11am: Check in
Foyer of Sonoran Ballroom

12-1pm: Lunch
Sonoran Terrace and Vigas Patio 

1:15-2:45pm: Welcome and Opening Fish Bowl
Sonoran Ballroom

Carly Coons, Blue Dove Foundation

Sarah Fredrick and Jackie Zais, Gather, Inc

Rabbi Myriam Klotz, Institute of Jewish Spirituality

Wendy Verba, Belonging by Design                         
Todd Rockoff, President + CEO Tucson J, moderator

2:45-3:30pm: Ice Cream Social
Sonoran Terrace

3:30-5pm: Discussion
Belonging (Green Dot): Javelina

Blue Dove (Yellow Dot): Saguaro

Listening (Blue Dot): Quail

RBE (Red Dot): Coyote 

5-6pm: Break

6pm: Depart for JCC 

6:30pm Dinner & Tour Tucson J


Breakfast on your own
Specials available at hotel restaurant

9:30-10:30am: Choose your own

 Beyond Yom Ha’Atzmout Israel Engagement at the J: Canyon  

Brand – Story Leads Everything: Mesa

JCulture: Quail

The JCC and You: Coyote

Tackling the “Equity” in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: Palm

Turning Belonging to the Center to a Center of Belonging: Saguaro

Sacred Listening: Vigas Patio

Hakarat Hatov: Javelina

RBE: Desert

10:30am-12pm: Cohort Breakouts
Arts+Culture, Adult Programs + Jewish Living: Coyote

Early Childhood + Family Engagement: Desert

Membership + Engagement: Quail

Marketing: Saguaro 

Finance: Palm

Facilities: Tinaja 

HR: Pusch Ridge

Philanthropy: Mesa 

COO: Canyon

Sports, Fitness + Aquatics: Javelina

Inclusion: Business Center

Youth, Teen + Camp: Ballroom Rooftop Terrace

CEO: Stargazer Suite

12-1pm: Lunch
Sonoran Terrace + Vigas Patio

1-2:30pm: Cohort Learning

Arts+Culture, Adult Programs + Jewish Living: Coyote

Early Childhood + Family Engagement: Desert

Membership + Engagement: Quail

Marketing: Saguaro 

Finance: Palm

Facilities: Tinaja 

HR: Pusch Ridge

Philanthropy: Mesa 

COO: Canyon

Sports, Fitness + Aquatics: Javelina

Inclusion: Business Center

Youth, Teen + Camp: Ballroom Rooftop Terrace

CEO: Stargazer Suite

2:30-3:15pm: Networking
Sonoran Terrace + Vigas Patio

3:15-4:15pm: Keynote Presentation 
Doron Krakow, President + CEO, JCC Association                 
Sonoran Ballroom

4:15-5:15pm: Small Group Reflection




Sonoran Ballroom


5:45pm: Load busses to dinner at Culinary Dropout 


Breakfast on your own
Specials available at hotel restaurant

9:15-10:45am: Innovation as a Process to Reach Our Goals, 
Eric Smith, Executive Director, UA Center for Innovation
Sonoran Ballroom

11-11:30am: Closing Table Breakouts
Sonoran Ballroom

11:30am: Lunch & Conference Conclusion 
Sonoran Terrace + Vigas Patio 


Beyond Yom Ha'Atzmout Israel Engagement at the J

This session will be an opportunity to explore ideas and share existing best practices within JCCs about Israel Engagement and programing at the J. We will discuss bringing Israel into the J throughout the year. And yes, we will also devote some time to the elephant in the room – Bringing Israel to your members at a time when the country (Israel) seems to be in turmoil and Israel Diaspora relationships are being tested.

So I welcome you to join me and your colleagues, be prepared to share your knowledge and experience with others, be prepared to learn from each other, be prepared to argue and disagree and let’s dig deeper!

Presenter: Sara Sless, Assistant Director, JCC Association Center for Israel Engagement, Director Israel Seminars

Brand – Story Leads Everything

A refresher on the connective elements of brand strategy: branding, marketing, and media-building. How to leverage the JCC Movement’s history and evolving brand story to strengthen community relationships and compete meaningfully. 

