About JCRC

The Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) is a standing committee of the Jewish Federation of Greater New Orleans. The JCRC serves as the Federation's advocacy and social action arm, engaging all segments of the Greater New Orleans Jewish community and connecting with non-Jewish individuals and groups in the region to promote Jewish values.


The work of the JCRC generally falls into three categories: anti-Semitism and Israel advocacy, social and legislative action, and community service.


For more information, or to get involved, contact Mithun Kamath at mithun@jewishnola.com or 504-780-5608.


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The JCRC is proud to report that on January 27 the U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed - and on a bipartisan basis - the Never Again Education Act (H.R. 943), which would provide $10 million over five years to fund Holocaust education in American schools!


As part of an effort led by the Jewish Federations of North America and Hadassah, the Jewish Federation of Greater New Orleans signed on to a letter to the House in April 2019 advocating for the bill’s passage. The bill was initiated by Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., and Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., and both Rep. Cedric Richmond, D-L.A., and Rep. Steve Scalise, R-L.A., voted in favor.


The bill now moves to the U.S. Senate.


2019 Alex Schoenbaum Jewish Scholarship Fund


On December 5, six students from historic St. Augustine High School were awarded scholarships at a special ceremony that included an panel of faith leaders, including Rabbi Katie Bauman of Touro Synagogue, discussing Jewish/African-American relations. The incredible event, highlighted by a keynote address from Loyola University New Orleans President Tania Tetlow, was covered by nola.com / the Times-Picayune / the New Orleans Advocate:

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'There is no need for the hatred': St. Aug students win prizes for essays denouncing prejudice

For the past two years, St. Augustine High School students have taken part in a scholarship program that seeks to unify the local African-American and Jewish communities.


This year, organizers asked the students to write essays about two recent events: an example of apparent racial profiling at a movie theater in Metairie and an 89-year-old Auschwitz survivor's request for police protection in Italy after receiving anti-Semitic threats.


Twelfth-graders David Ker and Semaj Davis were among more than 140 St. Aug students who submitted essays.


Continue reading...



The Jewish Federation of Greater New Orleans' annual Youth Civil Rights Trip to Alabama took place on November 26, 2019, with 60 participants - primarily middle school students - visiting sites significant to the civil rights movement and to Jewish history! Attendees spent time at the following locations:

   * Temple Mishkan Israel in Selma

   * Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma (with special guest Joanne Bland, participant in the "Bloody Sunday" march and co-founder of the National Voting Rights Museum) 

   * Anne Frank Tree in Birmingham

   * Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham (with special guest Rev. Arthur Price, Jr., Senior Pastor)

   * Birmingham Civil Rights Institute

The trip was completely FREE for all students and chaperones, thanks to our generous sponsors: Emily Schoenbaum, Karl Bernard Law, and Jones Walker.


Check out trip highlights in this incredible video recap created by Hometown Productions!


2019 Jewish Federation of Greater New Orleans HBCU Speaker Series:

Presented by Morris Bart

Over 200 people attended this year's three events -  



The 2019 lectures:

-- April 9 at Xavier University: Pastor Christopher Harris from Bright Star Community Outreach in Chicago on how he is applying the the Israel Trauma Center for Victims of Terror and War model to train faith leaders and mental health professionals as counselors to propvide violence prevention services in inner-city communities in the United States.

-- September 24 at Dillard University: Robert G. Stanton and Stephanie Deutsch from Washington, D.C. on the life and legacy of Julius Rosenwald and the Rosenwald schools.

-- November 12 at Southern University at New Orleans: Stacey Aviva Flint from Chicago on the origins of, and parallels between, Zionism and Black Nationalism.


The HBCU Speaker Series is aimed at connecting the Jewish and African-American communities in the Greater New Orleans area on relevant topics of mutual interest. The past, present, and future of the Jewish/African-American relationship will be explored by different national and local experts, with the goal of engaging both Jews and African-Americans in the region.

TIME for Holocaust Survivors Act


The Jewish Federation of Greater Orleans is one of over 300 national, state, and local organizations from every state in the country that recently signed on to the following letter to United States Senators in support of the TIME for Holocaust Survivors Act:


July 19, 2019


U.S. Senate

Washington, DC 20510


Dear Senator: 


We, the more than 300 undersigned organizations and institutions, representing millions of Americans strongly support the recently-introduced Trauma-Informed Modernization of Eldercare for Holocaust Survivors Act (aka the TIME for Holocaust Survivors Act). This bipartisan legislation will ensure that Holocaust survivors living in the United State have access to the care and services that align with their needs.


