What We Do

More than 80 years after our founding, JCRC continues to serve as the Jewish community's public affairs voice.

Community Safety & Security

The JCRC is dedicated to safeguarding the security and wellbeing of Jewish individuals and community institutions through our trainings, assessments, grant guidance, civil rights casework, and technology tools.

As violent antisemitic incidents continue to motivate community leaders to reassess and enhance security protocols, the JCRC provides security trainings, assessments, grant guidance, and technology tools while serving as the official Jewish community liaison with federal, state, and local law enforcement.

We fight on behalf of victims of religious discrimination, educating teachers, school administrators, and businesses about the proper role of religion in public schools. In addition, we sensitize educators and businesses to the Jewish calendar, permitted religious activity and requirements to accommodate religious observances. For example, when local organizations, employers, or schools schedule events on Jewish holidays, we are the place people turn to for help.

Holocaust Education & Remembrance

The goals of the JCRC’s Holocaust Education & Remembrance programs are to raise awareness of the dangers of prejudice, hatred, and violence, and provide relevant resources and opportunities to reinforce this knowledge and awareness. We also organize the Twin Cities Annual Yom HaShoah Commemoration.

Transfer of Memory

Transfer of Memory

Bring this photography exhibit to your community for a one-of-a-kind Holocaust education opportunity.

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Holocaust Education Speakers Bureau

Holocaust Education Speakers Bureau

Connect a Holocaust survivor or descendant to your group.

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Minnesota Holocaust Films

Minnesota Holocaust Films

Add these short original documentaries to your curriculum.

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Learning Through Legacy

Learning Through Legacy

Generations After MN

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One Day Trip to Washington D.C.

One Day Trip to Washington D.C.

Due to COVID-19, our 2021 USHMM experience will be online

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The Leo Weiss Courage to Teach Award

The Leo Weiss Courage to Teach Award

Bring this Photography exhibit to your great community for education.

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Witnesses to the Holocaust

Witnesses to the Holocaust

Stories of Minnesota Holocaust Survivors and Liberators.

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Yom HaShoah Holocaust Remembrance Day

Yom HaShoah Holocaust Remembrance Day

Join us for this commemoration service April 21, 2020 at Adath Jeshurun Congregation in Minnetonka at 7:00 PM.

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Holocaust Teacher Training

Holocaust Teacher Training

Attend a ONE day teacher training.

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Israel Education and Engagement

Educating and Engaging Jews and non-Jews alike about Israel’s history, people, and challenges.
Programs include:
  • Dynamic, free presentations via JCRC Speakers Bureau
    • Amazing Israel: People, Places, and Culture: Get acquainted with a country brimming with biblical history and cutting-edge innovation, the Jewish homeland that is also a dynamic, multi-ethnic democracy. This tiny land has a huge story to tell!
    • Israel and the Middle East: The Challenge of Peace: A presentation given throughout the community, to increase understanding of the complex issues facing Israel.
  • Israel Study Tour for Minnesota Legislators and Community Leaders: Since 2016, the JCRC has led 3 Israel trips for Minnesota state legislators and other community leaders with the purpose of educating Minnesota elected officials on the importance of a strong partnership between Minnesota and Israel, as well as to build trusted relationships with Minnesota’s elected officials. Our trip in November 2019 was our largest and most bipartisan delegation to date.
  • Government Advocacy: Working with our elected officials to address important issues facing Israel today.
  • Collaboration: Working with other organizations concerned about Israel, within Christian, and Muslim, and other communities.

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Government Affairs
The Twin Cities Government Affairs Program (Government Affairs Program) represents the interests of the Twin Cities Jewish community’s social service agencies and day schools before federal, state, and local governments.

Initiated in 2001 as a collaborative program of the Jewish Community Relations Council, Minneapolis Jewish Federation (MJF), and the Jewish Federation of Greater St. Paul, it is responsible for maintaining and advancing a $27 million annual government funding stream to our community’s social service agencies and schools.

 

Social Action

Justice Squared Commission

The Justice Squared Commission works with the JCRC Public Policy Steering committee to advance the JCRC’s public policy priorities and objectives. Since 2018, Justice Square hosted educational programming on issues such as gun violence, immigration, climate change, and early childhood education.

Joint Religious Legislative Coalition (JRLC)

The JCRC is also a founding and active member of the Joint Religious Legislative Coalition (JRLC), which advocates on behalf of social justice issues affecting Minnesotans. The other JRLC members include the Islamic Center of Minnesota, the Minnesota Catholic Conference, and the Minnesota Council of Churches.

Speakers Bureau

The Speakers Bureau of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas (JCRC) is ready to partner with you to bring compelling distance learning to your classroom, house of worship, or organization.

Since 2003 our volunteers have spoken to thousands of audiences, building bridges through respectful, open-minded and frank exchanges about important topics. This is our community at its best – appreciating one another for both our similarities and our differences.

Now, in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, we have pivoted to virtual presentations. We think this work has never been more essential.

