473K: A Belonging Experience

We all yearn for connection and a sense that we matter

473,000 people live in Jewish households in the Bay Area—the fourth largest Jewish community in the U.S., according to the 2018 Portrait of Jewish Life and Communities. We are Black, Asian, Latinx, White and mixed race; Ashkenazi, Sephardi, Mizrachi, and Ethiopian. We are from Israel, Russia, Morocco and around the world. We are LGBTQ and straight; Jews and non-Jews. And although we identify in different ways, we long to belong.

That's what we'll explore at 473K: A Belonging Experience. This event is a day of hands-on communal learning to help us grow our Jewish communities through mindsets and practices that build belonging. You will leave empowered with tools, knowledge, and partnerships to help many more people find their place in Jewish spaces.

Belonging means that everyone is seen, heard and valued for their unique gifts and identities. It's about building trust and connection among members of a community, embracing differences and opening hearts. It’s stretching our communities beyond being welcoming and creating the structures needed to include more Jewish people in the Bay Area.

The event includes light breakfast, lunch, and snacks - Kosher dietary laws observed.

In order to create a safe and healthy space for people with chemical sensitivities, please arrive at 473K fragrance-free. Fragrance includes perfume, cologne, scented toiletries, and clothing that was dry cleaned or laundered with scented detergent.

Who should attend?
People who work or volunteer within established and/or new Jewish organizations. This may include clergy, Jewish professionals, volunteer leaders, social entrepreneurs, and funders. Our recommendation is to send 2-3 people from one organization that will return more informed on how to connect more people to Jewish life and implement fresh ideas within their own institutions and programs. We encourage participants who reflect the wide diversity within our community including Jews of Color, LBGTQ leaders, young adults, and those representing the multiple identities of our 473K.

View all 473K Presenter Biographies

Program Agenda:

Arrival and Welcome
Osher Lobby, First Floor
9:30 -10:00 am

Check-in, sign-up for your afternoon breakout session, enjoy refreshments, meet fellow 473K participants and find your small group in the auditorium.

Presenters are listed under each session title.

The Power of Belonging for 473K
Taube Auditorium, Second Floor
10:00 -11:45 am    

Experience the why, what and wow of belonging in small learning groups:

  • Hear and share stories of belonging and exclusion in Jewish places
  • Learn belonging principles to create meaningful Jewish connection for all
  • Explore intersections of belonging with diversity, equity and inclusion

Wendy Verba, Managing Director of Community Impact, Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund
Lindsey Newman, Director of Community Engagement, Be’chol Lashon
Rabbi Mychal Copeland, Congregation Sha’ar Zahav

Lunch - Celebration of Jewish Cuisine
Second Floor Lounge        
11:45 am -12:45 pm        

Fuel up with delicious Jewish cuisine from Epic Bites reflecting the diversity of our 473K. Certified Vaad Hakasharuth of Northern California, with vegan and gluten-free options. Catch up with people you know, take some quiet time, or join an open lunch circle in the auditorium where you will be instantly included.

Afternoon Breakout Sessions – From Principles to Practice
12:45 - 2:30 pm            

Delve into practical applications of belonging principles. Bring a challenge to workshop with fellow participants and presenters.

1. Jewish Connection in an Age of Loneliness (Second Floor Auditorium)

Rabbi Eric Weiss, President & CEO, Bay Area Jewish Healing Center
Kyla Sokoll-Ward, speaker, facilitator and Moishe House resident
Wendy Verba, Managing Director, Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund

In our hyper-connected society, loneliness and social isolation are soaring— seniors living alone, transient millennials, new parents with no village, teens addicted to social media, empty nesters caring for aging parents. Jewish life can answer loneliness with communal, spiritual and intellectual connections. Explore how loneliness manifests in our Jewish populations and identify practices and structures for Jewish life to nurture our souls.

2. Building Racially Diverse Communities (Third Floor)

Gamal Palmer, Senior VP Leadership Development, Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles
Lindsey Newman, Director of Community Engagement, Be’chol Lashon

20% of the American Jewish community identifies as Black, Asian, Latinx, multiracial, Sephardic and/or Mizrahi. Given this reality, the need for self-awareness, tolerance and open communication has never been more critical. In this interactive workshop, participants will explore Jews as a multicultural people, tools for building racially diverse communities and anti-racist practices when building cultures of belonging.

