The Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) is a public affairs organization working on behalf of the St. Louis Jewish community. We represent synagogues and Jewish organizations on critical issues affecting Jews as individuals and as a community.
JCRC creates consensus and leads advocacy efforts in the organized Jewish community, ensuring that our voices are amplified and heard. We build bridges with other faith, ethnic, civil, and political groups that share our passion for social justice, forging relationships based on the issues our community cares about most.
The diversity of the Jewish community across the political, ideological and religious spectrum is represented at the JCRC "common table," to advance the public affairs goals and objectives of the St. Louis Jewish community. Through a consensus-driven process, representatives from 32 member agencies and 14 at-large members meet to:
- Provide an open forum for the exploration of issues of central concern in an atmosphere of mutual respect and civility
- Identify and prioritize these issues
- Develop and articulate positions, which reflect the consensus of the community
- Present relevant strategies, programs and approaches to community issues
The JCRC works with a range of organizations and institutions:
The Jewish Community Relations Council serves our Federation system by coordinating and implementing activities relating to the public affairs agenda of the Jewish community. Community dollars raised in the Federation’s annual campaign support the activities of the JCRC.
The from 32 member agencies of the JCRC constitute the majority of Council members and provide important resources in the development of strategy and the implementation of communal goals.
Rabbinical Community and Congregations
There are numerous agencies, organizations and coalitions in the general community with which we collaborate. This includes the Urban league, the National Conference for Community and Justice and the Interfaith Partnership. We also work closely with Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, Cooperating School Districts, area academic institutions and a wide range of coalitions. Eden Theological Seminary has established a Christian/Jewish Center for Public Issues, in cooperation with the JCRC.
Working on the national level, the JCPA is comprised of 14 national and 125 local equal and independent partner agencies. The JCPA coordinates activities relating to community relations. Each year, members participate in developing Public Policy Statements that serve as guidelines for the field. JCPA provides the JCRC with important consultative services. It also enables our local JCRC to have input into the development of national strategic thinking and programming.
The selection criteria that guide the JCRC include the following:
- Does it affect the safety and security of Jews in America, in Israel, or elsewhere?
- Does it impact on the state of democratic pluralism in the United States?
- Does it affect the internal quality of Jewish life, and does it help support Jewish institutions?
- Does it involve a Jewish religious imperative?
- Does it relate to the historical experience of the Jews?
- Does the Jewish community have both the resources and the expertise to deal with it?
- Is it a matter of concern for our coalition partners?
- Can the Jewish community make a difference on this issue?