REPORT TO THE COMMUNITY 2013–2015 | 5774 –5775

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It is not what one says, but rather what one does, that makes all the difference in the world.

Pirke Avot (Ethics of Our Fathers) 1:17

JEWISH COMMUNITY RELATIONS COUNCIL OF GREATER WASHINGTON

GOVERNMENT RELATIONS ISRAEL ADVOCACY INTERGROUP RELATIONS SOCIAL JUSTICEMARYLAND VIRGINIA WASHINGTON, D.C. SINCE 1938

REPORT TO THE COMMUNITY 20132015 | 5774 5775

Championing our Community: Living Jewish Values

JEWISH COMMUNITY RELATIONS COUNCIL OF GREATER WASHINGTON

REPORT TO THE COMMUNITY 20132015 | 57745776

Dear Friends:

From the days when Moses made demands of the Pharaoh and then led the Hebrews out of slavery, there has always been someone willing to champion the needs and the people of the Jewish community. Today, when the American Jewish community is strong and confident enough to be its own champion, there are leaders and institutions dedicated to safeguard-ing our interests as a people and as a community.

For nearly eight decades the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) of Greater Wash-ington has been the champion of the Jewish community in the Nations capital region. The JCRC brings together leaders from across religious denominations, political affiliations and cultural backgrounds to advocate for our shared community.

The JCRC champions the Jewish values that guide us. We defend the causes that we agree matter most. We support the vulnerable. We uphold the rights of those who need strong advocates. And we promote the needs of our own community. We champion Israel, the homeland of the largest Jewish community in the world. And we honor the experiences of those who lived through the Holocaust and mourn those who did not.

This report covers two robust years of JCRC programming. In its pages you will read about the JCRCs role in local, regional and national government relations on behalf of the Jewish community; advocacy efforts for our legislative priorities and communal institutions; coali-tion building with other faith and ethnic groups; advocacy and education on behalf of our brothers and sisters in Israel; the tireless drive to free an unjustly imprisoned member of our community; and the upholding of our communitys commitment to Holocaust remembrance and education.

Many of these accomplishments took place under the leadership of my predecessor Joe Sandler. I share with Joe an immense pride in the JCRCs achievements and our organiza-tions impact.

It is an honor to lead the JCRC as we champion the values and priorities that sustain and strengthen us as a community.

BShalom,

Cookie Hymer Blitz JCRC President

LETTER FROM PRESIDENT

Mission StatementThe Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) of Greater Washington is the central public affairs and community relations arm of the organized Jewish community in our nations capital and surrounding region. The JCRC advocates for Jewish institutions and values, educates the community about key issues of concern, and reaches out to our neighbors to build a better world for us all. Our work advances the values of freedom, justice and democratic pluralism. The JCRC works to promote these values through four pillars of action: government relations, Israel advocacy, inter-group relations and social justice. The JCRC determines a consensus on a broad range of public policy is-sues central to Jewish conscience and concern and then publicizes those concerns to Washington area legislators and civic, public opinion, media and interfaith leaders. The JCRC also coordinates community programs to provide educational and advocacy op-portunities on priority domestic and international issues. Through this work, the JCRC promotes the interests of The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington and more than 100 constituent agencies, organizations and synagogues in the District of Columbia, Northern Virginia and suburban Maryland.

MAIN OFFICE 6101 Executive Blvd., Suite 300 | North Bethesda, MD 20852 | (301) 770-0881VIRGINIA OFFICE 8900 Little River Turnpike | Fairfax, VA 22031 | (703) 962-9230D.C. OFFICE 1775 K Street, NW | Washington, D.C. 20006 | (202) 553-5255

pr@jcouncil.org | www.jcouncil.org

Government Relations ................................................................................ 5Maryland ............................................................................................... 5Virginia ............................................................................................... 12Washington, DC .................................................................................. 15

Israel Action Center and International Affairs ........................................... 17

Holocaust Commission .............................................................................. 27

