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“The most common question I get is, ‘what’s a nice Jewish girl doing at UNICEF?’ …my initial reactions were very similar, but I do believe that if you save one life you save the world, and UNICEF has saved the lives of more children than any other humanitarian organization in the world.” -Caryl M. Stern
“There are more refugees and displaced people than at any other time in recorded history… but we’re also at a moment where people are awake, and the Jewish community is mobilized and really taking action – and that gives me hope.” -Rabbi Jennie Rosenn
How do we prioritize global challenges at a moment in which our communities may be more internally focused or polarized? How do we conduct inclusive conversations that move our communities to global action?
Rabbi Jennie Rosenn of HIAS and Caryl Stern of UNICEF USA discuss the unique challenges and opportunities of tackling global challenges in 2017 – and how we can mobilize our communities in this particular historical moment.
This episode was recorded before a live audience at OLAM‘s second annual Focal Point conference.
Featured Guests and Moderator
Rabbi Jennie Rosenn serves as Vice President for Community Engagement at HIAS. Prior to coming to HIAS, Jennie played a catalytic role in building the Jewish social justice movement and the field of Jewish service as the director of the Jewish Life and Values Program at the Nathan Cummings Foundation. She developed innovative initiatives such as the Selah Leadership Training Program and the Jewish Social Justice Roundtable. Before working at the Cummings Foundation, Jennie served as a campus rabbi at Columbia University and Barnard College Hillel. She has been a teacher for dozens of communities and organizations, including as the scholar-in-residence for American Jewish World Service’s 2013 Rabbinic Delegation to El Salvador. She also serves on the faculty of the Wexner Graduate Fellowship. A founding board member of AVODAH: The Jewish Service Corps and Repair the World, Jennie also served on the boards of the Jewish Funders Network and New York Jobs with Justice. She has twice been named in the Forward 50. Jennie was ordained by Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion, where she was a Wexner Graduate Fellow. She lives in New York City with her husband, Rabbi David Rosenn, and their two sons.
Caryl M. Stern is the President & CEO of UNICEF USA. Caryl previously served as the COO and Senior Associate National Director of the Anti-Defamation League, the founding Director of the ADL’s A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE® Institute and the Dean of Students at Polytechnic University. Caryl currently serves on the boards of The Container Store, the WE ARE FAMILY Foundation, the Center for Disaster Philanthropy, the SEEDS Academy and the Advisory Board to the WNBA. She previously served on the boards of the UN International School, Mercy College and the Martin Luther King Memorial Foundation. Her honors and awards include the Leading Lights Award from the National Multicultural Institute and the FutureWork Institute, and the Inspiration Award from the UN Association of Young Professionals. Caryl has also been named one of Jewish Women International’s 10 ” Women to Watch”and the Forward 50. Caryl holds a B.A. in Studio Art from The State University of New York at Oneonta and an M.S. in College Student Personnel Administration from Western Illinois University. She completed her doctoral coursework in this same field at Loyola University in Chicago. Caryl has received a Doctor of Humane Letters degree from both Mercy College and Cedar Crest College. She is married, and has three sons and two grandchildren.
Aaron Dorfman (moderator), is a lifelong educator, problem-solver, and social justice activist. He currently serves as President of the Lippman Kanfer Foundation for Living Torah. Previously, he has worked with Encore.org to develop a campaign to mobilize older adults to help children, and with a consortium of education-reform organizations to reinvent high school as part of XQ: The Super School Challenge. Aaron spent 10 years as part of the leadership team at American Jewish World Service (AJWS), organizing and mobilizing American Jews to channel their philanthropy, volunteer time, and political power to support global human rights. Prior to joining AJWS, Aaron spent nine years designing and implementing informal education programs at Temple Isaiah, a synagogue in the San Francisco Bay Area. Aaron holds a B.A. from the University of Wisconsin and an MPP from the Harvard Kennedy School and lives in Brooklyn with his wife Talia and his daughters Oren, Sela, and Dami.