WRJ Social Justice Conference 2019

Frequently Asked Questions

 

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SJC Basics
Hotel & Travel
Registration & Pricing
Program & Schedule
Miscellaneous

SJC Basics

WRJ Social Justice Conference (SJC) 2019 will take place in Washington, D.C. at the Grand Hyatt Washington Hotel, which will host both programming and nightly accommodations. SJC begins on Saturday, May 18 at 8:00 a.m. and runs through Sunday, May 19 at 12:00 p.m. (noon). Please note that some special programs begin earlier or later. Check the Schedule and Registration & Fees pages for more information.

Who should attend SJC?

This conference is for any woman age 18+ who is interested in advocacy in the Reform Movement through a Jewish woman’s lens. WRJ welcomes and encourages an intergenerational mix of women to attend, bringing an innovative and multifaceted dialogue to the sessions.

Why should I (and/or someone else from my sisterhood) attend SJC?

There is something extraordinarily valuable to be gained from meeting face to face with many other like-minded Reform Jewish women and from learning first-hand the tools and skills needed to partake in social justice work. Running the gamut from the “nuts and bolts” tools that new or incoming advocates need, all the way up to advanced skills for experienced and seasoned participants, the conference has something to offer a wide variety of women. All in attendance will become better educated and trained on social justice issues, learn advocacy skills to utilize at home and on a larger scale, and address timely topics in a welcoming and encouraging, all-female, progressive Jewish environment.

What if I want to attend the RAC’s Consultation on Conscience as well – how does that work?

The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism’s (RAC) Consultation on Conscience runs from Sunday afternoon (after SJC ends) through Tuesday evening, in the same hotel as SJC. We encourage any woman who is able to stay for Consultation as well as SJC to do so; Consultation will provide additional learning and networking opportunities, helping you build on your experience at SJC and put your lobbying skills to use on The Hill on Tuesday. Please note that Consultation requires a separate registration and payment from SJC. Consultation registration rates and cut-off dates vary from SJC’s; check the Consultation website for more details. For those attending both the WRJ SJC and the RAC’s Consultation, you are eligible to get the RAC’s discounted “delegation” rate when you register for Consultation. Please utilize the discount code received in your SJC registration confirmation email and enter that when registering for Consultation, to receive the delegation rate.

 

Hotel & Travel

When should I arrive for SJC? When does it end?

The conference officially runs from Saturday, May 18 at 8:00 a.m. through Sunday, May 19 at 12:00 p.m. Because SJC begins early Saturday morning with breakfast, Torah study, and Shabbat worship, we strongly recommend that attendees travel to Washington, D.C. and stay at the hotel on Friday, May 17. For those who arrive in time on Friday evening, there will be informal no-host dinners available on Friday beginning around 6:00 p.m. and an optional Kabbalat Shabbat service at the hotel around 8:00 p.m. Please complete your online registration before booking your hotel and flight/travel, so that you will know exactly when to arrive and depart, based on the programs for which you register. For general SJC attendance, you should plan to arrive at the hotel no later than 7:30 a.m. on Saturday to pick up registration materials (note that hotel room check-in does not begin until 12:00 p.m.). This means you should book a flight that lands at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) before 7:00 a.m. on Saturday, May 18. We encourage those who are able to also register to stay for the Religious Action Center’s (RAC) Consultation on Conscience conference, which runs from Sunday, May 19 (after SJC ends) through Tuesday, May 21. For those departing immediately after SJC, stay through the conference’s end on Sunday at 12:00 p.m. by booking a flight that departs after 3:00 p.m.

Where is the 2019 SJC? Where do I stay? How do I get there?

The entire conference program, along with the WRJ hotel room block, will be at the Grand Hyatt Washington Hotel. Once you complete your online SJC registration, you will receive the link to make a reservation at the Grand Hyatt in your confirmation email. All attendees are responsible for making their own reservations by April 26, 2019 to get WRJ’s discounted rate. The SJC hotel is the same as the RAC’s Consultation on Conscience hotel; those staying for both conferences can make a single reservation in the hotel block with the link received in either confirmation email.

