Today is December 9, 2018 -

Who We Are and What Else We Do – Part 3

Shelly Shapiro, Director of Federation’s Community Relations Council (CRC), serves as the liaison between our organized Jewish community and the rest of the local community. With the lay-guidance of committee chairs, BJ Rosenfeld and Susan M. Farber, the CRC “supports the Federation’s mission of Tikkun Olam–repairing the world through its deep commitment to combat anti-Semitism and discrimination, clarify church/state issues and build bridges to the community, educate and advocate for Israel, heighten consciousness and remembrance of the Holocaust, maintain a harmonious Jewish community, and strengthen the Jewish community’s relations with the general community.”

During her remarks two weeks ago, Society event speaker Linda Scherzer suggested the importance of developing positive relationships during the “good times,” so that we will have friends and allies when we need them. I see this as the real work of the CRC. Upon his arrival in Albany, Bishop Scharfenberger was warmly welcomed by the Jewish community. At a “meet and greet” with our board of rabbis, hosted in the Federation building, Father Kane announced that the Vatican considers our Catholic/Jewish relationship to be #2 in the United States. Honestly, I’m not exactly sure what this means, but I suspect that we should all be quite proud of it.

For the last 15 years, the Capital Region Jewish Coalition for Literacy has placed scores of volunteers in the inner-city schools to read with children.

The CRC’s Environmental Coalition, chaired by Lew Morrison, “works to increase awareness and mobilize the Jewish community to get involved in protecting the environment in partnership with synagogues and groups.”

The CRC provides teacher workshops to assist educators in engaging students in unbiased learning about Israel and the Middle East through balanced, curricular content. Working with Holocaust Survivors and Friends, of which Shelly has been director for 30 years, the CRC co-sponsors teacher workshops and hosts the annual Kristallnacht Confronting Bigotry Interfaith Commemoration program for the entire interfaith community.

As part of our mission to keep our community safe, Shelly connects all of our local Jewish institutions from throughout the region with all levels of law enforcement, including the FBI and New York State Police Counter-Terrorism task force. We host an annual pre-High Holiday briefing for all of our institutions to ensure safety in our community. Additionally, Shelly monitors all local news to stay on top of any bias against Jews, Judaism, and Israel. We are then positioned to call upon the JCPA, the Israel Action Network, or the ADL for help when necessary.

For more information, please see our website. If you are interested in getting involved, please contact me or contact Shelly at sshapiro@jewishfedny.org.

Jewish Federation of Northeastern New York

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