The Jewish Community Relations Council of Metropolitan Detroit (JCRC) and the American Jewish Committee (AJC) are pleased to announce the formation of a new local joint venture, JCRC/AJC: A Partnership for Community Relations and Jewish Advocacy.

The new partnership unites metro Detroit’s two premiere community relations and Jewish advocacy organizations under the leadership of President Dr. Richard Krugel and Executive Director David Kurzmann. AJC Detroit board members will be added to the JCRC board through a nominating process and the new JCRC/AJC board will determine the agency’s agenda. Krugel and Kurzmann said AJC’s mission “to enhance the well-being of the Jewish people and advance human rights and democratic values to all” fully complements the JCRC’s important work.

“We are excited to start the next chapter of Jewish communal relations in metro Detroit,” said Krugel. “JCRC’s partnership with AJC will bring together the strengths and resources of two highly respected organizations to benefit the lives of Jewish Detroiters and the community in which they live. I know this partnership will truly enhance the outstanding work done by our agency and I am deeply committed to its success.”

Under the partnership, JCRC/AJC will maintain a local focus and gain access to the outstanding resources of AJC, in addition to its continued membership in the Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA). The agency will retain JCRC’s valued role as the media relations agency of the Detroit Jewish community and continue to unite the community through Israel advocacy; to foster relationships and collaborations with Metro Detroit’s religious, racial and ethnic communities; and to advance Jewish Detroit’s priorities to the state’s elected leaders and community stakeholders. The partnership will also continue JCRC’s time-honored grassroots projects such as Mitzvah Day, and efforts to combat illiteracy through Detroit Jewish Coalition for Literacy and Bookstock, as well as its anti-poverty and social justice initiatives. AJC Detroit’s dynamic programming in the areas of diplomatic outreach and Muslim-Jewish relations will complete the partnership’s portfolio.

“We are delighted that this innovative partnership will allow AJC to combine its global network and interreligious connections with the JCRC’s indispensable role as the voice of the Detroit Jewish community to the media, elected officials and so many others in the city,” said AJC Assistant Executive Director Daniel Elbaum.” This partnership is a true win for AJC and the Detroit Jewish community. We are eager to work together on important issues like enhancing Jewish-Muslim relations and combatting BDS.” AJC brings many significant assets to the new partnership. AJC’s worldwide network, which includes 10 international offices and 32 association agreements with Jewish communities around the world, will enable JCRC/AJC to engage on combatting global antisemitism and create a more robust local pro-Israel voice. It will provide unprecedented access to opportunities such as Project Interchange, an AJC educational institute which brings opinion leaders and policy makers to Israel for a week of intensive learning and immersion with their Israeli counterparts.

AJC’s experienced, talented national staff will help to establish the partnership as the Detroit Jewish community’s central address for interfaith and intergroup relations. And, the partnership will provide increased opportunities for young leadership recruitment and engagement through ACCESS, AJC's Young Leadership Program which prepares the next generation of Jewish leaders to engage the key issues facing the global Jewish community.

Following a proposal by AJC, JCRC’s leadership evaluated the concept for several months and passed the agreement in June. Kurzmann will report directly to the JCRC/AJC board and JCRC remains the legal entity in the joint venture. The partnership was established as a five-year agreement and will be reviewed annually to ensure that it fully supports the needs of the Detroit Jewish community. All fundraising for the partnership will remain local.

“The JCRC/AJC partnership represents a true synergy of purpose, offering exceptional expertise and a legacy of communal engagement and advocacy under one local umbrella,” said Kurzmann.

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