Volume XXII | September 2022


Linking you to creating a more civil and caring community in WNY

Powered by the Buffalo Jewish Federation

Co-Chairs: Deborah Goldman and Adam Fogel

Director: Mara Koven-Gelman

Rabbinic Consultant: Rabbi Alex Lazarus-Klein

Racial Justice Coordinator: Rachel Beerman

Our work falls into three broad areas: Social Justice, Combatting Hate and Discrimination, and Building Relationships with Ethnic, Faith, and Cultural Communities.
Visit the JCRC Website

Mazel Tov - Congratulations!

We welcome Eleanor Maeve Fogel born Monday July 25 to proud parents JCRC co-chair Adam Fogel and Molly Lennon. 


Take the 2022 JCRC Survey here or use the QR code below.

Multicultural Women's Group visits


Our multicultural women's group visited Stitch Buffalo in August. Thank you to sisters Tika and Saraswati; we loved learning how to make beaded bracelets and hearing about your journey from Nepal. We discussed the importance of community and resilience. Stitch Buffalo volunteer Cheri helped organize the event. Read more about Stitch Buffalo and their mission as a textile art center committed to empowering refugee and immigrant women through the sale of their handcrafted goods here

Gail and Cheri display Gail's new beaded bracelet.

Cheri, Win and Tika display Win's new beaded bracelet.

Viewing Community Beauty:

East Side Garden Walk by Rachel Beerman

On July 24, 30 people gathered at Northland Workforce Training Center to board a bus to begin an East Side Garden Walk (ESGW) tour that was planned and implemented by JCRC. Guided by Jewish Journal editor and gardener, Ellen Goldstein, they were taken to five unique destinations and met with gardeners at each site to learn about the diversity of neighborhoods in East Buffalo, hear about civic engagement projects throughout the community, and see exquisite gardens! 


The tour began with visiting Samantha and Byron White’s garden. Ms. White, an attorney and a member of the JCRC’s Racial Justice Subcommittee, not only told us about her lovely garden, but shared information about the neighborhood Children’s Festival she organized on the first day of the Garden Walk.


From there, the group visited the community garden at Futures Academy, a Buffalo Public School on Carleton St., where they met with UB Urban Studies Professor Dr. Henry Louis Taylor Jr. who shared the history of the space and the school’s partnership with UB. The tour ended with two show-stopping gardens filled with native bees, vegetables, garden art, fruit trees and so much more! As one participant Sara Schultz said, the garden walk “created community for all of us present and brought more beauty into our lives.”


Summer Meetings with NYS Legislators

This summer we met with Senator Edward Rath III (District 61) and Senator Sean Ryan (District 60) to discuss issues important to the Jewish community. They included: gratitude for bi-partisan support of legislation to honor and support Holocaust Survivors (signed into law August 10 by Gov. Kathy Hochul), importance of security for the Jewish community, supporting newcomers, refugees and asylees to Buffalo and collective responsibility for racial justice. 

JCRC attendees to the meetings included:

Virtual visit with Senator Rath: co-chair Deborah Goldman, Racial Justice Sub-committee chair, Corey Auerbach, BJF President Shelly Yellen, Lana Benatovich, Sharla Bleichfeld (TBT), Susan Grelick, Lauren McGuire (JFS). Harvey Sanders, Elizabeth Schram (HRC), Wendy Wesibrot (HRC), and JCRC Staff: Rabbi Alex Lazarus-Klein and Rachel Beerman.

In person visit with Senator Sean Ryan: co-chair Deborah Goldman, Lana Benatovich, JFS CEO Molly Carr, Lauren McGuire (JFS), Harvey Sanders, Elizabeth Schram (HRC), Wendy Wesibrot (HRC), and JCRC Staff: Mara Koven-Gelman and Rachel Beerman.

NYS Sen. Edward A. Rath III (District 61)

NYS Sen. Sean M. Ryan (District 60)

Visit with NYS Governor Kathy Hochul Staff

by Mara Koven-Gelman, JCRC Director

The Buffalo Jewish Community was grateful to spend two full days with both Eva Wyner, deputy director of Jewish Affairs and Jenn Dunning, WNY region representative for NYS Governor Kathy Hochul at the end of August. This was part of NYS Governor Kathy Hochul’s constituent staff outreach to engage and learn more about communities across the State. After visiting Buffalo, Eva travelled to Rochester to meet with Jewish leaders.

Eva is a third generation Holocaust survivor, a graduate of Columbia University and The Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS). Her role with the Executive Chamber is to help advocate for the needs of the Jewish community whenever possible.

After a day of meeting many volunteers, clergy and professional leadership, Eva remarked, “the Buffalo Jewish community is very collaborative and open to sharing in each other’s growth.” Jenn, who has also worked for Senator Sean Ryan and Assemblymember Karen McMahon was impressed with the breadth of Jewish organizations and how well they work together.

Eva and Jenn’s world-wind tour, facilitated by JCRC included:

Dinner with volunteer leadership, a full tour of Temple Beth Zion at the Delaware location, Jewish Community Center Benderson building to join  Cafe Europa - a social program for local Holocaust Survivors (sponsored by JCC, HRC with support from WNY State Assembly, JFS and the Claims Conferenceand a visit to Hillel of Buffalo at UB. Eva attended the Federation's Premiere Summer Dinner, hosted at Shatkin FIRST. We look forward to hosting Eva again in Jewish Buffalo!

Eva Wyner and Jenn Dunning join Cafe Europa.

Visiting UB's Hillel of Buffalo

The JCRC Committee met with Eva and Jenn at Temple Beth Tzedek


Continue Supporting Friends in the Black Community

On Friday July 28, 2022, this ad was published in the Challenger Community News.

It has been almost four months since the racist shooting at Tops Market in Buffalo's East Side. The Jewish Community created this ad as a sign of solidarity and love. It is a pledge to be here as friends, neighbors and partners for the short and long term.

We are grateful that so many Jewish organizations and synagogues responded quickly to say "Hineini - Here I am."

You can see the full issue of the Challenger Community News HERE.

For more info: JCRC VOTE 2022 and NYS Board of Election


Thank you Governor Hochul....

Governor Hochul receiving and hug and gratitude from Holocaust Survivor  at bill signing.

...for signing a legislative package to honor and support Holocaust survivors in educational, cultural, and financial institutions. The legislative package will help ensure schools are providing high-quality Holocaust education, require museums to acknowledge art stolen by the Nazi regime, and require the New York State Department of Financial Services to publish a list of financial institutions that voluntarily waive fees for Holocaust reparation payments. Read more here.

"We owe it to them, their families, and the six million Jews who perished in the Holocaust to honor their memories and ensure future generations understand the horrors of this era."

-Governor Kathy Hochul


Increase in 2023 Non-Profit Security Grants

JCRC and BJF join Jewish Federation of North American (JFNA) in commending the U.S. House Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security for passing $360 million for the Nonprofit Security Grant Program (NSGP) for FY 2023. The $110 million increase for the NSGP will help save lives and keep Jewish and other communities safe. Read more here.

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Corey Auerbach

Lana Benatovich

Sharla Bleichfeld

Ann Marie Carosella

Molly Carr

Susan Grelick

Harvey Sanders

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