The history of the Jewish people has made one fact abundantly clear: the safety and security of Jews is protected most ably by socially responsible democratic governance. To this end, the Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA) serves as a wide-reaching umbrella organization that oversees the efforts of advocates and representatives for the Jewish community in the United States. In Chicago, the local JCPA affiliate is the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC), which involves itself in civic issues across the city while simultaneously working to create programs, celebrations, and commemorations that aim to strengthen the Chicagoland Jewish community.
The JCRC, like most organizations with membership in the JCPA, focuses most of its attention on representing Jewish interests in local, state, and national government affairs. JCRC itself is an umbrella organization that serves nearly 50 Chicagoland Jewish organizations. As part of the national JCPA, it is an important pillar of community relations in the city. JCPA has a wide-ranging mission to advocate on behalf of Jews both in the United States and around the world by pursuing policies that protect justice, religious freedom, and intergroup harmony, as well as advocating for American positions that work to protect and enrich the state of Israel.
JCPA was initially founded in 1944 as the National Jewish Community Relations Advisory Council, and it took its current name in 1997. Over the course of seven decades, the JCPA has partnered with some 125 local and 14 national organizations in order to pursue policies that benefit people of every race, religious background, and national status. The cornerstone of the JCPA mission is its fundamental belief in the Bill of Rights and the democratic process, all in the name of tikkun olam, a Hebrew phrase meaning “the repair of the world.”
For more information on the vital work of the JCPA, visit engage.jewishpublicaffairs.org.