The Jewish Community Relations Council is the voice of the organized Jewish community in Greater Boston. We are comprised of 40 member organizations and advocate on behalf of their priorities and values in the broader civic space.
In the early 1940’s, sixteen Jewish organizations in Boston came together to establish “The Jewish Community Council,” to act as a united community to defend the interests of the Jewish community locally and globally. We were facing regular antisemitic violence: Jewish teens were being assaulted on the streets of Boston, attacks that often went ignored by the police and justice system. The targeting of powerless Jews — both on the streets and in the courts — served as a wakeup call to the Jewish community to mobilize and organize.
JCRC cultivates relationships among disparate voices across the Jewish community, and advocates for the organized Jewish community’s interests. We engage our community with changemakers, important issues, civic leaders, and service opportunities to make an impact in the Greater Community.
JCRC serves as a bridge between the Jewish community and the broader community, forming deep connections with public officials, civic leaders, and groups of multiple religious faiths, and strategically connecting and facilitating important and timely conversations among key parties — enabling them to understand the many sides of complex issues at times of crisis and critical importance.
JCRC is led by volunteers who participate in committees and in other leadership roles. JCRC has two primary leadership structures, the Board and the Council.
The JCRC Board of Directors is responsible for overseeing JCRC’s programs as well as its annual budget and other financial matters. It is comprised of 24 members elected by the Council, our past presidents, and up to two individuals appointed by the President.
The Council is responsible for JCRC’s International and Domestic policies and positions in which JCRC publicly advocates in the name of the Jewish community. It also is responsible for JCRC’s participation in national Jewish advocacy and policy deliberations. The Council is comprised of representatives of JCRC’s 40 member organizations, the JCRC Board, and a certain number of “community representatives” (based on the number of Board members and member organization representatives). Community representatives are recommended each year by the nominating committee and elected at the Annual Meeting. Each member organization is assigned a number of representatives between 1 and 3 based on their size and activity in the community.
Organizations must apply and be approved by the Council to be members. To be considered for and maintain JCRC membership, an organization must:
- Have been in existence for at least two years
- Have at least 200 residents of the area served by Combined Jewish Philanthropies who are donors, dues paying members and/or voting members;
- Be a non-profit organization or division of one;
- In the judgment of the Council, the organization must be of value to the Jewish community, and the programs, activities, and practices of such organization and, if applicable, its units, components, subsidiaries and entities that control the organization, are compatible and do not conflict with JCRC’s mission;
- Not be a synagogue, minyan or independent spiritual community.
Organizations desiring JCRC membership shall apply by communication to the Secretary of the Board, who will submit the application to the Membership Committee.
As a proud partner of Combined Jewish Philanthropies, JCRC receives a generous annual grant that covers approximately one half of our operating budget. The balance of the funds come from individual contributions, including 100% Board participation, JCRC’s annual Celebrates Gala, and foundation and corporate grants.