Zachary has spoken to audiences all around the country at conferences, universities, faith-based institutions, art exhibitions, and more

He is proud to have appeared alongside some of our nation's most eminent journalists, nonprofit leaders, and activists. He  has shared the stage with New York Times Editor Bari Weiss and The Atlantic Editor in Chief Jeffrey Goldberg. He has also spoken alongside the presidents and CEOs of major American Jewish organizations such as the Jewish National Fund, Hadassah, Association of Reform Zionists of America, Zionist Organization of America, and others.

He offers keynote speeches, seminars, two-hour to two-day workshops, and remote webinars on a number of topics. Zachary knows that your community is unique. When you book him, you don't get a pre-canned speech or cookie-cutter program. He will work with you to get to know your organization, your audience, and your needs. Together, he and you will design a customized program to meet your goals and your people where they are. 

Topics

Israel & Zionism

Zionism: A New Doctrine for Pluralism in the Jewish Community


The American Jewish community conversation about Israel is increasingly defined by bitter generational and ideological divides. This talk explores why American Jews tend to relate to Israel in one of two ways and how we can bridge this gap in our Israel discourse and education. Zachary offers a fresh paradigm through which to understand the two fundamental (and competing) relationships most American Jews have with Israel, and how we can forge a path forward.




Zionism and Progressives


Many progressives today challenge the notion that Zionism is compatible with progressive values. Yet, many people who identify as Zionist do so precisely because they believe it is a progressive cause. Zachary is one of those people. He offers a number of talks and text studies that explore the progressive nature of Zionism, why so many progressives are challenged by Zionism, and how to engage progressives more thoughtfully in this conversation.




Israel-Palestinian Reconciliation: Paving a Path Forward


Zachary is President of an Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking organization and previously managed Interfaith Partners for Peace, where he brought national clergy delegations to study conflict and reconciliation in the Middle East. He has firsthand experience with shared society work on the ground which is de-escalating tensions, de-radicalizing those prone to violence, and creating constituencies that support political change. In this program, Zachary takes these experiences and offers a perspective into how grassroots reconciliation efforts, or Track II diplomacy, can be utilized to shift the status quo on the ground. He reviews public opinion polls to get a pulse on Israeli and Palestinian perspectives, examines what people- to-people efforts are happening in the region, and discusses what role we can play to support them in America.




Starting with Why: What’s your Israel Story? (Workshop)


Reason alone rarely rivals a compelling story that engages both the heart and the head. In this workshop, we will learn to articulate our Israel stories. We will answer two questions: Why do I care about Israel and why should others? Together, we will craft personal narratives that cultivate empathy, create connections, and dismantle the defensiveness of those who hear them. We will study a proven storytelling methodology and develop narratives that persuade and inspire.





Israel-Diaspora Relations in the 21st Century


Given increasing divisions between Israel and the Diaspora, many are wondering what the future of the relationship will look like. As the beliefs and identities of both communities diverge more and more everyday, there is certainly reason to be concerned. In this talk, Zachary argues that this conflict is not new at all. In fact, it pre-exists the creation of the Jewish State and is wrapped up in larger questions about the future of Jewish identity. In this talk, Zachary explores whether Zionism and Diasporaism are truly at loggerheads and he offers a fresh understanding of a global Jewish Peoplehood which draws on the advantages afforded by Jewish sovereignty in Israel coupled with the creative vitality of the pluralistic American Jewish identity.




Text Studies on Zionism


Zachary offers customized text studies on Zionism, Israel-Diaspora relations, and Jewish Peoplehood. He will work with your group to design a text study that delivers exactly what you need to reach your group's goals. These are best for small group conversations with participants who want to dive into a miscellany of original and contemporary sources with a facilitator. Some pre-designed text studies include: - Understanding Zionisms: Competing Definitions - Diasporism and Zionism: Past and Future - Did Zionism End in 1948?




Israel Advocacy vs. Israel Education


Our community invests tremendous resources in teaching our youth the what and how of Israel advocacy, but rarely do we discuss the why. We often teach students how to be advocates for Israel before we inspire them to care in the first place. We conflate immersive Israel experiences and even advocacy with Israel education. This talk explores these three modalities of Israel engagement, what they each have to offer, and where they fall short. This talk is intended for Jewish communal professionals overseeing immersive Israel experiences, Israel education, or Israel advocacy programs.





Polarization, Conflict, & Civil Discourse

Pluralism in an Age of Polarization


Too often, we find ourselves struggling to understand the "other" and communicate constructively across divides. We are left wondering why we are so bitterly divided and if we can transcend this new normal. Zachary has been searching for answers to this question by placing himself at the center of healing complex political divides his whole life. In his work and research, he has found that polarization has little to do with how much we disagree and a lot more to do with the way our brains are wired. Conflict often has less to do with our competing beliefs and more to do with our divergent identities. In this keynote talk, he shares his perspective on why we are polarized in the hopes that by understanding those dynamics we can begin to take meaningful steps toward depolarization.




