As of 2010, Portsmouth, New Hampshire (population 20,000) has sustained the practice of organized, public dialogue and deliberation for over ten years. Since 1999, diverse community groups in Portsmouth have organized at least six rounds of large-scale dialogue-to-action circles (study circles) initiatives. This case study provides brief descriptions of four of these initiatives from 1999 through 2004. Descriptions of Portsmouth’s later public engagement initiatives will be added to this entry at a later date, or posted as separate entries.
The Year of Civil Discourse on Israel was a year long initiative organized by the Jewish Community Relations Council of San Francisco, The Peninsula, Marin, Sonoma, Alameda, and Contra Costa Counties. The Initiative was designed to foster discussion and community building among the Bay Area Jewish Community over disagreements regarding the Israel-Palestine conflict. From December 2010 to December 2011 a number of events were held to help tackle this issue, such as facilitator training sessions and book and movie reviews.