In June, JCRC staff traveled to Austin to testify before the State Board of Education regarding the streamlining of the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) for Social Studies. The JCRC worked with the Institute of Curriculum Services (ICS) in San Francisco to provide input and advocacy to ensure that the new TEKS accurately represent Jews, Judaism and Israel.
In July, the JCRC helped organize a free professional development workshop addressing the Arab-Israeli conflict for middle school and high school educators. Twenty-five teachers from the Frisco Independent School District attended the workshop facilitated by the Institute for Curriculum Services (ICS). The workshop provided the opportunity for teachers to learn both content regarding the historical development of the conflict as well as educational strategies to teach students about the history and current status of the conflict. Read here for more information.
In August, the JCRC was contacted by a local parent concerned with inaccurate information regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in a world history textbook. The JCRC reached out and alerted ICS, who have since negotiated with the textbook publisher to provide suggested edits to the next edition of the textbook. This is especially impactful as school districts in 34 U.S. states purchase textbooks and interactive programs that publishers create for Texas.
The Jewish Federation’s Israel Advocacy and Education Committee (formerly known as the Combatting BDS Initiative Committee) met with Jewish students and Hillel of University of North Texas-Denton's Executive Director, Melissa Duchin, to learn about what is happening on campus particularly related to anti-BDS and anti-Israel activity.
The Committee coordinates and convenes students and organizations working on these issues to ensure effective communication and to offer the resources of the Federation and JCRC to assist in their efforts promoting Israel and opposing anti-Israel sentiment on campus. The Israel Advocacy and Education Committee is co-chaired by Hylton Jonas and Ruthy Rosenberg, and staffed by the JCRC.
In May, more than 100 people attended a community briefing titled Maintaining a Vibrant Dallas: The Economic Impact of Early Childhood Education hosted by the Early Learning Committee of the JCRC. Speakers, Regen Horchow Fearon of Early Matters Dallas and Elizabeth Sobel Blum of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, articulated how quality early learning supports the workforce of today and prepares the workforce of the future which is critical for Dallas’ ongoing and future economic success and vibrancy.
Several elected officials and VIPs were in attendance, including leadership from various Jewish organizations. Read more about this program. A copy of all reports and presentations from the program are available on the Education Initiative page of the JCRC website.
The JCRC Early Learning Committee was established to educate about poverty in Dallas, engage the Jewish community as a stakeholder, and promote high quality early childhood education as an important solution to multi-generational poverty. The committee is chaired by Debra Levy Fritts.
In June, the JCRC hosted a leadership briefing with Dallas County Commissioner, Judge Clay Jenkins. At the meeting, Judge Jenkins provided an overview and update on the issues surrounding the separation of families at the border, along with other topics including his work related to early childhood education, healthcare, and fighting poverty in Dallas County.
Leadership from various Jewish organizations were present at the briefing, including the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas, National Council of Jewish Women, Temple Emanu-El, Temple Shalom, Congregation Anshai Torah, and others. For more information about this meeting, check out the TJP article.
The JCRC periodically coordinates meetings between lay leadership and elected officials on the local, state, and federal levels to build and maintain strong support for issues important to our community.
In August, more than 500 people attend the third annual Israel Today Symposium at Temple Shalom. The one-day symposium hosted more than 25 speakers for breakout sessions and two keynote speakers, including Greg Roman, Director and COO for the Middle East Forum, and Eran Lerman, Vice President of the Jerusalem Institute for Strategic Studies. The JCRC is a steering committee member of the planning committee, and was one of many exhibitors at the symposium.
In June, the Anti-Poverty Coalition of Greater Dallas, of which the JCRC is a steering committee member, hosted a community town hall event to discuss the comprehensive housing policy recently adopted by the Dallas City Council. Hosted at Temple Emanu-El, more than 200 people attended to hear from leaders of various organizations working on issues that help bring affordable and accessible housing to Dallas residents. The Anti-Poverty Coalition of Greater Dallas is a broad-based coalition focused on building community support for policies and initiatives that would improve the financial health of hard-working families.
JCRC leadership has already begun planning for the 2019 Jewish Communities Day at the State: Mission to Austin. This year’s advocacy mission is co-chaired by Dawn Strauss and Adam Segall. As the only full-time JCRC in the state of Texas, the Dallas JCRC organizes a bi-annual visit to the Texas Capitol for a day of advocacy for Jewish communities across the state. JCRC leadership has been meeting with partner agencies of the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas to help shape our advocacy agenda. Stay tuned for more information to come in the next few months. If you have any questions, please email us.