Jackie Congedo — In Conversation
JCRC Quarterly Recap: February
From the JCRC Director’s Desk
Dear friends of the JCRC,
Much has changed since we’ve last been in touch!
On a personal note, we welcomed a beautiful baby girl into our family on October 28th, and I am officially back at work after a wonderful maternity leave with our new little one. I am grateful to all of you who pitched in to help the JCRC run smoothly while I was out, and special thanks go to Justin Kirschner, JCRC Associate Director, and Walter Spiegel, JCRC Board President, for leading the organization in my absence. As a new mom, I am finding even more meaning in the JCRC’s important work of protecting Jewish security and ensuring a just society for all. It is a privilege to work every day towards building the kind of compassionate community I want my daughter to inherit.
If you are reading this as part of a new Federation newsletter, you are probably also realizing that the way we communicate with you has changed, too. Instead of receiving the JCRC Behind the Scenes Quarterly Newsletter, you will receive a JCRC quarterly update as part of the new Federation newsletter. In order to ensure that you are receiving the latest JCRC news and events, please scroll to the bottom of your newsletter and click “Personalize this email!” (which is just above the Federation’s address). Then make sure you have selected “Jewish Advocacy,” “Justice & Equality” and “Interfaith” as areas of interest. If you don’t already receive our newsletter, sign up here.
Here’s how we’ve been living our values over the past three months:
In response to varying displays of racist and antisemitic behavior in the local Cincinnati area, we continue to promote Mutual Understanding and Respect as a means for creating a society that values and celebrates diversity. We issued a statement condemning racist behavior at local high schools, and I joined other community leaders on WVXU’s Cincinnati Edition to talk about ways we can move forward together.
We showcased our value of Religious Liberty by standing up against antisemitic comments made by an attorney from the Cincinnati area who is representing some of the alt-right protesters from the Charlottesville rally. We also presented on the benefits of embracing interfaith dialogue and relationships at Jewish Cincinnati’s Annual Great Faiths program. Moreover, we are once again partnering in this year’s Religion Beyond Dogma series to educate our community about Cincinnati’s diverse faith landscape.
In the spirit of Education and Knowledge, we provided background and context on the complex issue of African asylum seekers in Israel, and shared a letter by the Cincinnati Board of Rabbis.
We’re living our value of showing Compassion for the Vulnerable and Bereft by advocating for DREAMers who are at risk of losing their legal status in the United States. In the past few months, we worked with AJC and the Cincinnati Board of Rabbis to write letters and meet with our Congressional representatives, asking them to support a Dream Act. We are also co-hosting a Jewish Community Forum on immigration with expert national and local panelists on March 14. Please consider joining us for this important conversation.
We are working to ensure that Just and Peaceful Resolutions of Disputes act as one of the solutions to the polarization that has plagued our politics and our public discourse. We are looking forward to announcing a new coalition of diverse community and faith organizations that will combat hate and promote a more compassionate region. We are also engaged in discussions about how to harness the power of civil discourse to improve the relationship between police officers and the communities they serve.
We prepared college-bound high school students to advocate for Israel in the face of anti-Israel and BDS activity on college campuses through our Israel on Campus Fellowship Program. In addition, we helped facilitate Ohio House Representative Brigid Kelly’s Legislative Mission Trip to Israel with Ohio Jewish Communities and hosted her for a debrief on the benefits of Israeli-Ohio partnerships.
Thank you for your partnership as we continue to work towards a more just and secure society for all.
Jewish Community Relations Council