Education .................................................................................................. 31

Social Justice and Intergroup Relations .................................................... 33

Financial Review ....................................................................................... 38

Sponsors ................................................................................................... 39

Constituent Organizations ........................................................................ 41

Board of Directors, Past Presidents, Executive Committee, Staff, and Consultants ........................................... 42

Mission StatementThe Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) of Greater Washington is the central public affairs and community relations arm of the organized Jewish community in our nations capital and surrounding region. The JCRC advocates for Jewish institutions and values, educates the community about key issues of concern, and reaches out to our neighbors to build a better world for us all. Our work advances the values of freedom, justice and democratic pluralism. The JCRC works to promote these values through four pillars of action: government relations, Israel advocacy, inter-group relations and social justice. The JCRC determines a consensus on a broad range of public policy is-sues central to Jewish conscience and concern and then publicizes those concerns to Washington area legislators and civic, public opinion, media and interfaith leaders. The JCRC also coordinates community programs to provide educational and advocacy op-portunities on priority domestic and international issues. Through this work, the JCRC promotes the interests of The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington and more than 100 constituent agencies, organizations and synagogues in the District of Columbia, Northern Virginia and suburban Maryland.

MAIN OFFICE 6101 Executive Blvd., Suite 300 | North Bethesda, MD 20852 | (301) 770-0881VIRGINIA OFFICE 8900 Little River Turnpike | Fairfax, VA 22031 | (703) 962-9230D.C. OFFICE 1775 K Street, NW | Washington, D.C. 20006 | (202) 553-5255

pr@jcouncil.org | www.jcouncil.org

TABLE OF CONTENTS

On December 15th, a record-breaking 20 state delegates and senators briefed a packed audience as the JCRC and JCCNV hosted the annual Northern Virginias Legislators Reception. The JCRC unveiled its advocacy agenda spotlighting religious freedom, environmental protections, and social services. Audience members asked questions ranging from environmental protections and smart growth to finding a compromise that will allow for Medicaid expansion.

Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington REPORT TO THE COMMUNITY 20132015 5

The JCRC represents the Jewish community to elected officials in Maryland, Northern Virginia and the District of Columbia. We advocate for the needs and priorities of our community and for robust funding for our regions Jewish agencies.

GOVERNMENT RELATIONS

GOVERNMENT RELATIONS

MARYLAND COMMISSION

Parlor Meetings JCRC board members host a series of par-lor meetings each winter in preparation for the legislative session. The Jewish commu-nity presents local elected officials with our legislative agenda and hears their priorities prior to session.

Maryland Commission members Ron Glancz, Barbara Zakheim, and Harvey Reiter hosted parlor meetings in districts 15, 16, 17, 18, 20, and 39. Elected officials were supportive of our agenda for Jewish agency funding, health care, affordable housing and early childhood education.

Maryland Legislative Sessions 2014 and 2015During the ninety-day legislative session of the 2014 Maryland General Assembly, the JCRC monitored over sixty bills. Together with our partners, we secured funding for Jewish agencies to better serve the com-munity and advocated for policies impor-tant to the Jewish community.

The 2015 legislative session was the first year in a new four-year cycle. Such a year is traditionally considered a learning time for getting to know new faces and adjusting to new committee assignments. We had another successful year working together with our partner agencies to secure funding for much-needed projects and to advocate for critical policy items.

The JCRCs Maryland Commission leader-ship determines the JCRCs position on bills that impact the Jewish community.

Budget InitiativesThe JCRC helped secure the following grants:

A $1 million capital budget grant for the Jewish Community Center (JCC) of Greater Washington. These FY 2015 funds supported a renovation project to improve the JCCs accessibility, func-tionality, and sustainability. The Centers common areas, social hall, catering areas, art gallery, meeting rooms and classrooms were updated. An additional $500,000 grant for the JCCs ongoing renovation project was included in the FY 2016 capital budget.

A $225,000