Between 1933 and 1945, the Nazis and their collaborators murdered 6,000,000 Jews and many others. Millions more spent these years living in concentration camps, work camps, ghettos or as refugees. Today approximately 80,000 Holocaust survivors live in the United States. With an average age greater than 85, many are 90 years of age or older. Shockingly, one-third have incomes below the official U.S. poverty threshold, limiting their ability to receive care that meets their specific needs. Holocaust survivors live with the physical, mental, and social scars from the traumas they faced. Although aging Holocaust survivors have needs similar to those of other older Americans, the consequences of premature or unnecessary institutionalizations can be more severe for this population. For many, institutionalized settings produce sights, sounds, smells, emotions, and routines which can induce panic, anxiety, and re-traumatization as a result of their experiences during the Holocaust.


The TIME for Holocaust Survivors Act focuses on allowing these survivors to age in place with dignity, comfort, security, and quality of life, at the end of their lives. Specifically, this bill:

  • Prioritizes the needs of Holocaust survivors within the Older Americans Act;
  • Creates an Administration for Community Living portfolio that focuses on Holocaust survivors and serves as a liaison with other agencies throughout the federal government; 
  • Establishes a national resource center to share best practices and promote person-centered trauma-informed care for agencies that serve older adults experiencing the long-term and adverse consequences of trauma;
  • Ensures that providers of nutrition and transportation services can meet the special health-related or other dietary needs and the mobility needs of Holocaust survivors; and
  • Reports annually on the status and needs of Holocaust survivors and how the aging network is identifying and serving older adults experiencing the long-term and adverse consequences of trauma.


Holocaust survivors today are aging and entering their final years. We must uphold our responsibilities and provide Holocaust survivors with the best possible care and treat them in a manner that honors their lives. This legislation, should it become law, will go a long way toward meeting that goal. Please cosponsor the TIME for Holocaust Survivors Act now. If you have any questions about this bill, please contact Stephan.Kline@JewishFederations.org.




Doing Business in Israel: Politics, the Economy & the Upcoming Elections

April 1, 2019

Approximately 75 people attended a reception and panel discussion at the Port of New Orleans on how politics in Israel and economics intersect, with a special focus on the April 2019 election in Israel. Moderated by Fox 8's Lee Zurik, the panel featured Ambassador Yoram Ettinger (former Minister for Congressional Affairs at Israel's Embassy in Washington), Dr. Leonary Ray (Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science at Louisiana State University), Rabbi Reuven Spolter (Director of the Israel Ministry for Diaspora Affairs' Amiel BaKehila program), and Guy Tessler (President of Connexx: America Israel Business Connector).

Thanks to our co-sponsors: Bank Leumi, the Port of New Orleans, and the World Trade Center New Orleans.


Trade, Water, and Economic Development: A Debrief on Louisiana's Partnership with Israel

January 28, 2019

On Monday, January 28, the Jewish Federation of Greater New Orleans was delighted to collaborate with a number of community organizations for a special evening on trade and economic development with Governor John Bel Edwards. Hosted by the University of New Orleans, the event followed Gov. Edwards’ trip to Israel last fall, and featured the Governor discussing both his travel experience and his vision for the trade partnership between Louisiana and Israel in the future.


The Governor’s remarks were preceded by a panel discussion featuring Commissioner of the Division of Administration for the State of Louisiana, Jay Dardenne; President and CEO of The Water Institute of the Gulf, Justin Ehrenwerth; and Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer for the Port of New Orleans, Robert Landry


Ehrenwerth spoke at length about how both Louisiana and Israel can participate in information sharing and best practices on the critical issue of water management. Bobby Landry discussed trade traffic between the Port of New Orleans and Israel’s major ports, and how Louisiana can benefit from amplifying business relationships with Israel. Jay Dardenne spoke on the issue of start-ups, and how Israel both prioritizes and incentivizes them – a paradigm he feels can be applied to some degree across Louisiana to benefit small businesses and entrepreneurship.


All three panelists shared meaningful personal experiences they had on the trip, from meeting IDF soldiers, celebrating mass at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, and praying at the Western Wall.


Governor Edwards then took the stage to debrief the attendees, sharing both his personal reflections on the trip and his ideas for future economic partnerships. For him, the experience was a working trip, with 22 meetings over the 4-day visit. These included a meeting with Israel Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, which lasted over an hour. Of personal significance were his visits to the Golan Heights, from which he could see Syria, and the holiness of the country. He later took audience questions, engaging directly with those in attendance.


Special thanks to our co-sponsors: ADL, AIPAC, GNO, Inc.Israel's Consulate General to the Southwest United StatesNational Council of Jewish Women: Greater New Orleans Section, the New Orleans Business Alliance, the New Orleans Chamber of Commerce, the Port of New Orleans, Tulane University, and the World Trade Center New Orleans.



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