The Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) of the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia educates and advocates in Greater Philadelphia, in Congress and in our state capital, on behalf of Jewish interests and issues throughout our region, in Israel and around the world.

Through community relations, government affairs, social action and advocacy, we are dedicated to improving inter-group understanding and advancing a just and pluralistic society. We work together with Jewish and non-Jewish organizations to ensure broad participation from various communities in Greater Philadelphia. We focus on education and advocacy for Israel, Holocaust education, interfaith relations and more.

Our programs are designed for diverse groups both inside and outside of the Jewish community and include: the Board of Rabbis, synagogues, Hebrew and Jewish day schools, other faith and ethnic communities, elected and government officials, the Kehillot, Jewish Federation affinity groups, Jewish Federation staff and leadership, and educators, among others.

Domestic Affairs

The JCRC Government Affairs Director, Robin Schatz, engages the Jewish community’s national and local agenda, focusing on such issues as voting rights, the separation of church and state, hate crimes, gun safety and community violence in Greater Philadelphia. The JCRC combats anti-Semitic activities and advocates on behalf of local Jewish individuals and institutions that have been targets of anti-Semitic bias and harassment. In addition, JCRC supports the Jewish Federation’s work for strong well-resourced health and human services sectors. We both maintain relationships with our government leaders and educate community members about advocacy skills and bring them to meet with our representatives on city, state and federal levels. For our Action Alerts please click here.

Racial Justice Initiatives

JCRC collaborates with religious leaders, legislators, appropriate partner organizations in the Black community, donors and volunteers to deepen our understanding of the nature of structural racism and the appropriate legislative, policy and community response. We will continue our advocacy in support of social safety net legislation that benefits not only poor Jews but all under-resourced members of our community, work with local Black clergy to create a program of deep listening for rabbis and lay leaders of local synagogues and engage stakeholders and thought leaders to explore developing a successor program to Operation Understanding where Jewish and Black teens can come together. JCRC is working with various constituencies in the Jewish community to ensure that our communal institutions are not themselves racist and that Jews of Color feel welcome and a part of our communities.  JCRC has also created a Racial Justice working group to develop appropriate responses to racial injustice and identify appropriate programs.

To read more about our response to the death of George Floyd and others, click here.

Interfaith Affairs

JCRC’s work is grounded in cultivating relationships and seeking partnerships with different faith and ethnic communities throughout Greater Philadelphia. Through partnerships, events, community programs and discussions, JCRC works with partners from all faith backgrounds on issues of shared concern, including bigotry, anti-Semitism, systemic racism, homophobia, Islamophobia and religious extremism.

Israel and World Jewry Affairs

JCRC’s Israel and World Jewry Affairs works to raise awareness about current events, politics and social issues impacting Israeli society and international Jewish communities. We are committed to promoting a secure and vibrant Israel as the Jewish and democratic state and homeland of the Jewish people. To deepen understanding of Israel’s challenges and diversity we bring government and faith leaders to Israel to see the land and engage in meaningful discussion with Israeli government leaders, peacebuilding organizations and representatives of its diverse communities. The JCRC offers a program for college-bound teens to give them the knowledge and skills to feel comfortable and engage in conversations about Israel on campus. We strive to advance peace, reconciliation and a two-state solution through education and community action, working within our community and with allies to fight the campaign to delegitimize Israel.

Resources: Understanding Annexation
Jewish Council For Public Affair’s Resources on Annexation
Webinar on Annexation With David Horovitz and Haviv Rettig Gur of The Times Of Israel
Panel Discussion on Annexation From JFNAWashington Institute for Near East
David Makovsky explains the role of the U.S. Mapping Committee

Holocaust Education

JCRC works on behalf of Holocaust survivors and the Jewish community to promote an understanding of the uniqueness and magnitude of the Holocaust, its consequences and the lessons learned from it. By serving as a resource for students, teachers, and others across Greater Philadelphia, JCRC provides education about the Holocaust, racism, genocide and the dangers of prejudice through sponsoring speakers, art competitions and multiple Youth Symposiums on the Holocaust, which bring thousands of students together from across Greater Philadelphia to hear from Holocaust survivors directly. Each year, JCRC also convenes a major, community wide, Holocaust commemoration ceremony. For more information, click here.