How to Thrive in Emotionally Charged Conversations (Workshop)


Engaging in productive dialogue across differences is a skill that requires a great deal of knowledge and practice. This series of interdisciplinary workshops integrates cutting edge research and techniques from negotiation theory, transformative mediation, conflict resolution, psychology, and sociology. Rather than focus on how to win debates, we explore how to engage in constructive conversations and establish the credibility one needs to persuade others. You will not learn how to win a conversation, instead you will walk away knowing how to have one. You will learn how to escape the vicious cycle that turns dialogues into toxic debates and entrenches those you wish to persuade. This series explores how interpersonal conflict arises, the human nature behind polarization, and how we engage in civil discourse across divides. Participants will have the opportunity to put their skills to the test with interactive practice sessions.




When Opposites Attract: Navigating Relational Diversity


How did a conservative Christian Republicans and a liberal Jewish Democrat become best friends? Join this conversation as two young professionals discuss how they forged an unlikely friendship which has transformed their capacity for dialogue and their understanding of the "other." In this talk, Zachary joins his best friend Chelsea Andrews for a charming conversation about their unlikely friendship and how they handle differences about well...everything.




Diversity is a Fact; Pluralism is an Achievement


It has been said that while diversity is a fact, pluralism is an achievement. Diversity is simply the presence of difference; it is a demographic reality. We all know that bringing different populations together does not always precipitate peaceful or productive outcomes. Diversity is the culprit of unspeakable horrors, prejudices, and discrimination. But it is also the source of incredible innovation, productivity, and competitive advantage. It can mean conflict or co-existence. Ultimately, it is up to us to decide which.

This talk explores this concept and offers some strategies for taking advantage of diversity, rather than being taken advantage by it.




Transcending Tribalism: Overcoming our Partisan Minds


Humans are prewired toward tribalism and groupishness. In fact, countless studies show that introducing any noticable difference between even identical groups will reliably stimulate behavior that flows from tribal psychology. Even if we would like to think otherwise, we do not experience the world as disinterested observers. We often ignore fact-based evidence in favor of confirming our pre-existing perceptions, validating our values, and enhancing our cultural identities. This talk explores the dynamics of tribal psychology, or cultural cognition, in the hopes that by understanding our cognitive biases we can begin to manage them.





Influence & Inspiration

The Art of Influence: Changing Hearts, Minds, & Actions (Workshop)


What makes a leader or a story so powerful that it persuades and inspires masses of people? How can we create enduring support for ourselves and our causes? This is not a motivational talk; this is a talk about motivating. This is a conversation about how to be liked and build trust. This is not about manipulating others; it is about empowering and enabling them. Whether you wish to enlist people for your cause or win that argument with your friends over where to brunch, this will give you the tools to do so.




Telling Your Story (Workshop)


Reason alone rarely rivals a compelling story that engages both the heart and the head. In this workshop, we craft our values into stories that cultivate empathy, create connections, and dismantle the defensiveness of those who hear them. We study a proven storytelling
methodology and develop narratives that persuade and inspire. Whether you wish to advocate for a cause or fundraise for your organization, this storytelling program will help you to transform bland talking points into powerful pitches.





DEI & Allyship

Managing Conflict in the Workplace


Whether in large or small ways, conflict is something we face on a weekly basis. It may be between co-workers, supervisors and staff, or on your board. When it happens, it lowers your productivity, harms morale, and affects the bottom line. Zachary offers trainings to help any professional respond to conflict and even work to prevent it.




Jewish Workplace Respect Trainings (Ta'amod)


Ta’amod: Stand Up! has developed unprecedented training curriculum specifically for Jewish communal institutions and all who work, learn, or worship at them to prevent gender harassment and abuse by creating safe, respectful, equitable Jewish workplace culture. Through Ta’amod, Zachary brings this work to Jewish communities, congregetations, and schools. It is grounded in Jewish values and ethics while also providing legally compliant training to make harassment intrinsically less likely.




Unpacking Antisemitism


This DEI-style training focuses on understanding the blindspots, biases, and bigotries which uphold and perpetuate antisemitism today. It unpacks the history of antisemitism and how it has morphed across timelines and geography and then dives into how antisemitism manifests today. This training is a meaningful supplement for organizations looking to take a deeper dive into anti-Jewish prejudice and how to counter it.





Zachary’s content and delivery was spectacular. He was engaging and charismatic yet very sophisticated, articulate, and professional. I was extremely impressed with how well he listened and responded to questions and comments. He has a real talent for making people feel heard and expressing his own views in a non-confrontational manner.

We need more people in the world with that skill.

Conservative Rabbi

 

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