The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles and supported by a Cutting Edge Grant from the Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles. The Federation and Resetting the Table have made a three-year investment to building a wave of training and dialogue opportunities in Los Angeles. Convening institutions completing Convener cohort applications now will be considered for the first of two cohorts.
In addition to these programs, we will select three cohorts of Facilitation Fellows for intensive facilitation training. These two programs will be mutually beneficial and reinforcing: Facilitation Fellows will be trained to support Convener programs, and Conveners will provide opportunities for direct practice for Facilitation Fellows.
“Fabulous. We hope to use the Resetting the Table toolkit throughout our synagogue’s programming and identity. I’m excited to have RTT as a resource now moving forward — not just for the one project, but beyond.”
Sarah Bassin, Rabbi, Temple Emanuel of Beverly Hills
“RTT’s approach pushed me out of my comfort zone and kept my brain buzzing. The training was exhilarating and challenging and made me think differently about how we speak to one another, facilitate conversations, and most importantly how we listen.”
Chelsea Snyder, Community Fellow,
The Jewish Federation’s NuRoots Young Adult Initiative
“Rather than shying away from the tensions tearing our society apart, RTT helps people embrace them in a healthy and productive way. By bringing us all back to the proverbial table, RTT just might be able to help us save our communities before it’s too late.”
Adam Schaffer, Director of Education, Temple Aliyah
“The workshop was a wonderful opportunity for me to see model facilitators at work and learn from their expertise. I’m excited to use RTT’s toolkit in my regular teaching practice as well as to facilitate larger community conversations around contentious issues.”
Na’amit Nagel, Teacher, Shalhevet High School