Presenter: Joanne Harmon, Chief Marketing Officer, JCC Association of North America

JCulture- Creating a Safe, Respectful, Diverse, Inclusive, and Equitable, Jewish Workplace and Communal Space

JCulture is a program of the JCC Association. Providing training and information on how to create and/or enhance the culture of your J as it relates to SRE & DEI work. Once leaders are trained in the curriculum it is intended to be an organization-wide (maybe even community wide) faculty training that explores the core elements and barriers to equitable, accountable, and care-centered workplace culture applied through a Jewish lens. In this session, we will discuss;

      • Learn the history of this program on the continental level and local
      • Explore some of the content
        • Psychological Safety
        • Empathy vs Sympathy
        • Feedback Rich Environments
        • The GROW Coaching Model
        • And more
      • Share how the Tucson J has implemented, and continue to use, this training to strengthen our culture of belonging.

Presenters – Monica Rosenbaum, Sr. Director of Operations and Haylee Davis, Inclusion Coordinator Tucson JCC

The JCC and You – a session for New Professionals

Welcome to the JCC! We’re glad you’re here. This session is geared for people 2 years or under in the JCC field. During this interactive session we will focus on our individual roles, the JCC as a larger organization and the JCC as it relates to the community. This session will include information on Mission and Vision of JCCs, understanding non-profits, and the importance of networking and resources available in the JCC network and with JCC Association.

Presenter: Joy Brand-Richardson, Vice President, Professional Development, JCC Association

Tackling the "Equity" in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. What is it and how do we do it?

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) is a hot topics in contemporary workspaces. Many of our organizations have made strides in diversity and inclusion initiatives to serve members and the community, but still struggle with the less tangible concept of equity. Using the Tucson JCC’s experience with SRE and Keilim as an example, in this interactive session, we will explore equity vs equality and discuss how equity can be applied in JCC policies and practices.

Presenter: Dr. Elise Lopez, Director, UArizona Consortium on Gender-Based Violence 

Turning Belonging to the Center to a Center of Belonging

When we leave belonging to chance, too many people are left behind. Designing for belonging with intention is about creating the structures and practices that ensure belonging happens systematically across your JCC, for everyone. How do we do that? Wendy Verba, founder of Belonging by Design will share the Culture of Belonging approach that so many organizations in the Bay Area have adopted, including the Oshman Family JCC in Palo Alto, which is on a mission to apply these principles in each department.

Presenter: Wendy Verba, Founder and Principal, Belonging by Design

Sacred Listening--Introduction to Relational Mindfulness Practice

This workshop will offer an approach to relationship-building through a focus on 4 dimensions of listening to ourselves and others: Physical, Emotional, Mental and Spiritual.  It will include experiential learning in small groups as we practice paying attention to the ways in which we listen, and speak with each other.

Presenter: Rabbi Myriam Klotz, Senior Core Faculty, Institute of Jewish Spirituality

Hakarat Hatov: Judaism, Gratitude, and You

In Judaism, the middah (Jewish value) of hakarat hatov is used to emphasize the importance of recognizing the amazing things we have been blessed us with in our lives. Not only is hakarat hatov about gratitude, it is also about our attitude toward the world around us. In this workshop, participants will explore gratitude and its connection to Judaism, and will get the opportunity to engage in gratitude practices that they can use at home after the workshop.

Presenter: Carly Coons, Director of Education and Programming, The Blue Dove Foundation

RBE – Strengthening our Community using a Relational Based Engagement (RBE) Model

This interactive session will focus on the philosophy of relationship-based engagement—an innovative approach to rebuilding membership by creating a sense of belonging and adopting a productive and practical post-COVID rhetoric—and how several JCCs have used it, giving attendees concrete RBE skills to take back to their own JCCs

Presenter: Jackie Zais, Chief of Staff and Sarah Fredrick, Director of Training Gather, Inc

Presenter Bios

Doron Krakow is president and CEO of JCC Association of North America, the largest platform of Jewish engagement on the continent. Under his leadership, JCC Association is forging new partnerships throughout the Jewish community, deepening its relationship to individual and foundation philanthropy, and strengthening the fabric of Jewish life across the U.S. and Canada, through more than 160 JCCs and independent camps.