Grand Hyatt Washington Hotel
1000 H Street NW
Washington, DC 20001
(p) 202-582-1234

The hotel is about a 15-20 minute drive from the Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA), which is the closest and recommended airport. The hotel is also accessible from the airport via the Metro’s blue line (about 35 minutes). For those taking the train, Union Station is about a 15 minute drive from the hotel, or accessible via the Metro’s red line. For those driving, overnight parking is available at the hotel for an additional cost. Visit the Hotel & Travel page for more details. 

Can I share a hotel room? How do I find a roommate?

Rooms at the Grand Hyatt contain 1 king or 2 double beds, and can certainly be shared between two or more women. Attendees are responsible for making their own hotel reservations, including finding their own roommate. If you would like to share a room but do not have a roommate, use the WRJ SJC 2019 Attendees’ Yammer group (to which you’ll be added once you complete your registration) and post that you’re looking for a roommate and for which night(s) – use the Topic Tags “RoommateSearch” and “Hotel.” Women have good success rates in matching up this way!

 

Registration & Pricing

How much does it cost to attend SJC? What does my registration include?

The “Early Bird” registration fee is $299 on or before February 27, 2019. From February 28 – April 26, 2019, the fee for regular registration is $360.

Until April 26, 2019, the registration fee for any woman age 18-30 is $100. Please email the WRJ Registrar before beginning your registration, to receive a coupon code you will utilize to register at this special discounted rate.

All registration fees are in USD and non-U.S. attendees must pay in USD or the equivalent amount in their local currency.

Your registration fee includes:

  • All meals during the conference, including Saturday breakfast, lunch, and dinner; and Sunday brunch
  • All programming, including workshops, speakers, networking, worship, and music, as well as the Saturday night concert (a $40 ticket value)
  • Workshop handouts and conference materials
  • Pre- and post-SJC access to WRJ’s private SJC 2019 online communication & resource group on Yammer, which also grants access to other “open” WRJ Yammer groups

Not included in your SJC registration are the following expenses:

  • Hotel reservation
  • Flight and other travel arrangements (including ground transportation)
  • Meals not listed above (such as Friday dinner)
  • Optional add-on special packages for the Saturday night concert (prices vary – read more here)
  • Purchase of WRJ products
  • Donations to WRJ
  • Any other expenses unless otherwise noted

Does WRJ offer any financial assistance to attend SJC?
WRJ offers a limited number of grants to eligible WRJ individual members or sisterhood members, to cover the cost of one Early Bird registration to attend SJC. Visit the Grants page to find out if you are eligible and to learn more. 

WRJ also has a special discounted “Young Adult” registration rate of $100 for women age 18-30. To take advantage of this rate, please email wrjregistrar@wrj.org before you register, to fill out a form and get a coupon cope to utilize. WRJ will, where possible, assist young adults with additional expenses related to their conference attendance.

How can I register for SJC? How do I pay the fee?

SJC 2019 registration is only available online. Registration will open in November 2018 and close in late April 2019. All registrations must be completed on an individual basis (no group registrations) on our secure online website and paid for in full by credit card (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, or Discover) when submitting your registration. Once registration is complete, you will receive a confirmation email, which contains the link to make a reservation at the hotel at the group rate and a coupon code for those who also want to register for the RAC’s Consultation on Conscience.

If your sisterhood is covering your registration fee, please make the appropriate arrangements to enable you to pay at the time you register.

If you need to pay by check, you must still complete the online registration (up until the payment page) and then mail a check to WRJ for the full amount you owe. Once WRJ receives and processes your check, you will receive a confirmation email. All check payments must be postmarked no later than April 26, 2019. Please contact wrjregistrar@wrj.org for instructions on mailing a check payment.

If you are a recipient of a Grant, you must still pay the registration fee at the time you register. WRJ will reimburse you by check after SJC concludes.

All registration fees must be paid, in full, before SJC; partial payments cannot be accepted.

What happens if I need to change or cancel my registration and get a refund?
If you register for the WRJ SJC 2019 and are not able to attend, you must email the WRJ Registrar with your cancellation request and include the reason for the cancellation to receive a partial or full refund. SJC Registration Refunds will be applied as follows:

  • On or before April 17, 2019: A full refund less a $50 administrative fee
  • On or after April 18, 2019: No refund except in the event of a documented illness, death in the family, or inclement weather that makes travel to the conference impossible, for which WRJ will offer to refund, where possible, 50% of the registration fee less a $50 administrative fee

Saturday Night Concert Special Add-On Package refund requests: there will be no refunds for these special packages, since they are a donation to WRJ.

