July 18, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

JCRC Offers Virtual Programming for the Jewish Community

During the months of February and March, the Jewish Community Relations Committee (JCRC) of Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey is offering a full array of compelling programming. JCRC is Federation’s public affairs arm proactively advocating for the rights, interests and values of the northern New Jersey Jewish community. There are several areas of focus: combatting antisemitism, legislative advocacy, building support for Israel and intergroup relations.

JCRC also builds relationships and advocates for Jewish interests throughout and beyond the Jewish community. This is done by working directly with Jewish, interfaith and civic leadership on the local, state and national levels. JCRC raises awareness and seeks practical solutions in matters that are important to the Jewish community as well as the broader community.

This past week JCRC featured an exclusive program titled “Virtual Tour of the Israeli Parliament: The Knesset.” The host was Gary S. Schaer, deputy speaker and policy chair, who serves in the New Jersey General Assembly, where he represents the 36th Legislative District. Schaer is the first Orthodox Jew in the New Jersey Legislature and is one of the highest-ranking members of the Assembly.

“We plan programs based upon the interests of our volunteer leaders and of matters that become newsworthy stories. We strive to host programs which provide opportunities and access that people may not normally have. This tour of the Knesset is the perfect example. Whether you have been to Israel or not, through the use of drones and special photography techniques, the attendees of this program experienced a very meaningful and exclusive look of the Knesset.” said Ariella Noveck, director of the JCRC.

Participants learned about Israeli democracy and the Knesset’s roles and responsibilities and viewed works of art displayed throughout the building. The tour featured the Knesset Committee Wing, the Plenary Hall, Chagall Hall, the exhibit of Israel’s Declaration of Independence and more.

Participants learned that in the summer of 1960, Marc Chagall proposed to then-Knesset Speaker Kadish Luz that he create artwork for the permanent residence of the Knesset. In the following years, discussions were held on the type of artwork and its placement. Chagall’s hand-woven tapestries have names such as “Vision of Isaiah,” “Exodus” and “Return To Zion.” There is also a floor mosaic consisting of 12 mosaics, depicting Jewish symbols that are changed in some way, for instance, the Menorah does not have nine branches, so as not to be desecrated when people walk on them. There was also an interactive poll to further engage listeners. “The program was fun, we learned about artists and the culture that is so important to us,” noted Noveck.

Future programming includes conversations about the Iron Dome, a virtual tour of the International Civil Rights Center and Museum and a series of FED talks, featuring speakers focused on topics related to the Middle East.

To get involved and or learn more information, please contact JCRC Director [email protected] or (201) 820-3946.

By Susan R. Eisenstein

 

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