Since joining JCC Association in 2016, Doron has re-asserted the agency’s place as the convening organization of the JCC Movement. He’s launched signature programs that address the immediate and long-term needs of local JCCs, including JResponse, which trains JCC professionals to provide assistance and relief to sister JCCs in the aftermath of a crisis.

Doron brings more than 25 years of experience with national and international Jewish organizations to JCC Association, having previously served as executive vice president of American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (AABGU), the U.S.-based organization devoted to strengthening the university through philanthropy, public relations and student recruitment. His tenure with AABGU included the realization of a $500 million gift, the largest charitable gift in the history of the State of Israel, and one of the largest charitable gifts ever made to a university.

As senior vice president, Israel and overseas at United Jewish Communities (now the Jewish Federations of North America), Doron managed the annual global distribution and utilization of more than $400 million in Jewish Federation funds. He spent a decade, from 1992 to 2002, as national director of the Zionist youth movement, Young Judaea, a decade in which enrollment in its Israel programs grew by 500 percent, creating the largest Israel experience operation in North America prior to the creation of Birthright Israel.

Doron was born in the Bronx and raised in Teaneck, N.J. He holds an MBA from Cornell University and a bachelor’s degree in economics from Rutgers University. He lives in Tenafly, N.J., where he and his family are long-standing members of the Kaplen JCC on the Palisades and of Congregation Beth Sholom in Teaneck. Doron is the vice chair of the JPRO Network board and a board member of Tzofim: Friends of Israel Scouts.

Eric Smith brings with him almost a decade’s worth of technology commercialization experience and a passion for entrepreneurship. Smith came to the UA Center for Innovation after serving as the commercialization network manager for Tech Launch Arizona (TLA), the UA’s office responsible for moving UA research and technological innovation into the marketplace. While at TLA, he focused on building and leveraging a network of domain experts and business leaders who consult on university technologies to help reveal their commercial relevance as they are prepared for the market. He also managed TLA’s National Science Foundation Innovation-Corps (I-Corps) Site grant program which teaches inventing teams about lean startup methodology and customer discovery. An entrepreneur in his own right, after Eric started, developed and sold his first company, he embarked on a career in various technology startups. Smith holds a BSBA in business management and entrepreneurship and an MBA from the University of Arizona. He is a local Tucsonan with a passion for economic development through startup creation and community involvement. He sits on the boards of the Tucson Jewish Community Center and the International Business Innovation Association among various community and organizational committees.

With a passion for supporting the Jewish community, Carly Coons, LSW, (she/her) is curating and creating the best in class mental health resources and workshops as the Director of Education and Programming at the Blue Dove Foundation. She is a Licensed Social Worker (LSW) and Youth and Teen Mental Health First Aid Instructor and spends her free time exploring the beauty of Colorado’s mountains.

Audrey Edwards has been at the Jewish Community Centers of Greater Boston for more than two decades.

In 2017, Edwards was awarded the Chuck Bronz lifetime achievement award by JCC Association. This award is given to someone in the JCC field who exemplifies the qualities of leadership and dedication to the JCC Movement, and who has worked to help and support others in the movement.

As a Professional Consultant with over 25 years of experience, Audrey specializes in providing expert guidance and support to JCC’s of North America. Her skillset includes Professional Development, Strategic Planning, and Talent Management. She is passionate about helping organizations reach their full potential and thrive in today’s competitive environment. Her extensive knowledge and experience make her a valuable asset to any organization looking to achieve their goals and objectives.

She is passionate about the JCC movement and is proud to be a part of it!

Haylee has been working at the Tucson J for five years, as a camp leadership staff as well as our diversity, equity and inclusion specialist. Haylee is passionate about engaging in social justice work, using her privilege to forge a path for historically marginalized groups to have a space and energy to advocate for themselves. Haylee wants to see a dramatic change in her lifetime, and appreciates the opportunity to be part of the solution.

