Bohm Social Justice Initiative
FALL 2016 POVERTY INTERN SELECTED
Leah Starbuck Schuckit, a rising Junior at Washington University, has been selected as the Fall 2016 Poverty Intern at JCRC. Leah, who has a strong background in social justice advocacy, will work under the supervision of JCRC Domestic Issues Director Gail Wechsler on a range of educational, service and advocacy projects focused on hunger. Welcome, Leah!
JCRC BOHM SOCIAL JUSTICE INITIATIVE AND CAP HUNGER TASK FORCE SPONSOR SUCCESSFUL INTERFAITH HUNGER SEDER WITH THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS
On April 14, over 200 people attended the annual Interfaith Hunger Seder, co-sponsored by JCRC and its Bohm Social Justice Initiative and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. JCRC's CAP Hunger Task Force was a cooperating participant in the program. Those attending learned about the problem of hunger in the region and beyond. This year's special focus was on hunger among military families and veterans. Speakers included Tim Rooney, a veteran currently receiving services from Windsor Transitional Housing. Rabbi Josef Davidson of Congregation B'nai Amoona officiated at the Seder.
Some photos are below.
JCRC BOHM SOCIAL JUSTICE DIRECTOR OF DOMESTIC ISSUES/SOCIAL JUSTICE RECOGNIZED BYJ PRO AT 2016 AWARD LUNCHEON
Nearly 400 people attended the Annual JProStlRecognition Luncheon on Thursday, January 28 at the St. Louis Jewish Community Center, Staenberg Family Complex.JProStl is the professional association for staff who work at fifty organizations affiliated with the St. Louis Jewish community. At the luncheon, Gail Wechsler, Director of Domestic Issues/Social Justice at the JCRC, received the 2016 Pillar Award. This Award recognizes a staff person who directly contributes to the organization's mission through innovative and meaningful programs and by promoting and sustaining successful collaborations. Shown below is Gail Wechsler with JCRC Executive Director Maharat Rori Picker Neiss at the event.
ST. LOUIS JCRC CONDEMNS INCENDIARY LANGUAGE AGAINST MUSLIMS
As the Jewish community celebrates the holiday of Chanukah, we reflect upon a time when practicing our religion was prohibited and any public acknowledgement of our faith was subject to severe penalties. Religious freedom and respect for the diversity of religionsare of vital importance for every faith community.
We are horrified by recent comments that demonize and marginalize adherents of Islam, including a call for Muslims to be barred from entering the United States.
Elections are an opportunity for candidates and voters to engage in deep and reflective debate around issues that are important to our country and our world. Incendiary language meant to inspire fear and hatred of any group of people has no place in political discourse.
The Jewish Community Relations Council of St Louis condemns these statements. We stand together with our Muslim friends and neighbors. Threats against any group of people, especially based upon ethnicity or religious affiliation, have no place in American society.
FIFTH ANNUAL JEWISH AND MUSLIM DAY OF COMMUNTIY SERVICE A HUGE SUCCESS
Approximately 800 volunteers from the Jewish, Muslim and other faiths joined together on December 25, 2015 for the fifth annual Jewish and Muslim Day of Community Service. Volunteers met at a welcome breakfast at the Jewish Community Center, then worked at 22 area community service sites from St. Charles to downtown St. Louis. This year's event also received widespread media coverage. In a time when some would disparage others based solely on their religion, this event showcased acts of kindness and charity by hundreds of volunteer from the Muslim faith, working alongside those of other relivions. A few photos from this year's event are below. This event was co-sponsored by JCRC and the Islamic Foundation of Greater St. Louis.
