This was an all-day program with three separate events showcasing Israel as a leader in innovation and technology, and, a partner to the community, offering support and business opportunities. The program was divided into three separate segments: 1) a private, invitation-only luncheon for business and community leaders, university presidents and deans and government officials, 2) a universities lectures program conducted by 3 universities and 3) a community forum disucssing how Israel can help Rhode Island build its economy via support from Israel’s leaders in innovation and technology.
The Detroit JCRC and Council of Islamic Organizations of Michigan joined hands to organize a free medical screening fair, primarily for residents of Detroit who are working poor lacking health insurance but do not qualify for government-provided or other no- or low-cost health care programs. Screenings were provided by Jewish and Muslim doctors, nurses, medical students, social workers and other community volunteers. The clients served at the event received access to potentially life-saving information and referrals, and the participating Muslim and Jewish health care professionals and students engaged together in a meaningful interfaith experience and had an opportunity to get to know colleagues in each other’s faith community.
The CAP coalition puts on an annual volunteer fair that matches agencies that help those living in poverty with people of the St. Louis region of all ages willing to volunteer in some capacity (for a one time project, on a weekly or monthly basis or in a larger capacity, such as serving on a Board). The program begins with an educational presentation each year. CAP also engages in other educational programs during the year as well as advocacy and service projects focused on poverty issues.
The goal of this coalition is to cut poverty in Nashville in half. The overarching goal was to create a public-private partnership charged with the responsibility to develop and implement a community-owned blueprint (an action plan that once implemented would result in our meeting our goal). Knowing that we could not rely on government alone to accomplish this, the aim was to leverage the passions, resources, and strengths of existing public, private and faith-based poverty reduction programs and projects. This coalition has been highly successful.
A planning team made up volunteers and professionals from the Jewish neighborhood of Squirrel Hill, the African-American neighborhood of Homewood, and the city government meets regularly to plan twice-a-year litter pickup events. Out of respect for the religious traditions of both communities, the Homewood event takes place on Saturdays and the Squirrel Hill event on Sundays. On Sunday afternoon, volunteers from both neighborhoods gather in a park for a joint picnic.
For the last 2 years, the Jewish Federation of Greater Portland Community Relations Committee held a unique interfaith event called “Hand to Hand.” The program, which was co-sponsored by over a dozen faith-based agencies and local congregations, consisted of two components: 1) To provide an opportunity for people to support non-profit social service agencies in the metro area with in-kind donations of clothes, coats, school supplies, cell phones, household appliances, food, and other items; and 2) to provide individuals and families the opportunity to become familiar with non-profits in the greater community that focus on helping low-income people or those who’ve been marginalized by the economic downturn. The goal was to encourage Portland residents to learn where to donate items needed by low-income people in our community and to become involved as volunteers with local non-profits serving people in need.
This program began because the St. Louis JCRC was looking for a program in the domestic issues/social justice realm that would be appealing to teens and felt that the environment was the area that most engaged younger member of the Jewish community. A small group of teens with a background and interest in environmental issues was identified and asked to be part of the first JEI Teen Group committee. The primary project for the teens in the first year was researching and creating a PowerPoint focused on ways that area synagogues could become more green. The next year, the teens are put together a similar PowerPoint focused on the dangers of polystyrene/Styrofoam as well as a native plant sale.
Reach Out! is a weekly service learning program (in 9 week cycles), launched in the spring of 2010 for young adult Jews in the Greater Boston area. The program’s goals reinforce the overall mission of community relations in that they provide critical opportunities for participants to form ongoing relationships with diverse members of the greater Boston community, through their volunteer sites. Sites are intentionally chosen where the volunteer work is most likely to respond to identified community needs and to have positive impact on the quality of life in the broader community. Equally significant is the program’s focus on engaging the next generation in the work of community relations and supporting them in building their own community of peer, focusing on shared values. Finally, there is an intentional focus on leadership development, ensuring a pipeline of talented leaders to sustain our work in the long term.
Nashville's Coalition for Education about Immigration is a broad community grassroots coalition devoted to facilitating educated, rational, and informed conversation on immigration and related issues. The purpose of this coalition is to provide the community with clear and accurate information, and an opposing viewpoint to those heard on local airwaves. The coalition's work was based on the belief that if well informed, the community would reach reasonable conclusions on their own related to immigration policy and reform and would be more apt to "welcome the stranger among us."
Did your JCRC just run an amazing program? Share it with communities across the country!
Looking for new program ideas? Find them here!
Just starting out with poverty programming in your community? Learn about other experiences from communities across the country!
The JCPA's Confronting Poverty campaign introduces "Best Practice Program Templates," a great opportunity for communities to share success stories and build on the successes of others. Please complete Best Practices Program Templates for all your successful programs (even if they are not related to poverty) so we can highlight them here and other communities can benefit from your experience. New programs will be posted here as we receive them. Enjoy!