She previously served as GatherDC’s Northern Virginia (NoVA) Community Director, where she led grassroots young adult engagement and strategy development. Sarah is a relational engagement expert, specializing in facilitation and coaching. She is passionate about collaborating with organizations, individuals, and communities to re-envision more meaningful, accessible, relational approaches to Jewish life. Sarah lives in Washington, D.C., where she also works as a professional musician.


Joanne Harmon is the chief marketing officer (CMO) at JCC Association of North America. She joined the marketing team as creative director in 2014, bringing a broad range of talents that contributed significantly to the organization’s first rebranding effort in more than a decade. In her expanding role, Harmon has guided the organization to rebuild all communication platforms, elevate the marketing of all sponsored events and training sessions, and reestablish a public profile. As a creative director, Harmon contributed to these and other brands: Food Network, Cooking Channel, Showtime Networks, and Sundance. Her diverse portfolio of branding, design, and promotion for television, film, video, photography, print, digital, products, events, and more demonstrates the breadth and depth of her expertise.

Rabbi Myriam Klotz (she/they) is a Senior Core Faculty member of the Institute for Jewish Spirituality and Program Director for IJS’s upcoming Kol Dodi Jewish Spiritual Director Training.   

Dr. Elise Lopez is a board member of the Tucson JCC. As a board member and bringing her professional expertise to the table, she has worked with the J on several key DEI initiatives. One is the J’s membership in the Safety, Respect, and Equity (SRE) Network, which works with member organizations to ensure safe, respectful, and equitable Jewish workplaces and communal spaces. Another is the J’s work through the Keilim program from Sacred Spaces, which provides hands-on training and consultation to help Jewish organizations create policies, procedures, and environments to prevent and respond to abuse. Outside of the J, Elise is the Executive Director of the Consortium on Gender-Based Violence at The University of Arizona, and a member of the congregation Kol Ami. 

Joy Brand-Richardson is a vice president and the director of training and professional development for JCC Association of North America. A longtime employee of JCC Association, Brand-Richardson has developed and directed leadership cohorts and programming for thousands of JCC employees over the past 25 years. Before joining JCC Association, she worked at three JCCs. Brand-Richardson holds a master’s degree in education with additional training in coaching and customer service. She is a proud recipient of the JCC Association Graduate Scholarship, member of the SRE Network inaugural advisory board, and serves as an advisor for JPRO’s WellAdvised program. While not a Red Sox fan herself, she does have a dog named Fenway and another named Journey; as a family they love to hike and swim.[/caption]

Monica Rosenbaum has worked for a JCC for the last 29 years holding roles in camp, afterschool childcare, teen engagement, reception, adult programming, early childhood, sports and rec and more. She has worked at the Rosenthal JCC of Northern Westchester, in Westchester County, NY, The Valley of the Sun JCC in Scottsdale, AZ (now the Martin Pear JCC), JCC Rockland in Rockland County, NY and currently the Tucson JCC, in Tucson, AZ. Serving as the Sr Director of Operations, Monica oversees the member and user experience for over 5000 individuals daily. In addition, Monica is part of the leadership team overseeing the creation and implementation of all new hire on-boarding, continued training and development. Monica has a professional team made up- of three full time staff offering support in membership, special programs + events as well as data administration and IT. She directly facilitates the agency wide scholarship process, JAmbassadors volunteer program, and an array of other projects including a key role in the Tucson JCC’s strategic plan for the next 5 years around community partnerships.

Monica came to the JCC Movement as a young child of only 8, the summer after her father passed away. As a child of a mother left to raise four children (ages 10months- 10 years) after the sudden passing of her father, Monica’s mother needed financial support and assistance to keep her children social and happy during summer break. Their local JCC stepped up along with JCFS and provided scholarship for the three older children to attend summer camp. It has been Monica’s passion and driving force since to repay what was awarded to her and her family and to make sure no child is without an amazing summer and childcare experience like the one, she was afforded.