Saturday Night Concert Ticket refund requests: tickets are non-refundable; there will be no refunds issued after purchase.

Please allow up to six weeks after the conclusion of the event for any refund to be processed. We are not able to offer a credit balance toward future WRJ events.

Can I attend part of SJC and pay a lower fee?
WRJ does not offer partial attendance packages or prorated registration rates for SJC. If you are unable to attend the full SJC but will be in Washington, D.C. on Saturday night, May 18, we do have tickets available ($40) for just the Saturday night concert. Click here for more information and to sign up.

Can I bring a guest with me to SJC, or to part of SJC?
There is no “guest” option for attending part(s) of SJC; all attendees must be full SJC registrants. The only exception is for those who want to attend just the Saturday night concert. All concert attendees must purchase a ticket here, with the option to also add on a special fundraising package.

Who can attend the Saturday night Concert? How much does it cost?

Concert tickets can be purchased by anyone not attending SJC for $40 each. You may also add in a special package with additional perks; prices vary by package. All ages and genders are welcome at the concert, but those under age 18 must be accompanied by an adult. Learn more and buy your ticket(s) here.

 

Program & Schedule

What is the schedule for the weekend? What types of workshops are being offered?
The conference schedule (subject to change) can be viewed here. A more detailed workshop schedule will be posted closer to the conference.

Do I have to pre-register for individual workshops? 
All workshops during SJC do not require advance registration. An attendee may choose to attend any workshop on-site as long as space remains in the room (on a first come, first served basis).

How much time will I spend in religious services? 
Worship is a very significant part of SJC. We are together for all of Shabbat and WRJ holds joyous (pre-SJC, optional Friday night), Saturday morning, and Saturday evening Havdalah services. SJC also includes Torah study options over breakfast on Saturday morning, and the Shabbat service will feature a sermon from Rabbi David Saperstein. All services and their music are arranged especially for WRJ SJC 2019 – you won’t want to miss the meaningful magic of hundreds of women lending their voices to pray as one!

Are there any special add-on programs available?
Saturday night’s concert admission is included with WRJ SJC registration. For those not registered for SJC, a concert ticket may be purchased for $40. All concert attendees will have the opportunity in their registration to add on one of three special packages. These packages are a donation to WRJ and each tier provides different perks for the attendee. Learn more here.

 

Miscellaneous

I have dietary restrictions. Will I be able to eat the food at SJC?
All food served at SJC is kosher-style, but not certified kosher (i.e., no pork or shellfish is served, and no meat and dairy products will be mixed). There is always a vegetarian option available which includes protein, and special accommodations can be made for lactose intolerant and nut-free diets. For those with other food allergies, we will do our best to accommodate your needs. 
*Please enter all dietary special needs into your online registration so that we can make note of your restrictions and work with you and the hotel to accommodate you. If you have any questions or want to discuss your restrictions, please contact Amanda Feldman, WRJ Manager of Meetings & Conventions.

Is the SJC 2019 venue handicapped accessible?
The Grand Hyatt Washington Hotel is entirely wheelchair- and handicapped-accessible.

Please note that special accommodations regarding your hotel stay must be made directly with the hotel.

We strive to make SJC accessible and meaningful to all those who wish to participate. If you require special accommodations, please enter them into your online registration and also contact Amanda Feldman at afeldman@wrj.org or 212-650-4054 by April 1, 2019 so that we can work with you to support your attendance throughout the conference.

Is there WiFi at the hotel?

WiFi is complimentary in the hotel rooms and lobby. WRJ will provide WiFi access in the meeting space during SJC.

What is the dress code? What should I bring with me?
Dress is generally “business casual.” On Shabbat, attendees typically wear nicer dresses, skirts, slacks, and tops. A comfortable pair of shoes for walking and a light sweater, scarf or jacket for layering (as room temperatures can vary) are also important. Finally, don’t forget to bring with you any WRJ/District pins and tallitot/kippot, as is your custom. Be sure to leave a little free space in your luggage for anything you may purchase at the WRJ Shop. If you are staying for the RAC’s Consultation on Conscience, please refer to their guidelines for dress code as well, especially if you are participating in a lobbying visit on The Hill on Tuesday.

For any additional questions about WRJ SJC 2019, please contact WRJ Registrar or call 212-650-4050.