Sunday Symposium

Sunday Symposium is dedicated to adult learning and examining life-applied Judaism in Los Angeles and beyond. We invite speakers from across the city to share their organizations, projects, and Jewish insights. Sessions are open to the larger community for free. 


White Privilege, Jews, and Bagels | A Facilitated Dialogue

February 3, 2019 9:30 AM - 12:30 PM 

The Box at SIJCC | Open to the public

Please join us for a conversation and exploration of structural racism and inequality in the United States. The event will look at the complicated subject through the lens of whiteness and privilege, considering where Jewish people fit in, and sharing strategies for working for justice and equity. (We’ll also eat some bagels, because why not?)

This will be a facilitated dialogue, rooted in curiosity and reflection, not blame or assumptions. The dialogue will touch on issues of personal values, taking responsibility, not getting stuck in shame and guilt, and being courageous in confronting race and injustice, while acknowledging the complexity of our individual experiences.

The conversation will be facilitated by Jason David, Megan Wolpert Dobkin, Rachel Hamburg, and Kristina Lear. This event is free and open to the public, aged 18 and up. You do not need to be Jewish to attend--all are welcome. Bagels will also be provided.

Register Here

Meet The Facilitators:

Jason David co-founded the Alliance of White Anti-Racists Everywhere - Los Angeles (AWARE-LA) fifteen years ago as a white anti-racist affinity group space for dialogue. It has now grown into a grassroots, all-volunteer organization that includes a summer institute and an action wing. He facilitates workshops and dialogues that focus on inclusion, equity, and diversity as well as developing white anti-racist knowledge, skills, and identity. As a life-long resident of Los Angeles, he considers the steps he took toward understanding the significance and complexity of identity, privilege, and power and attempts to provide accessible frameworks and tools for youth and adults to develop their own understanding of community and diversity without shame and guilt. He is an educator who spent time in LAUSD and at Wildwood School teaching high school Humanities and is now a program associate with Facing History and Ourselves.

Megan Wolpert Dobkin has been organizing for White People for Black Lives (LA chapter of Showing Up for Racial Justice) for two years. She has been very active in the local fight to halt the 3.5 billion-dollar jail-expansion project in LA County and re-allocate that money for alternative programs to incarceration. She co-organized the District 3 Town Hall for the Justice LA coalition last year, as well as the mobilization effort in the white community on behalf of Reform LA Jails—a ballot initiative we will all be voting on in 2020. She also serves on the social media (@wp4bl), coordination, and orientation committees, as well as the newly formed class committee, where she is learning about how her class intersects with her anti-racist work. When she is not organizing, she is producing film, television, and music videos with her partner, David Dobkin. Her prose and poetry can also be found in over thirty literary journals.

Rachel Hamburg has been organizing with White People for Black Lives for three years. She co-leads WP4BL’s political education, accessibility, and strategic-visioning teams and has a particular interest in doing work at the intersection of racial justice and disability justice. Rachel hails from Berkeley, CA, where she grew up with a strong connection to her Jewish community. She is a graduate of Bend the Arc’s Jeremiah Fellowship in community organizing and a former member of the LA Museum of the Holocaust’s 3G Board for grandchildren of Holocaust survivors. Rachel is a strategy consultant for social-impact organizations and the Development Director at L.A. GOAL, a nonprofit that supports adults with developmental disabilities.  

Kristina Lear is an organizer with White People for Black Lives, where she serves on the coordination and orientation committees. In the collective’s solidarity work, Kristina is deeply involved in the movement to halt the 3.5 billion-dollar jail-expansion project in LA County. She co-organized/s the Justice LA Coalition’s District 3 Town Hall and WP4BL’s mobilization effort in the white community for Reform LA Jails and The Community Reinvestment Initiative, a grassroots-led ballot measure (March 2020!) that will create transparency by granting subpoena power to the Sheriff Civilian Oversight Commission and tasking the same body with investigating alternatives to incarceration. Originally from Vermont, Kristina also works with Central VT SURJ. An actor/writer/director, Kristina is a graduate of The Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theater and an AFI Fellow. Current projects include THE SYSTEM, a co-created series centered around the Department of Children and Families, and a short-form drama about the aftermath of a sexual assault told from dual perspectives.

Winter 2018 | Four-Part Speaker Series
There’s Nothing New Under the Sun:
A Look at Modern Issues Through a Jewish Lens

You know what Judaism says about bacon, but what does it say about sexual harassment? Or fake news? Or even the internet? Join us for a four-part speaker series with Rabbi Keara Stein of Interfaith Family as we dive into these issues and so much more.

January 7, January 21, February 25, March 4
9:00-10:45AM in The Studio @ SIJCC

Fall 2017 | Speakers

SEPTEMBER 10, 2017
Talking to Your Child About Why They Go to Jew School
with Rabbi Keara Stein

SEPTEMBER 24, 2017
Old Questions for a Challenging New Era
with Deanna Neil

OCTOBER 8, 2017
From the Closet to Queer Activism: My Journey to Ours Today
with Arya Marvazy, JQ International

OCTOBER 22, 2017
We are All Jews by Choice: The Historical Reality of American Jewish Identity 
with Eric Greenberg, the Autry

NOVEMBER 5, 2017
What Happens When the World is Happening?
with Emily Weisberg

NOVEMBER 19, 2017
MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger
with Samuel Chu

DECEMBER 3, 2017
Stories from the Field: How Crowdsourcing and Technology are Disrupting the Refugee Resettlement Experience in America
with Miry Whitehill, Founder & CEO, Miry’s List

DECEMBER 10, 2017
The "Real" Story of Hanukkah
with Rabbi Scott Westle