The JCRC continuously informed our Jewish Federation partner agencies, synagogues, and day schools about grants, financial assistance and other resources in serving clients and community members amid the public health crisis.
Throughout the year, we hosted briefings for Jewish communal leadership and volunteers with local, state, and federal legislators, including Governor Greg Abbott, U.S. Representatives Colin Allred (D-Dallas) & Van Taylor (R-Plano), Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins, and Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson.
In February, the JCRC hosted Dallas area legislators and legislative staff for a program to learn more about the social services and programs provided by Jewish Family Service, CHAI, Legacy and the JCC. Agency head professionals provided a brief overview of the work and services provided by their organizations.
In addition to these programs, the JCRC continued to meet with and advocate to our elected officials on the state, local, and federal levels to ensure issues of concern (beyond COVID-19 needs) to the Jewish community are heard and understood by those who represent us in Dallas, Austin and Washington, D.C. Issues of importance that we advocated for include: ensuring there is continued support and benefits to nonprofit organizations in COVID-19 relief packages; asking our senators to join the Senate Bipartisan Task Force on Anti-Semitism; and securing funding for the Nonprofit Security Grant Program.
Following release of the Jewish Federation/JCRC’s Statement of Solidarity, more than 80 leading Jewish communal organizations and individuals has signed on in support. The statement has since been shared, along with a personal note, with select JCRC partners in the local African American community.
Although the 8th Annual JCRC Interfaith Seder could not be held, due to the public health crisis, the JCRC electronically shared the Haggadah, which includes contributions from local faith leaders.
Following the attack in El Paso in August 2019, Federation President and CEO Mariam Shpeen Feist and JCRC Executive Director Anita Zusman Eddy participated in an interfaith service with more than 120 attendees hosted by the Texas Instruments Jewish Initiative.
Through a short-term grant from the Jewish Federation, the JCRC helped support a community-wide teen program providing Israel education and advocacy training. In conjunction with BBYO’s Global Shabbat program in December, approximately 60 local Jewish teens in grades 9-12 gathered at the Aaron Family JCC for Havdalah and learning.
In February, the JCRC hosted campus professionals from Texas colleges and universities to share information, best practices and dialogue about anti-Israel and anti-Semitism on their campuses. Hillel, Chabad, and faculty leadership participated, along with StandWithUs and Israel on Campus Coalition staff.
In August and November 2019, the JCRC supported workshops for social studies teachers hosted by the Institute for Curriculum Services (ICS), which works to provide them with the support and knowledge they need to effectively teach the Arab-Israeli conflict in their classrooms. These educational workshops reached more than 70 teachers in Denton and more than 170 social studies teachers in Harris County.
In February, more than 50 Jewish and non-Jewish community leaders attended an informative and important program with three engaging and charismatic leaders who are working to ensure that Dallas remains thriving and vibrant by promoting social economic mobility for our young adults. The event, titled Maintaining a Vibrant Dallas: Ensuring the Workforce of Tomorrow featured Dr. Joe May, Chancellor of the Dallas County Community College District (DCCCD), Robert Mong, President of the University of North Texas at Dallas (UNT Dallas), and Dr. Michael Hinojosa, Superintendent of the Dallas Independent School District (DISD).
In a panel discussion moderated by Jaynie Schultz, the three institution leaders discussed how they are working together to ensure that Dallas area youth are prepared to become the workforce needed to maintain a strong Dallas economy and business landscape. The program was chaired by Dr. Stephanie Hirsh.
One of the JCRC’s priority advocacy initiatives over the last several years has been to work with other stakeholders in Dallas to help alleviate multi-generational poverty in Dallas. Through its Education Initiative, the JCRC aims to promote quality early learning as an important solution to alleviating poverty and serving as a resource to the Dallas Jewish community
As a founder and steering committee member of the Anti-Poverty Coalition of Greater Dallas (APC), the JCRC helped organize an event in January for community members, leaders and stakeholders to hear from regional U.S. Census staff about the importance of the 2020 U.S. Census and how local non-profit organizations can best support efforts to ensure a full and accurate count.
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