It is with great excitement that I join the JCPA team this month. I am truly honored to work with a fantastic staff team, a committed group of volunteer leaders, and a dynamic Jewish community relations movement. The JCPA has been at the forefront of advocating for Jewish concerns. It has played a critical role in strengthening local Jewish community relations efforts, which have been a driver of social progress and enhanced understanding of Israel. And it has built consensus among Jewish groups at critical junctures in our history.
I doubt there has been a time in modern American Jewish history when there’s been a greater need for effective community relations. There are new and powerful threats to American pluralism and to Israel’s security and wellbeing. Both at the national and local levels, community relations work is indispensable. We must be at our best.
I have a lot to learn in my new role. I will start off by scheduling dozens of conversations with varied stakeholders, from JCRC staff and lay leaders to partner organizations to current staff and lay leaders. What can the JCPA do to strengthen the Jewish community relations movement and advance both our domestic and international agendas? What does a 21st Century community relations strategy and agenda look like?