Philadelphia, PA, November 16, 2023 – On Tuesday, November 14, a 17-member group from the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) of the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia and the Culture Changing Christians traveled to Harrisburg to lobby for issues affecting both the Black and Jewish communities. In addition to advocating for pressing needs, the day of advocacy also serves to continue the coalition’s mission of reigniting the Black-Jewish unity seen during the Civil Rights Era. 

In Harrisburg, the group focused their advocacy on the following issues: 

  • Funding violence reduction in the Greater Philadelphia area, with a special focus on issues such as ghost guns. 
  • Hate crimes legislation and security funding. 
  • Drug addiction and harm reduction with a particular focus on the opioid epidemic, especially in the Kensington area. 

“The JCRC is proud to work with the Culture Changing Christians on this advocacy day to make our voices heard on critical topics impacting both the Jewish and Black communities,” said Jason Holtzman, Director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia. 

“History has shown that when united, we have accomplished a lot together,” said Pastor Carl Day, pastor of the Culture Changing Christians. “And this day is just one of many actions we will take together to help strengthen Black-Jewish relations and to build a foundation of open dialogue and understanding between us.” 

The delegation’s schedule in Harrisburg included: 

  • Working Breakfast with the Black-Jewish Caucus 
  • Meeting with Representative Dan Frankel to discuss Hate Crimes Legislation 
  • Meeting with Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission Chad Dion Lassiter 
  • Meeting with Pennsylvania Budget Secretary Uri Monson 
  • Discussing solutions to the opioid epidemic with Dr. Valerie Arkoosh, Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services
  • Meeting with Representatives Martina White and Jason Dawkins to discuss response to rising crime in the Greater Philadelphia area