Please visit our calendar regularly to view and RSVP to the many wonderful programs from the JCRCView Calendar
District of Columbia Advocacy
The JCRC of Greater Washington's District of Columbia commission partners with local and state organizations to reach out to government officials at the federal, state and local levels to advance the legislative agenda of the DC Jewish community serving over 27,000 district residents. The Commission organizes candidate forums, advocacy activities, conducts noontime meetings with political, community and governmental leaders, gathers representatives of District synagogues and Jewish agencies to establish our annual agenda and participates actively in interfaith meetings.
Rabbi Batya Steinlauf is the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington's Director of DC Government and Community Relations and resident of the DC.
Read the article DC Council to 'get' tough in the Washington Jewish Week by Rabbi Batya Steinlauf.
As part of its mission of combatting discrimination and promoting a more just society for all, JCRC joined the InterFaith Conference of Metropolitan Washington Executive Director Gerry Serotta and the Director of the Mayor’s Office of Religious Affairs, Thomas Bowen, to meet with attorneys from the Washington Lawyers Committee.
The Washington Lawyers’ Committee (the “WLC”) is a non-profit organization with a long history of providing pro bono (free) legal services to counter discrimination and advance civil rights. The WLC is working to identify, support, and provide legal representation to victims of bias-motivated conduct in light of the pronounced increase in reports of these incidents in recent months. The WLC is also seeking opportunities to provide education and resources regarding the rights of individuals to be free from discriminatory treatment. Examples of such treatment include:
· Being turned away from a job or facing harassment at work because of your religion, nationality, or race;
· Being unable to secure housing because of your religion, nationality, or race;
· Being stopped, harassed, or targeted by law enforcement, or asked about your immigration status or reason for being in this country;
· Not given access to government services in your language or denied access to government services because of your religion, nationality, or race; or
· Bullying or harassment at school because of your religion, nationality, or race.
If you or someone you know has experienced any act of bias or hate similar to that listed above, the Washington Lawyers’ Committee is ready to help. You can contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-319-1000.
Please check back
Rain gardens are an environmentally friendly initiative employed to keep our water supply clean. When it rains, rainwater collects pollutants from streets, rooftops and sidewalks. The rainwater is directed into our local creeks and rivers, like the Anacostia River, bringing these pollutants into our water supply. By improving the quality of the water in the river we can improve the quality of life for the people living along its banks. Furthermore, the collection of storm water on our pavements and buildings speeds up erosion. Rain gardens collect the rainwater, and filter the pollutants though special plants. This succeeds in avoiding the polluted rainwater to run across our streets and into our water sources. Rain gardens help improve water quality, and ensure that our plants are getting water instead of our streets.
Tifereth Israel Synagogue, located in Washington D.C., has joined this wonderful initiative to keep our local bodies of water clean by constructing a beautiful rain garden to protect our environment. Now the 3,000 gallons of water that typically falls onto their rooftop during a 30 minute rainfall will be redirected into their rain garden and to permeable pavers. More information is available here, at Tifereth Israel’s Website.
The District’s RiverSmart and Montgomery County’s RainScapes program initiatives can help you bring a rain garden to your community. Both the RainScape program and RiverSmart program offer financial and practical assistance to those that employ tactics to reduce storm water pollution, like the rain garden initiative.
The JCRC hosted a reception for Mayor of the District of Columbia the Honorable Muriel Bowser. (Dec. 2015)
Rabbi Batya Steinlauf presented at the DC Council Holiday Kick Off. (Dec. 2015)
Rabbi Batya Steinlauf spoke at the DC Council to help pass the Justice for Ex-spouses bill. (Sept. 2015)
License to Carry Pistol Act 2014 - Houses of Worship
The Council of the District of Columbia unanimously passed the License to Carry a Pistol Amendment Act of 2014 without any debate or deliberation. The legislation presumptively prohibits concealed pistols within houses of worship despite some prominent opposition at an early stage on the legislative process. Here is the specific language: "Any church, synagogue, mosque, or other place where people regularly assemble for religious worship shall be presumed to prohibit the presence of concealed pistols unless the property is posted with conspicuous signage allowing concealed pistols, or the owner or authorized agent communicates such allowance personally to the licensee in advance of entry onto the property; provided, that such places may not authorize concealed pistols where services are conducted in locations listed in subsection (a) of this section."
For additional information see:
Metropolitan Police Department information on Applying for a Concealed Carry Pistol License
Rabbi Batya Steinlauf with the Rev. Barbara Reynolds from Black Women for Positive Change and representatives of other Faith Communities atThe Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety for the mark up the License to Carry a Pistol Amendment Act.