NEW YORK – A new kind of partnership launched this week by the Jewish Council for Public Affairs will confront rising antisemitism and bigotry that threaten American democracy. JCPA’s new Action Networks bring together organizations and leaders who recognize that Jewish safety is interconnected with the safety of all marginalized communities and the future of inclusive democracy. The networks will mobilize around key advocacy and engagement opportunities, from federal, state, and local legislation to communications tools, programming, and more.

JCPA announced the first wave of priorities for the Action Networks during a virtual event on Thursday, May 9. Watch the video announcing the Action Networks here.

Leslie Dannin-Rosenthal, JCPA board chair, said, “As we celebrate JCPA’s 80th year, we reflect on the history this organization has witnessed – through transformative times fighting for civil rights, LGBTQ rights, immigration reform, as well as racial, economic, and criminal justice. Now is the perfect time to reinvigorate our work with our allies nationwide to mobilize on the issues most crucial for ensuring our inclusive democracy today.”

The event included a recorded message from Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff, who said, “JCPA’s new Action Networks will help to strengthen allyship and ensure a safe, inclusive future for all. By mobilizing Jewish organizations along with non-Jewish allies and partners, we can build resilience in the face of rising antisemitism and hate.”

In a video message, Ambassador Deborah Lipstadt, Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism, echoed that sentiment, reaffirming that the threat of antisemitism fundamentally undercuts our democracy and our national security.

The event also featured a panel discussion with Eric Ward, executive vice president of Race Forward, and Amy Spitalnick, CEO of JCPA. The recording will be available at jewishpublicaffairs.org.

Amy Spitalnick, JCPA CEO, said: “We can’t protect democracy or the rights and safety of any community without confronting antisemitism – and we can’t confront antisemitism without protecting our democracy and the rights and safety of all communities. JCPA’s Action Networks are not only going to tell that story but also mobilize the Jewish community and our partners and allies – nationally and locally – to reject the anti-democratic extremism and zero-sum frameworks that pit our communities against one another, instead coming together to advance the policies that will keep all of us safe.”

The Combating Hate and Bigotry Action Network will focus on issues including countering antisemitism and understanding how it fuels other forms of hate; immigrant rights; racial justice; LGBTQ+ rights and safety; hate crime prevention and reporting; women’s and reproductive rights; and more. The Protecting Democracy Action Network will focus on issues including voting and civil rights; election protection and civic engagement; book bans and curriculum challenges; and countering disinformation and extremism.

These Action Networks bring together the local Jewish Community Relations Councils and other local Jewish communities with national Jewish organizations and leaders and non-Jewish allies and partners. Each Action Network is led by a Steering Committee to shape its priorities and resources, which includes members of the JCPA Board, JCRC Directors and lay leaders, national partner organizations, and subject matter experts.

Kiyomi Kowalski, JCPA board member and co-chair of the JCPA Combating Hate and Bigotry Action Network, said: “In a moment like this, we need Jewish organizations to hold multiple truths at once and speak with nuance and compassion about complex issues in consideration of the intersectional identities that Jews hold. JCPA is uniquely situated to take the lead in addressing the concerns of the Jewish diaspora while centering the protection of all marginalized and minority communities in the fight to preserve democracy. The JCPA Action Networks serve as a hub to gather and elevate the varied concerns of people who are far too often left out of these conversations so that our organizations are able to speak with a unified voice.”

Brandon Fish, Charleston JCRC Director and co-chair of the JCPA Combating Hate and Bigotry Action Network, said: “JCPA is uniquely positioned to connect well-resourced national organizations to the robust JCRC and Federation network operating on the front lines of the most important issues facing our Jewish communities today. These Action Networks are poised to provide local leaders with cutting-edge resources and intel while identifying and sharing scalable best practices that have been successful at the local level. As Jewish Americans face unprecedented challenges like threats to our democratic values and an ever-transforming landscape of hate and bigotry, it is more important than ever that we invest in new approaches like the JCPA Action Networks. For small communities like mine in Charleston, we depend on these kinds of networks to continue implementing proactive rather than reactive approaches.”

Evan Goldman, Broward County JCRC Director and co-chair of the JCPA Protecting Democracy Action Network, said: “At a time of intense polarization, JCPA is laser-focused on what really matters, preserving democracy and working together to end antisemitism and all forms of hate. The strength of the American Jewish community is in our diversity and working alongside those of other faiths and traditions. JCPA is poised to play an important role in mobilizing and activating the groups and individuals who share a commitment to our collective safety.”

Corey Shapiro, JCPA Vice Chair and co-chair of the JCPA Protecting Democracy Action Network, said: “At JCPA, we know that the Jewish community is safest in a democracy that embraces the diversity of its people. Yet, too often today, extremists try to pit marginalized groups against each other at a moment when we need to be coming together for our shared safety. The JCPA Action Networks will play a critical role in standing up to those seeking to divide us and working together to ensure the health and vibrancy of our democracy.”

For more information about JCPA’s Action Networks, visit: https://jewishpublicaffairs.org/ 

###

About JCPA

The Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA) is the national convener of Jewish coalitions, bringing together national and local partners to address the issues that most deeply affect our community and advance our most essential values. Our mission is to mobilize the robust community relations network in pursuit of a more just and democratic society for all, rooted in an abiding belief that Jewish security here and abroad is tied to the health of our democracy and strong relationships between communities.

Share

Next Up:

JCPA Launches New Action Networks to Protect Democracy and Combat Hate

Take Action Donate

May 22, 2024

Broad Coalition of 61 National Jewish Organizations Urge Swift Congressional Action on Countering Antisemitism Act

JCPA

Ben Meyerson

May 14, 2024

JCPA Statement Marking Two Years Since the Buffalo Attack

May 9, 2024

New Partnership Will Mobilize to Counter Rising Bigotry, Defend Democracy Spearheaded by Jewish Council for Public Affairs

May 9, 2024

JCPA Launches New Action Networks to Protect Democracy and Combat Hate

May 7, 2024

Jewish Council for Public Affairs Responds to President Biden’s Remarks at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Days of Remembrance Ceremony

April 22, 2024

The Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle: Antisemitism is a threat to all

April 10, 2024

Jewish Council for Public Affairs Applauds Introduction of Countering Antisemitism Act in Congress

March 30, 2024

JCPA at the White House

March 7, 2024

Jewish Council for Public Affairs Responds to President Biden’s State of the Union Address