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We offer the following presentations on the virtual platform of your choice, live or pre-recorded, free-of-charge, and tailored to meet your timetable and learning goals:
  • Judaism on One Foot – Fulfills the Social Studies Standard asking for a description of the beliefs and practices of Judaism.   We cover the beliefs, values and religious traditions upon which the Jewish faith is based. This program covers the common roots of the 3 Abrahamic Faiths, introduction to Torah, holidays, ritual objects, ethical principles,  connection to Israel, Jewish diversity, life cycle events, kosher, etc. Together we will foster understanding and religious tolerance. After a pre-recorded video we can join your group for a live Q and A, or take questions and record another video with answers.
  • Amazing Israel: People, Places, and Culture: Get acquainted with a country brimming with biblical history and cutting-edge innovation, the Jewish homeland that is also a dynamic, multi-ethnic democracy. This tiny land has a huge story to tell!
  • Israel and the Middle East: the Challenge of Peace - Brings  a mainstream point of view to a complex topic, giving students context for understanding a story that is always in the headlines.   We look at the region’s history, ancient and modern, and then consider current events that shape today’s reality. Together we will explore a story that matters to all who long for peace.
  • Holocaust Family Story– Pre-recorded presentation of a local family’s story of survival, followed by live Q and A. This local family story provides a direct touchpoint to the larger historical context as well as current ways to stand up against hate. Offers a unique extension and deepening of Holocaust education.

Our virtual teaching is getting strongly positive feedback:

“Due to Covid 19, a speaker from the Jewish Community Relations Council set up a Zoom meeting to engage with my World Cultures class about the traditions and beliefs of Judaism.  While I missed having the speaker come to visit my class in person, in some ways the Zoom meeting was better. What I noticed right away was that students were asking more questions in the comment box. Typically, 10th grade students shy away from asking questions in person in front of their peers. It was apparent that my students were more inquisitive with the Zoom format. Overall, I believe that the integrity of JCRC’s presentation was not compromised in any way. If we still have Covid related restrictions next year, I will most certainly invite the JCRC back for a Zoom meeting and I will enthusiastically encourage other area educators to do the same!”

“I think your presentation was AWESOME! It was just right length and the info was very enlightening. I liked the format of the presentation with the PowerPoint slides and with you up in the box on top right so we could also see you too. Overall I loved the presentation!

We have used the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas for a couple of years in our classroom. This past school year was exceptional, because they were able to support us through distance learning. They reached out to us, and gave us ways they could still be a part of our classes. We were able to give students authentic opportunities to learn from the organization’s speakers through Zoom meetings. It well exceeded our expectations. They were well organized, informative, and provided a unique learning experience. The students gain so much more from an opportunity like this, and the feedback is always positive. It is important to give students a variety of ways to learn, and this has been a great way to differentiate instruction. We have recommended JCRC to other schools in our district, because of the outstanding work they do for teachers. They are easy to work with, flexible, and do such a good job in the school setting. We have enjoyed working with this group, and plan to continue our relationship with them for future school years.”

Click here to download our brochure (PDF)

The Letters Project: Conversing Across Narratives is a letter-writing contest based on Yossi Klein Halevi’s book, Letters to My Palestinian Neighbor: With an Extensive Epilogue of Palestinian Responses.

Enter our high school contest (ages 14-18), our post-high school contest (ages 18-22), or our young adult contest (ages 22-42). There will be three prize winners in each age group!

To be eligible for the contest, writers must do the following:

  1. Read the book.
  2. Write a letter to the author responding to the book.
  3. Submit your letter.
  4. Participate in one of our moderated conversations in December.

Prompt: Write a letter (500-700 words) to Yossi Klein Halevi from your perspective or choose to write from the imagined perspective of an Israeli or Palestinian individual.

Suggestions to get you thinking:

  • What did you learn from the book?
  • What do you understand in a new way after reading the book?
  • What surprised you?
  • What ideas were challenging for you?
  • What are the most important things you will remember from this book?

We hope that these questions will guide your letter to Yossi. We want to read something unique from your perspective. Reading the book, writing the letter, and engaging in a substantive conversation will be excellent preparation for conversations about Israel you are likely to encounter going forward.

Timeline:

  • Contest begins September 1, 2020.
  • Letters are due by 11:59PM CT on December 1, 2020.
  • Facilitated conversations will take place in December. Once your letter is submitted, you will receive information about how to register for a virtual conversation.
  • Winners will be announced in late December.

Prizes:

There will be three prize winners in each age group.

$360 for Overall Best, $180 Most Creative, $180 Most Insightful

Other notes:

JCRC will reimburse each contest participant for their copy of Letters to My Palestinian Neighbor: With an Extensive Epilogue of Palestinian Responses. If you purchase a copy of the book (digital, physical, or audio) in order to participate in the contest, please keep your receipt. You may request reimbursement when you submit your letter.

 

 

For questions about the contest or the submissions process, please contact Sally Abrams or Holly Brod Farber.

The Letters Project premiered in Spring 2020 and is supported by a grant from an Anonymous Fund of The Minneapolis Foundation.

Israel Study Tour for Minnesota Legislators and Community Leaders

Since 2016, the JCRC has led 3 Israel trips for Minnesota state legislators and other community leaders with the purpose of educating Minnesota elected officials on the importance of a strong partnership between Minnesota and Israel, as well as to build trusted relationships with Minnesota’s elected officials. Our trip in November 2019 was our largest and most bipartisan delegation to date.