Volume V | September 2019
Linking you to the work of creating a more civil and caring community in WNY
Powered by the Buffalo Jewish Federation
Co-Chairs: Nina Lukin & Dr. Ted Steinberg | Director: Mara Koven-Gelman
Buffalo JCRC's work falls into three broad areas: Social Justice, Combatting Hate and Discrimination, and Building Relationships with Ethnic, Faith, and Cultural Communities.

Launching Student to Student

We're thrilled to have been accepted as a Student to Student program site through a Natan Grant , which is directed at combating antisemitism and building confidence in Jewish teens. We're partnering with the Center for Jewish Engagement & Learning and the Holocaust Resource Center.

Check out this great VIDEO from the JCRC of St. Louis about the Student to Student Program
Summer Weddings

Summer Weddings was the theme of a recent gathering of our Multicultural Women's Group. Here are members holding photographs of their weddings and invitations. The range of cultures and religions included Jewish (American, Canadian), Muslim (Iraq, Turkey), Christian (American), and Buddhist (Burma, China). Members brought vegetarian cultural foods to share and discussed their unique wedding customs, clothing, food, and role of family.

Combating antisemitism in schools and teaching respect

Nina Lukin (JCRC co-chair), Mara Koven-Gelman (JCRC Director) and Elizabeth Schram (Holocaust Resource Center Director) met with Dr. Lisa Kruger (Assistant Superintendent of Orchard Park Central School District) along with teacher representatives and principals from all schools in the district to share and discuss innovative curriculum resources to address a recent antisemitic language incident.
The Orchard Park school district has strong character curriculum in place and educators were very open to the shared ideas and continuing the dialogue. Future conversations are being planned.

Valentino Dixon exhibit and criminal justice event at Burchfield Penney Arts Center (BPAC)

Exhibition PREVIEW takes place on Thursday, October 10th, 5:30 - 7:30 PM exhibit continues through Sunday March 29, 2020.

Valentino Dixon is a Buffalo artist who served 27 years for a crime he did not commit. His message is one of resilience, gratitude and sentence reform.

Thanks to the Goldman/Golden Philanthropic Fund for sponsoring the exhibit and opening event. Valentino will also be exhibiting at the Levy and Daniel Families Art Gallery JCC Holland Building in Spring 2020.

More info about the BPAC exhibit here and here.
MOBILIZE - Get Involved
2019 New York Voter Reform

 Did you know that starting this fall, NYS voters will have 9 days (including 2 weekends) for early voting? And did you know that your voting site might be changing?

Click here to find your location and here to learn details about early voting dates. 


Wednesday, September 4, 2019
5:30 - 7:30 PM
Buffalo Commons Classroom
617 Main Street, Buffalo
More info here .
NYS Recently passed massive voting reforms this year that won't do any good unless people know about them. This workshop is to discuss these reforms and show participants activities that they can use to educate their constituents about the changes. Let's get out the vote 2019!
Complete Census Count
April 1, 2020 is the next American Census Day. We're helping to support the NY State Complete Count Commission and our computer partners. Why? The census is a constitutionally mandated count of every American, regardless of their citizenship status.
Programs affected:
  • Healthcare (Medicare/Medicaid)
  • Education (Head Start, school lunches, elementary/secondary schools, Pell grants for college, special education)
  • Housing (Sect 8 rental housing assistance)
  • Local government (representation)
  • Manufacturing small business and neighborhood block grants
  • Transportation (Highway planning and construction)
  • Financial support (assistance checks/childcare, SNAP)
The Census also impacts Congressional representation. NYS has historically been under-counted: young children, those living in poverty, immigrants, those in dense urban settings and very rural locations, and people of color. We recently attended a Census workshop by Partnership for Public Good. If you want to learn more or get involved, visit www.census.gov or email Mara .
Welcoming the Stranger
Rabbi Jonathan Sacks remind us that "...time and again, we are told that social joy must embrace the widow, the orphan, the stranger, and the Levite, people without independent status or means." He emphasizes that creation of a moral society in which righteousness is the responsibility of all. In July, we listened, along with 167 local and national Jewish organizations, signing a letter advocating for a robust U.S. refugee admissions program.

Read the letter HERE .

We're proud that locally, Congregation Beth Abraham, Jewish Family Service of Buffalo and Erie County, and Temple Beth Zion also signed the letter.

JCPA Mission to Poland

To commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the Liberation of Auschwitz

December 3 - 8, 2019

More information HERE .
Jody Biehl
Hadar Borden
Deborah Goldman
Rabbi Alex Lazarus Klein
Margery Nobel
Phyllis Steinberg