Volume XVII | June 2021
CONNECTIONS
Linking you to the work of creating a more civil and caring community in WNY
Powered by the Buffalo Jewish Federation
Chair: Deborah Goldman | Director: Mara Koven-Gelman
Rabbinic Consultant: Rabbi Alex Lazarus-Klein
Student Intern: Hannah Gabelnick
Buffalo JCRC's work falls into three broad areas: Social Justice, Combatting Hate and Discrimination, and Building Relationships with Ethnic, Faith, and Cultural Communities.
EDUCATE
Shared Legacies: African American-Jewish Civil Rights Alliance
Here is another chance to see the May 4th talkback session that followed The Buffalo International Jewish Film Festival presentation of the documentary Shared Legacies: African American-Jewish Civil Rights Alliance, by director Shari Roger. The film is a call for the African American and Jewish communities to remember their shared history and alliance during the Civil Rights Movement. Rabbi Adam Rosenbaum of Temple Beth Tzedek moderated a discussion between panelists Rabbi Everett Gendler, an American rabbi known for his work in the Civil Rights Movement, featured in the film, Pastor Mark E. Blue, president of the NAACP Buffalo Branch and Pastor at the Second Baptist Church, and Rene Petties-Jones, president of The National Federation for Just Communities of Western New York.
Erie County Vote 2021
The New York State Primary Election takes place on Tuesday, June 22. Early voting takes place Saturday, June 12 - Sunday, June 20.

Voter education and engagement are JCRC priorities. For resources regarding the June 2021 Primary Election, visit the Updated Buffalo Jewish Federation’s Vote 2021, and What you need to know for, primary elections in Erie County here
Learn More about the Israeli-Hamas Conflict
Given the recent conflict in Israel-Gaza and increased antisemitic acts, life in the Jewish community is understandably painful and confusing. We need to stay connected to each other, stay informed, and work towards civil discourse. Here is a list of resources and materials if you'd like to learn more.

People to People Programs - Towards Co-existence

In commemoration of Israel Day, JCRC hosted a conversation with two leaders of Roots-Shorashim-Judar -- a non-partisan group dedicated to finding solutions between Israelis and Palestinians. The program was chaired by our dear friend Sister Margaret Carney, OSF, past president of St. Bonaventure University. Read her moving comments: here.
ADVOCATE
Racial Justice Sub-Committee Update
by Hannah Gabelnick
Chaired by Corey Auerbach, the Racial Justice Sub-Committee serves to implement the recommendations of the Racial Justice Working Group, which includes engaging in the Jewish Federation of North America’s Jewish/Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) Program. This yearlong intensive program focuses on education as a means to engage and empower the Jewish community on racial equity.

Jewish Buffalo will serve as one of the inaugural cohorts which began May 2021. The other communities include: Columbus, Greensboro, Milwaukee, St. Louis and Seattle.

JCRC (Corey Auerbach and Director Mara Koven-Gelman) will work together with the Belonging Initiative Vice-Chair Kirstie Henry and Director of Jewish Experience Mike Steklof to lead the Buffalo JEDI experience.

Corey is “honored to chair the Racial Justice Sub-Committee to advance the recommendations developed by the Racial Justice Working Group and adopted by the Buffalo Jewish Federation Board of Directors.”

To assist with this important initiative, JCRC will be hiring a coordinator.
MOBILIZE/CONNECT
PRIMARY CANDIDATES FORUM
JCRC cosponsored a Primary Candidates Forum for Erie County Sheriff. Voice Buffalo organized the Sheriff's Forum. Other sponsors included: Buffalo Urban League, League of Women Voters Buffalo/Niagara, Voice Buffalo, NAACP Buffalo Branch and others.

LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS
THURSDAY, JUNE 10
6:30 PM

JCRC is proud to partner with League of Women Voters of Buffalo/Niagara and others for the Candidate Forum for the Candidates for Mayor of Buffalo from the Democratic Party.

This Forum will take place June 10, 2021 from 6:30pm to 8:00pm via Facebook and YouTube. By registering, you will be the first to receive streaming information.
Congressman Brian Higgins supports
National Holocaust Survivor Assistance Program

The Buffalo Jewish Community Relations Council and The Jewish Federations of North America express their profound gratitude to Congressman Brian Higgins for his support of the Holocaust Survivor Assistance Program.

Congressman Higgins became the 100th member of the US House of Representatives to join this bi-partisan worthy effort. Once passed, $10 million will support programs that assist the thousands of survivors of the Nazi genocide who live in poverty in our country. Read more here.
JCPA and National
2021 JCPA Passes Four Resolution

Buffalo JCRC Director Mara Koven-Gelman and Buffalo JCRC Chair Deborah Goldman both attended the JCPA 2021 national virtual conference April 25-26, 2021. The Delegates Assembly adopted four new resolutions that focus on voter access, the Uyghur genocide, climate change, and the Abraham Accords.

  • Expanding Voter Access calls on the Jewish community to advocate for legislation to make voting more accessible and to oppose voter suppression.
  • Condemning the Genocide of the Uyghur People condemns the Chinese Communist Party’s ongoing genocide against the Uyghur people and calls for additional sanctions and an expansion of the targeted ban on products produced or imported from the region.
  • Renewing Our Commitment to Combating Climate Change calls on Jewish communities to take action against climate change and builds on JCPA’s extensive body of climate and environmental justice policy.
  • Supporting the Abraham Accords commends all of the individuals and governments whose work resulted in the signing of the Abraham Accords and urges the Biden Administration to encourage Israelis and Palestinians to forge a lasting peace.
RECENT JCPA STATEMENTS

JCPA welcomes and applauds the passage of COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act and NO HATE ACT that will improve hate crime reporting, tracking, and response and is a crucial step in fighting antisemitism, anti-Black racism, anti-Asian American and Pacific Islander hate, and more.

In Memory of George Floyd
In honor of the one year anniversary of the murder of George Floyd, JCPA Commemorates Working to End Racism in America. Read JCPA reflections here..
BUFFALO JEWISH COMMUNITY RELATIONS COUNCIL EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
Corey Auerbach
Lana Benatovich
Jody Biehl
Ann Marie Carosella
Molly Carr
Adam Fogel
Phyllis Steinberg
Theodore Steinberg