Read the article in the St. Louis Post Dispatch about the Jewish and Muslim Day of Community Service: http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/metro/jews-muslims-join-for-day-of-service/article_44112a5f-897d-5eab-9f2b-04398b1ea6bc.htmlarticle_44112a5f-897d-5eab-9f2b-04398b1ea6bc
CULTURAL LEADERSHIP CAMPERS PARTICIPATE IN PROJECTS AT JCRC ON JULY 14, 2015
On Tuesday July 14, 2015, middle school students and staff from Camp Cultural Leadership spent the morning with JCRC engaging in two social action projects. The teens created get well cards for women recently diagnosed with breast cancer (for the organization Girls Love Mail) and harvested, mulched and surveyed at the JCC's Garden of Eden organic garden (with all vegetables donated to the Harvey Kornblum Jewish Food Pantry). Over 50 cards were created and over 50 pounds of green beans, green peppers, eggplant and potatoes were harvested. Below are some photos from the day of volunteering.
BOHM SOCIAL JUSTICE INITIATIVE CO-SPONSORS INTERFAITH HUNGER SEDER WITH LADUE CHAPEL
The JCRC's Newmark Institute and Bohm Social Justice Initiative partnered with Ladue Chapel Presbyterian Church for the 2015 Interfaith Community Hunger Seder. The Seder took place on Wednesday March 25 at 5:30 PM at Ladue Chapel, 9450 Clayton Road 63124. The Hunger Seder was supported by the Jewish Council for Public Affairs and MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger. For more information, contact Gail Wechsler at email@example.com or 314-442-3894. More information and photos can be found on the Community Against Poverty page of this website. www.communityagainstpoverty.org
FOURTH ANNUAL JEWISH AND MUSLIM DAY OF COMMUNITY SERVICE
A BIG SUCCESS
Over 700 volunteers from the Jewish, Muslim and other faith communities participated in the 2014 Jewish and Muslim Day of Community Service on Christmas Day, 2014. Many of the volunteers attended a welcome breakfast at the Daar Ul Islam Mosque, then fanned out to 22 different community service sites from St. Charles to downtown St. Louis City. The 2014 co-chairs were Jerry Hochsztein, Sophie Malik, Tony Mughal and Karen Silverman. Below are some pictures from the 2014 Day of Community Service. Pictured are volunteers at the Little Projects, Little Hands site (making no-sew blankets for St. Louis Crisis Nursery), volunteers at the Harvey Kornblum Jewish Food Pantry, Rabbi Noah Arnow of Kol Rinah at the welcome breakfast, and a group shot from the breakfast.
MIDDLE SCHOOLERS FROM CAMP CULTURAL LEADERSHIP ENGAGE IN COMMUNITY SERVICE WITH JCRC
On Monday July 14, 2014, JCRC's Bohm Social Justice Initiative hosted 23 middle school students who are participating in Cultural Leadershi's new social justice/civil rights themed summer camp. The campers rotated between two community service projects: making greeting cards to benefits the non-profit groups Girls Love Mail and Ronald McDonald House and working in the JCC's Garden of Eden to harvest produce for clients of the Harvey Kornblum Jewish Food Pantry. The campers made 49 greeting cards/gifts and harvested 122 pounds of produce.
Below are some photos from the event.
OVER 160 PEOPLE ATTEND
APRIL 8, 2014 COMMUNITY HUNGER SEDER
Close to 170 people attended the 2014 Community Hunger Seder co-sponsored by JCRC and its Newmark Institute for Human Relations and the Office of Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs of the Archdiocese of Saint Louis. Collaborating agencies were Bread for the World, The Harvey Kornblum Jewish Food Pantry (of JF & CS of Saint Louis), Missouri Association for Social Welfare and Operation Food Search. Those attending the event, held at the Rigali Center, read from a special Haggadah that told the story of escape from slavery to freedom in terms of the problem of hunger. Participants learned about the ways they could help alleviate hunger through volunteering, donating and advocacy. The Seder was part of a national mobilization coordinated by the Jewish Council for Public Affairs and MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger.
