JCRC Open Letter To Greater Washington School Superintendents:
The Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington (JCRC) is the public affairs and
government relations arm of the local Jewish community, representing 210 organizations in the region
and over 200,000 Jewish individuals in throughout the region.
Since 1938, the JCRC has been engaged in fostering positive interfaith dialogue, promoting tolerance,
and enhancing understanding between our minority communities and our local public institutions. Some
of the resources we provide for our local school systems include:
• Annually updated Holiday Calendars listing major public and religious observances for planning the
upcoming school year, including events for Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist and other
faiths. Available in hard copy and electronically, the calendars provide guidance and advice in
planning major events and avoiding holiday conflicts.
• Our Guidelines to Religion in Public Schools provide the most recent court guidance on separation of
church and state in a practical format to help address educators’ classroom concerns.
• Educators’ Symposia on Judaism and Jewish Life Cycle Events are conducted in counties
throughout our region. These sessions have received excellent feedback from teachers as a
stimulating and hands-on opportunities to learn more about another culture and better address
the needs of diverse students in their classes. Educators receive professional development credit
for their effort.
• Public Education Advocacy is an important component of our legislative platform each year on
the federal, state and local levels. JCRC welcomes an opportunity to partner with your
representatives in Richmond.
• JCRC offers a Holocaust Survivors’ Speakers’ Bureau providing survivors who share their
testimony in the classroom. Contact us to make arrangements.
• Assistance in Board of Education reviews of curriculum and text books in Jewish themed-areas
as well as participation in educator forums.
It is our belief that through joint cooperative outreach activities, we can reduce the incidence of
intolerance and misunderstanding. The JCRC is always available to discuss these and other ways that
our community can work to support the public schools that works so hard to meet the needs of our
Debra Linick Ron Halber
Director, DC & Virginia Executive Director