Monica attended a certificate program in School Age Child Care from a partnership program with Cornell University and completed a Certificate in Jewish Leadership with Spertus Institute for Jewish Leadership and Northwestern University. Monica is a former JCC Association Merrin Teen Fellow, current Changemarker in JCulture 2.0, past participant and presenter at ACA Tri-State Camp Conference & JCC Association regional conferences.

Sara Sless works for the JCC Association Center for Israel Engagement as Director of Seminars.  Her elevator pitch (and the focus of her work which is very passionate about,) is “how to bring Israel to the JCCs and JCCs to Israel.”   A large part of her time is directed towards developing and implementing Israel seminars for JCC professionals and board members and Boarding Pass journeys for JCC members.

Sless is involved in other areas of work with the JCC Association including in the area of inclusion and diversity, an initiative supporting mental health for youth and young adults, working with older adult professionals, Jewish life and learning professionals and arts and culture professionals.

Sless is the former CEO of Sunrise Israel a recreational program and summer day camp for children with cancer and their siblings, serving children from all different backgrounds. It is part of Sunrise Association which is based in Long Island. Today she is an active member of the executive board.

Sara was born in England and has lived in Israel for over 38 years. She is a trained spiritual carer with a certification in Clinical Pastoral Education. She lives in Tsur Hadassah and is married to Julian, and they have three wonderful sons.

Wendy has been transforming teams and communities for as long as she can remember, forging cohesive groups that achieve shared goals. She brings that expertise to organizations across the country as the Founder of Belonging by Design, and as a Senior Consultant for the Varda Institute for Community Building. Wendy blends her unique experience in philanthropy, workforce policy, campaign politics, and business journalism with deep expertise in belonging and team development. Most recently she led a flourishing culture of belonging movement through the San Francisco-based Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund, helping hundreds of organizational leaders create systemic approaches to belonging for diverse populations. As Managing Director of Community Impact, Wendy led the Federation’s engagement strategy along with a multi-million dollar grantmaking portfolio and an international team of twenty-five. Wendy has designed and led hundreds of trainings for thousands of people, and facilitated numerous teams working to improve organizational alignment, engagement and performance.  Wendy was a Wexner Heritage Fellow, an M2 Relational Engagement Cohort participant, and served on the boards of UpStart and the Peninsula JCC. She and her husband live in Northern California, where they’ve found meaning raising their three children, dancing and cycling with friends, and participating in Burning Man.

As Chief of Staff, Jackie Zais (she/her) is a relational strategist and trainer. Over her 8-plus years, she helped build Gather into a relational organization from the ground up and helped steward Gather’s growth from a local to a national organization. She is a master facilitator and relational engagement expert that designed and launched Gather’s Trainings portfolio to support organizations and communities across North America in making radical shift in their community work toward a relational approach. She will be stepping into the role of interim CEO of Gather, Inc. in April.


Addison Penzak JCC Los Gatos
Los Gatos, CA

Alpert Jewish Community Center
Long Beach, CA

Boulder JCC
Boulder, CO

Charles Schusterman Jewish Community Center
Tulsa, OK

I.J. & Jeanne Wagner Jewish Community Center
Salt Lake City, UT

JCC Denver
Denver, CO

Jewish Community Center of East Bay
Berkeley, CA

Jewish Community Center of Greater Albuquerque
Albuqerque, NM

Jewish Community Center of San Francisco
San Francisco, CA

Jewish Community Centre of Greater Vancouver
Vancouver, BC, Canada

Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center
La Jolla, CA

Merage Jewish Community Center
Irvine, CA

Minnesota JCC
St. Paul, MN

Mittleman Jewish Community Center
Portland, OR

Osher Marin JCC
San Rafael, CA

Oshman Family JCC
Palo Alto, CA

Paperny Family JCC
Calgary, AB, Canada

PJCC- Peninsula Jewish Community Center
Foster City, CA

Shalom Institute
Malibu, CA

Los Angeles, CA

The Jewish Community Center of Southern Nevada
Las Vegas, NV

The Stroum Jewish Community Center
Mercer Island, WA

Tucson JCC
Tucson, AZ

Valley of the Sun JCC
Scottsdale, AZ

Westside JCC
Los Angeles, CA