PHOTOS FROM 2014 HUNGER SEDER
Larry Welch of the Archdiocese of Saint Louis welcomes the group
Brother Lorenzo of Aquinas Institute gives a reading at the Seder
Group shot of the 170 attendees
Lou Albert, Executive Director of Jewish Family & Children's Service, reads from the Hagaddah
TEENS FROM JEWISH AND MORMON COMMUNITIES VOLUNTEER AT OPERATION FOOD SEARCH
On Monday February 17, 2014 (President's Day), over 30 volunteers from the Jewish and Mormon communities held a volunteer day at Operation Food Search in University City. Organized by the JCRC and the Latter Day Saints community, this event brought together teens from the two faith communities to sort donated goods, to compost foods past their expiration dates and to learn more about the work of Operation Food Search. The afternoon ended with a discussion about ways the teens could continue to help those who suffer from food insecurity in the region. Teens from the Jewish community represented Central Reform Congregation, Congregation Shaare Emeth, Kol Rinah, Temple Israel, United Hebrew Congregation and Young Israel. Pictures from the event are below. The first photo show all of the teens before beginning the project.
Steve Baer, Volunteer Coordinator at Operation Food Search, showing the teens the warehouse where food is stored and sorted.
(left to right) Marcia Orgill from the Latter Day Saints community and David Bohm of the Jewish Community Relations Council, lead a discussion with the teens.
700 Volunteers Participate in 2013 Jewish and Muslim Day of Service
Once again in 2013, turnout was strong for the annual Jewish and Muslim Day of Service co-sponsored by JCRC and the Islamic Foundation of Greater St. Louis. Approximately 700 people volunteered, an increase over last year's number of participants. As in past years, volunteers went to 21 service sites. Sites included the Dar Ul Islam Mosque (site of a soup making project for area food pantries), Saint Louis Crisis Nursery, the Saint Louis Juvenile Detention Center, Almost Home, The Bridge and Gateway 180 (two area homeless shelters) as well as many other locations. Co-Chairs for the 2013 event were Roberta Gutwein of JCRC and Zubaida Ibrahim of the Islamic Foundation. Those attending the annual welcome breakfast heard from Dr. Waheed Rana on behalf of the Muslim community and Rori Picker Neiss on behalf of the Jewish community.
PHOTOS FROM THE 2013 DAY OF SERVICE
Pictured below, from left, are JCRC volunteers Noam and David Kantor at the Gateway 180 volunteer site with Fresh Strart bags created for clients of the shelter.
From left to right: Co-Chair Roberta Gutwein, Bohm Social Justice Initiative Chair Gerry Greiman, Co-Chair Zubaida Ibrahim.
Shown above are the volunteers for the Visits to Police and Fire Fighters site before leaving to deliver holiday cookies.
Read the article in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch about the 2013 Day of Service
Read the Blog by our JCRC Poverty Intern 2012
Every year the JCRC participates in a national effort known as Fighting Poverty with Faith. This year, on Sunday, November 11th, sixteen students gathered tovolunteer for two hours at the Harvey Kornblum Jewish Food Pantry. They helped pack bagswith foodthat would be picked up throughout the week by local clients. This volunteer day served as an educational experience for the youth as well. In a small discussion, they were challenged to think about the prevalence of hunger in the St. Louis area as well as the difficulties they would face if they were in a situation in which they received help from the food pantry. In total, they packed over 200 bags of food that would be distributed to the food pantry’s clients throughout the following week.
LEARN MORE ABOUT THINGS YOU CAN DO TO ALLEVIATE HUNGER:
Mazon: A Jewish Response to Hunger (national non-profit dedicated to preventing and alleviating hunger among people of all faiths and backgrounds) http://mazon.org
Feeding Missouri http://feedingmissouri.org
Harvey Kornblum Jewish Food Pantry (part of Jewish Family & Children’s Service)
Social Justice refers to the recognition of social inequality and the commitment to rectify through action, service, and education.
Social Action is our ability to mobilize on behalf of a cause – volunteering, advocating, teaching, mentoring, giving resources/goods or money.
Please see our Volunteer and Donate Goods pages to learn more about how YOU can get involved.
For more information contact Gail Wechsler (314) 442-3894 or firstname.lastname@example.org
"It is not for you to complete the work, nor are you free to desist from it."
Rabbi Tarfon, Pirke Avot 2:20