Get to Know the Jewish Community Relations Council of St. Louis
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JFHN works to fulfill the mitzvah of tzedakah (the obligation to do righteous acts) by awarding small
grants to social service agencies not affiliated with the Jewish community that help those in need
throughout the St. Louis region. This project is shared between the Jewish Community Relations
Council (JCRC) and the St. Louis Rabbinical and Cantorial Association (STLRCA). The JFHN is funded
in part through a generous grant from the Lubin-Green Foundation and through the support of individual
Rabbi Janine Schloss, President of the St. Louis Rabbinical and Cantorial Association said, “JFHN’s
work had unfortunately been paused during the COVID years, so it was especially meaningful to get
back to doing what Rabbi Jacobs (z”l) founded JFHN to do: give tzedakah and help people in need.”
Joel Iskiwitch, Chair of the Jewish Community Relations Council and a longtime volunteer with the fund
added, “We have expanded the range of organizations that we consider and are now supporting
organizations that provide direct services and/or advocacy. This allows us to assist nonprofits whose
work is in line with, for example, the JCRC's areas of priority, which include: racial equity, educational
equity, criminal justice reform and environmental justice, access to healthcare, housing, food or
employment, protection of voting rights/democracy; and organizations that fight discrimination against
those considered “ger” or other.”
This round of grant recipients includes:
Empower Missouri – works to secure basic human needs and equal justice for everyone in the
State of Missouri. The JFHN’s grant was specifically awarded to support Empower Missouri’s
clean slate expungement criminal justice reform initiative.
Immigrant Home English Learning Program – empowers immigrant families by providing English
language education and other tools to navigate their new community.
Lifewise STL – supports the needs of Latinx and Somali immigrants. The JFHN’s grant was
specifically awarded to support Lifewise STL’s Emotional and Physical Wellness Department.
Metro Trans Umbrella Group – coordinates services among the St. Louis transgender
community and provides direct support to individuals who identify as transgender.
A Red Circle – addresses health and equity issues in North St. Louis County through a variety
of programs including employment and access to healthy foods.
River City Journalism Fund – promotes local news in the St. Louis region and strives for better
representation of historically marginalized communities
Upon receiving notification that they were awarded the grant, Richard Weiss, Chair of the River City
Journalism Fund, had this to say: “We were honored that JFHN recognized our work to advance the
cause of social justice at such a critical time for our region. In recent months, we have been able to
broaden and deepen our work on behalf of marginalized communities. This grant will allow us to tell
stories that will make a difference in the lives of our fellow citizens. We look forward to future
collaborations with JFHN, JCRC, and the STLRCA.”
Similarly, Erica Williams, Executive Director at A Red Circle, shared her gratitude with this note: “A Red
Circle is extremely grateful for the support that this grant will provide. We offer assistance to the
community with healthy food that we grow, educational support in the classroom and legislature, and
opportunities to enjoy the arts. Being recognized for our work by the JFHN, JCRC, and STLRCA and
receiving the grant will provide financial support to our mission and the ability for our message to be
shared to a broader audience.”
A joint project of the Jewish Community Relations Council and the St. Louis Rabbinical Association with support
from the Lubin-Green Foundation, a supporting foundation of the Jewish Federation of St. Louis.
The JFHN Advisory Committee is comprised of representatives appointed by the JCRC and the
STLRCA. Sue Picus chairs the committee and members include Carla Feuer, Wendy Flusser, Rabbi
Dr. Andrea Goldstein, Joel Iskiwitch, Anna Poger, Rabbi Janine Schloss, Rabbi Arthur Stern, Tom
Schweizer and Dan Vianello. The committee receives staff support from Maharat Rori Picker Neiss and
Cheryl Adelstein, both employees of the Jewish Community Relations Council.
Donations to the Jewish Fund for Human Needs can be mailed to the Jewish Community Relations
Council, 12 Millstone Campus Drive, St. Louis, MO 63146; or made online at https://jcrcstl.org/donate/.
KSDK News Anchor Mike Bush joins Student to Student leaders to learn more about the program and watch as the group presents to students at Seckman High School in Imperial, MO.