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Young Women's Leadership Conference 2017

  • Wardman Park Marriott 2660 Woodley Road Northwest Washington, DC, 20008 United States (map)

Don't miss JWI's fifth annual mentoring conference - a gathering of D.C.'s young Jewish professional women and accomplished role models from cities and industries across the United States!

This half-day conference, which precedes JWI’s annual Women to Watch celebration, is an opportunity for young professional women to interact with and learn from accomplished Jewish women in a variety of fields – technology, science, entertainment, philanthropy, business, spirituality, and more. All of the featured speakers are current or former Women to Watch honorees who have made exceptional contributions in their professional lives and communities. After a series of workshops covering issues and topics important to women today, the conference will conclude with one-on-one sessions with the speakers in a speed networking event, followed by a wine and cheese reception from 5-6pm.

Want to join us from out of town? We may be able to help with travel expenses. Learn how.

Conference Committee:

Erika Berger
Sasha Bloch
Andrea Deck
Rachael Greenberg

Tiffany Harris
Emily Schweitzer
Abby Shuster
Hali Simons

Michelle Sindyukov
Alyssa Weiner
Sapir Yarden

Conference Workshops!

In addition to an inspiring opening plenary - "We the Women" - a 75-minute speed mentoring session, time for networking, and a wine and cheese reception after the conference ends, the day will include six workshops, from which registered attendees can choose two (one from each session):

Workshops Session 1:

How can you use public speaking skills and stories at work to make your message more memorable and more impactful? In this interactive workshop, you'll learn how to (metaphorically) drop the mic by improving your storytelling and public speaking skills through activities and practice. You will leave with the techniques to connect with an audience, make them want to listen, and design stories to match any situation.


  • Pam Sherman, Syndicated Columnist, Attorney, Actor and Creator of Edge™ Leadership, Communications and Business Development Programs

What does it mean to be a great boss? How do we turn a boss into a mentor? What are the unique challenges of being a woman in power, especially if you're the only woman at the table? In this workshop you'll hear from three high-level women who embody what it means to be a #GirlBoss. 


  • Kathy Raffa, President, Raffa PC

  • Kim Holstein, Co Founder, Crave Bar, Chief Mocktail Officer, Industry Juice

  • Dominique Schurman, CEO of Papyrus

As young Jewish women, we're constantly assessing what our passions are and how we want to commit our time and resources to causes bigger than ourselves. Come to this workshop and learn how to find organizations that align with your values, what it takes to be selected for a leadership role, and how to be a successful lay leader. 


  • Mimi Brodsky Kress, COO and Co-owner, Sandy Springs Builders

  • Marla Garchik, Philanthropist and Founder, Peace Love Solve

  • Nicky Goren, President and CEO of the Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer Foundation

Workshops Session 2:

Why do women's capacity and perfectionism fail to translate into confidence and success? In this session, we will discuss how to overcome this paradox and explore different strategies for becoming bold. After all, we will not mind the confidence gap; we will close it.


  • Ellen Stone, Executive Vice President, Marketing, Bravo and Oxygen

  • Mardene Miller, President, Harrison and Star, global health-care advertising and promotion agency

  • Jen Maxfield Ostfeld, New Jersey correspondent for NBC New York

In today's volatile world, we're increasingly isolating ourselves. Whether it's social media, news, or automation- we are being driven to live lives of isolation. How do we break the bubble and learn to connect with one another? And why is it more important now than ever to do so in order to deal with the harsh realities of our time? 


  • Erica Keswin, Speaker, Workplace Strategist, and Founder, The Spaghetti Project

  • Rabbi Dana Saroken, Associate Rabbi, Beth El Congregation, and Founder, The Soul Center


More women than ever are stepping up and tossing their name in the ring to run for office. How do you step up, whether as a candidate or campaign staffer. Why is it so critical that she should run?


  • Alison Friedman, Congressional Candidate, Virginia 10th District  

  • Susie Turnbull, Chair of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, Former Vice Chair of the DNC, Former Chair DNC Women's Caucus and DNC Women's Leadership Forum

  • Congresswoman (INVITED)

Sondra D. Bender Conference Scholarship Fund

Thanks to a generous grant from the Bender Foundation to JWI's Sondra D. Bender Leadership Institute, scholarship funds are available for a limited number of young professional women who live outside the D.C. area. To apply please fill out this form. 

Earlier Event: December 3
Feel Good
Later Event: December 11
Women to Watch Gala 2017