Community Conversations

 JEWISHcolorado’s new event series addresses some of the most pressing and complex issues of our times. Led by experts in their fields, each Conversation is designed to transform understanding and build trust, enhance Jewish life and learning, and enrich our community.

Everyone has a role to play in building a strong, sustainable, and vibrant Jewish community. Everyone is empowered when we learn together.


“We believe we must intentionally convene around Jewish issues of our day. We must work to inspire deeper understanding and collectively find solutions to our most difficult challenges.”

—Rabbi Jay Strear, JEWISHcolorado President & CEO

Community Conversations are open to the public, with multiple avenues for engagement.

Proof of vaccination is required for attendance at in-person events.

Teen Series: How to Talk to Your Teens About Israel

Dr. Daniel Hettleman
March 8, 2022  |  Denver JCC  | 
7:00 pm

The situation in Israel is always complicated and always changing, and it can be hard to initiate, much less contextualize, conversations about the country—its politics, its polity, and its people.

If you’re wondering how to talk to your teen about Israel, join JEWISHcolorado’s Israeli emissary Itai Divinsky and Dr. Daniel Hettleman for a frank presentation on navigating this complex and challenging topic.

Dr. Daniel Hettleman is a psychologist in a private practice in Denver, where he sees children, teens, adults and families in therapy. He has been teaching family therapy to graduate students at DU for the past 20 years, as well as consulting at local school and organizations. His work is informed by his Jewish practices and studies.

Suggested donation $18 | to benefit Israel and teen programming

Date with the State

Tree of Life: A Deadly Attack and a Resilient Neighborhood

Mark Oppenheimer
March 9, 2022 
|  Denver Consistory, 1370 Grant Street
7:30 am  Legislator meet & greet, breakfast
8:20 am  Program
9:00 am  Keynote, Mark Oppenheimer

Date with the State, a biennial advocacy day, is presented in partnership with JEWISHcolorado’s Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC).

Mark Oppenheimer is a journalist and the author of five books, including his latest, Squirrel Hill: The Tree of Life Synagogue Shooting and the Soul of a Neighborhood. He holds a Ph.D. in American religious history from Yale University and is the author of Thirteen and a Day: The Bar and Bat Mitzvah Across America and Knocking on Heaven’s Door: American Religion in the Age of Counterculture. Oppenheimer hosts Unorthodox, the No. 1 Jewish-themed podcast on iTunes, and he also writes for Slate, The New York Times Magazine, and Nextbook. Oppenheimer lives in New Haven, Connecticut.

$36 per person, kosher breakfast included

Teen Series: Know Before You Go

Israel on Campus

Dr. Noam Weissman
March 22, 2022 
|  Denver JCC  |  7:00 pm

Know Before You Go is presented in partnership with OpenDor Media.

Sending a child to college next year? This virtual workshop is designed to introduce parents to the challenges students face and provide tips for students on how to create engaged and meaningful dialogue about Israel and being Jewish on campus, inside and outside classes. Join Dr. Noam Weismann as he unpacks the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and Israel’s history in a nuanced, balanced way.

Dr. Weissman is executive vice-president of OpenDor Media, where he spearheads educational vision and leads content creation on his Unpacked YouTube channel, which has more than 100,000 subscribers and millions of views. He is also the host of the podcasts Unpacking Israeli History and The Power of.

Suggested donation $18 per person | to benefit Israel and teen programming

Ukraine Briefing: Refugees & Aliyah – What Happens Now?


Dr. Ilana Kwartin is currently on her way to Poland with a delegation of representatives from The Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI) so that she may add her expertise to those working to help Ukrainian refugees make aliyah to Israel. More info coming soon!

Dr. Ilana Kwartin
date TBD 
|  location TBD  |  7:00 pm

Presented in partnership with The Jewish Agency for Israel.

Dr. Ilana Kwartin has lived the journey of today’s Ukrainian refugees. She was born in the former Soviet Union, escaped with the help of a Jewish agency, and made aliyah in 1987. Currently, she is the Regional Director, Western United States, for The Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI), overseeing programs including shlichim (emissaries) and aliyah (immigration). Join us as Dr. Kwartin discusses the assimilation process for the expected 15,000 refugees—mostly women and children—immigrating from Ukraine to Israel.

Dr. Kwartin grew up in Jerusalem and served as a commander and officer in the IDF. She went on to earn degrees in law, psychology and a Ph.D. in gender studies. She also runs her own legal practice specializing in women’s rights in the workplace and family.

Registration details to come

Teen Series: Mind the Gap Year – Post-Graduation Options in Israel

Sheryl Korelitz & Meara Razon-Ashtivker, MASA–North America
April 4, 2022  |  Denver JCC  |  7:00 pm

Is your high school senior wondering what comes next? Consider a gap year in Israel.

Join Sheryl Korelitz and Meara Razon-Ashtivker of MASA–North America for a presentation about gap years, their usefulness and relevance, options for gap years in Israel, and more.

Suggested donation $18 | to benefit Israel and teen programming

Divided Against Ourselves

Israel, the Diaspora & the Future of the Jewish People

Yossi Klein Halevi

NOTE: Due to unforeseen health issues, Yossi Klein Halevi has cancelled his travel to the U.S. for the month of May. We will look for an alternative date in the coming months, once he has resumed travel. 

Divided Against Ourselves is presented in partnership with the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America and made possible by the Zeff Kesher Foundation.

Yossi Klein Halevi is a Senior Fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem, a journalist and author. Halevi will share his thoughts about the future of the Jewish people. He is author of the New York Times bestseller, Letters to My Palestinian Neighbor and co-host with Donniel Hartman and Elana Stein Hain of the Institute’s For Heaven’s Sake podcast. He is also the author of Like Dreamers: The Story of the Israeli Paratroopers Who Reunited Jerusalem and Divided a Nation, which won the Jewish Book Council’s Everett Book of the Year Award.

$18 per person

Come Together

Reconnecting Through Conversation

Noa Tishby
June 15, 2022 | Denver Art Museum | 7:00 pm

Made possible through the generous support of Larry Mizel and the Mizel Family Foundations.

Come Together will feature Noa Tishby, Tel Aviv-born actress, producer, writer, and activist, and author of Israel: A Simple Guide to the Most Misunderstood Country on Earth.

To be held in the new wing of the Denver Art Museum, the program will include pre-event receptions for multiple audiences, plus an available online option featuring a virtual experience available to the Jewish community statewide. This event combines JEWISHcolorado’s traditional signature events—CHOICES, Men’s Event, and Elevate—in one exciting night of community, conversation, and friend-raising support for JEWISHcolorado.

$180 per person