Online registration now open for JSPA 2018 Convention and Shabbaton in Los Angeles

November 16, 2017

Registration is now open for the the 2018 Convention and Shabbaton of the Jewish Scholastic Press Association, set for Los Angeles Feb. 1 – 3, 2018, sponsored by Shalhevet High School and the American Jewish Press Association.

This year’s conference will be held at Beth Jacob Congregation in Beverly Hills.

Click here to register online.  Previous years’ convention programs may be viewed here and here.

The convention offers a full Shabbat program and also sponsors the annual Jewish Scholastic Journalism Awards for articles published on Jewish topics in the last year, with a $5-per-story contest entry fee.  First-place winners in each category compete for the Grand Prize in Jewish Scholastic Journalism, the prize for which is a recommendation from AJPA for an internship at the Jewish newspaper in their home city.

Keynote speaker this year will be Ari Goldman, director of the Scripps Howard Program in Religion, Journalism and the Spiritual Life at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism in New York.  Mr. Goldman, who is the author of the best-selling book The Search for God at Harvard, was religion writer for the New York Times for 20 years before joining the faculty at Columbia, and is an active member of New York City’s Modern Orthodox community.

The Convention is held in Los Angeles’ Pico-Robertson neighborhood, walking distance to more than a dozen popular kosher restaurants and 15 or more synagogues of every denomination.  Registration is $135 per student (there are early bird and member discounts) and includes Shabbat dinner and lunch.

Thanks to JSPA co-sponsor Shalhevet High School, home hospitality will be available to all out-of-town attendees.  Hotel space is also available, at the Marriot Residence Inn Beverly Hills and the Carlyle Inn, both located walking distance from our meetings.

Groups sending more than three students must have a chaperone.   Local students who want to get to meetings on their own are welcome to do so.

Students and teachers who have attended the national conferences of the National or Columbia scholastic press associations (NSPA and CSPA) know how tremendous the impact of young journalists traveling and thinking about journalism together for a few days can be.  JSPA adds Jewish meaning and Torah wisdom to this formula, and helps students become news writers, designers, thinkers and leaders of tomorrow.


JSPA is a national journalism education organization that teaches students top-level skills while looking at journalism through a Jewish lens.  Its goals are to improve student media at Jewish high schools, enhance journalism education in those schools, and teach students and advisers how they can add Jewish content and sensibility to their publications, and also to convey a Jewish outlook on journalism to students in any school.

It promotes these goals in a way that respects Jewish values and the Jewish calendar, in particular using Shabbat to create a journalistic cohort that can consider news gathering in a Jewish way.  Its motto, found in Leviticus Chapter 19, verse 16, is You shall not go up and down as a talebearer among your people, neither shall you stand idly by the blood of your neighbor; I am the Lord.   Applying this in journalism means using both courage and restraint, knowing when to use which, and being able to channel curiosity into purpose.

The Convention features workshops such as “How to Find News in the Torah” and “Covering Israel on College Campuses,” while also building professional skills with workshops on interview technique, copyright and free press issues, photojournalism and center-spread design.  This year’s will be led by Jenny Medina, Los Angeles-based National Correspondent for the New York Times; Rabbi Kalman Topp of Beth Jacob Congregation in Beverly Hills; leading intellectual property attorneys David Nimmer and Joseph Lipner; Eric Nusbaum, West Coast Sports Editor for VICE Media; and Kathleen Neumeyer, formerly of Harvard-Westlake School, and many more.

For more information, please email [email protected], either to ask questions directly or to set up a time to speak by phone.





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