Heritage Florida Jewish News - Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

JFGO represented at JCPA Conference


David Bernstein, left, president of the Jewish Council on Public Affairs, and Marli Porth, director of Community Relations and Leadership Development at the Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando.

The Jewish Council on Public Affairs (JCPA), which serves as the umbrella organization for the American Jewish community relations field, held its annual conference in Cleveland on May 15-17.

In three days of sessions featuring members of Congress, leaders in the Jewish and other faith communities and experts on issues including Israel, civil rights and political polarization, participants got an in-depth opportunity to discuss managing diverse perspectives on Israel, police-community relations, Jewish-Muslim relations, the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, advocating for accurate depictions of Israel and Jews in textbooks and curriculum materials, community crisis management, and many other subjects.

Marli Porth, the Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando's director of Community Relations and Leadership Development, received a full scholarship to attend the conference.

"While it was a thrill to be in the same room as prominent elected officials, faith leaders, and leaders in the Jewish community, the best part of the conference was meeting my peers who work with Community Relations Councils (CRCs) like I do," Porth said.

"Hearing directly how other communities advocate on behalf of Israel, build relationships with other faith traditions and engage, or don't engage, in specific political or social movements-all of that was invaluable," she said. "I was so grateful to JCPA for giving me the opportunity to learn from the CRC directors in Philadelphia and Cincinnati about their innovative Israel missions, to meet my peers in Miami, Pinellas and South Palm Beach to see how we might collaborate to bring speakers or other presenters to Florida, and to find out that even the largest, best-funded CRCs in the country face some of the same issues that we do. It was also heartening to know that as a smaller CRC, our programming and strategies were impressive to the big CRCs of San Francisco or New York. I came back entirely energized about our work and even more excited for our upcoming programs!"

The next Jewish Community Relations Council event in Greater Orlando, The Jewish Vote in the 2016 Presidential Election, will be held Monday, June 6, at 7 p.m. at the University Club of Winter Park. Steven Windmueller, professor emeritus at the Hebrew Union College and expert on Jewish political behavior in the U.S., will lead a discussion moderated by WMFE's Matthew Peddie. Seating is very limited, so please RSVP at http://www.jfgo.org/election.

For more information on the Jewish Community Relations Council, please contact Marli Porth at mporth@jfgo.org.


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