3. A Fresh Start: Giving Programs and Events a Belonging Makeover (First Floor, Rembe B)

Maia Tchetchik, Organizational Development Consultant
Joel Abramovitz, Senior Family Educator, The Kitchen
Liat Ellert, Director of Joint Ventures, Israel Association of Community Centers

“Mirror mirror on the wall - make this event the best of all!” How many times have you wished you could snap your fingers and give your programs and events a complete makeover? Often, we invest in planning programs only to be disappointed when people don’t show up, or show up but don’t return. Through an interactive case study and the sharing of your stories, we will provide tools to look through a belonging lens at our events and programs to transform them into authentic opportunities for connection and action.

4. Bonded Groups: Building Blocks of Belonging (First Floor, Rembe A)

Dr. Sarale Shadmi-Wortman, Chief Officer for Community Building, Israeli Association of Community Centers
Julie Golde, Culture of Belonging Consultant

Come learn why Bonded Groups are a "secret sauce" in creating belonging. In this workshop, we’ll explore how a small-group structure can super-charge belonging and other outcomes within your organization, and we’ll learn how to create and sustain these connected groups within any Jewish setting. Ultimately, you’ll discover the power bonded groups have in shifting to a belonging culture.

5. Physical Spaces that Promote Belonging (First Floor, Library)

Michelle Tandowsky, Board Chair, URJ Camp Newman
Jan Reicher, Executive Director, Byer Square at San Francisco Campus for Jewish Living
Lauren Schlezinger, 473K Planning Team Lead

Different circumstances brought our speakers and their teams to the architect’s drafting table, but they share a common vision of putting belonging at the center of new spaces. Come learn about the innovative design principles that guided their plans and apply them to your own challenges—old and new buildings, inside and outside, big rooms and small, renovation and room set-up!

6. Healing Rifts and Bridging Divides: Lessons from Israel and the Bay Area (Jewish Federation Building, Lower level - enter on 121 Steuart St.)

Barak Loozon, Director, Israel Office, Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund
Rachel Barton, Director of Engagement, Israel & Global, Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund

What happens when a secular Israeli, an ultra-orthodox Jew, an Arab Israeli, a National Zionist and an Ethiopian immigrant walk into a room? In the Federation’s 15-year-old Gvanim cohort program, leaders from radically different tribes have built lasting understanding, trust and collaboration across the deepest divides. In this session, learn the ingredients for bringing people with opposing voices and diverse backgrounds together to confront differences and forge belonging, and explore how to apply these lessons to heal divides in our Bay Area communities.

Closing Session
Taube Auditorium, Second Floor
2:45-3:30 pm     

Reconnect with your small groups, share something you learned, get inspiration and resources for continued learning and experimentation.


473K: A Belonging Experience is presented by the Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund in partnership with Be'chol Lashon and the Israeli Association of Community Centerswith support from the Jews of Color Field Building Initiative, JIMENA, and Keshet.


473K Planning Team 

Joel Abramovitz
Joey Blatt
Ari Eisen
Julie Golde
Zelig Golden
Danielle Meshorer
Lindsey Newman
Lisa Pavlovsky
Lauren Schlezinger
Dr. Sarale Shadmi-Wortman
Maia Tchetchik
Wendy Verba
Andrea Zussman 

473K Host Committee

Carol Booth
Beth Cousens
Leah Filloy
Kimberley Greenberg
Nicole Hakimi
Janet Harris
Ayelet Krieger
Stephanie Levin
Varda Rabin
Jan Reicher
Tali Ronen
Jackie Shelton-Miller
Sadie Simon
Kyla Sokoll-Ward
Michelle Tandowsky
Diane Tobin
Danit Trau
Sarah Waxman
Rabbi Eric Weiss
Karen Wisialowski
Rabbi Bridget Wynne


February 13, 2020
9:30 AM - 3:30 PM
Commonwealth Club,
110 The Embarcadero, San Francisco
San Francisco
$75.00 (Cost should not be a barrier. If this creates a financial hardship, contact SadieS@sfjcf.org)


Organized By: 
The Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund
Event Contact Person: 
Sandra Ramirez-Noguchi