Community Relations Council

of the Jewish Federation of Greater Harrisburg

The Community Relations Council of the Jewish Federation of Greater Harrisburg is the Federation's arm for responding to and engaging with important topics locally, nationally, and abroad. The CRC works with representatives from the Greater Harrisburg community to proactively and reactively address issues while seeking guidance from the Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA) and input from our members. 

The CRC is host to programming like Candidates Night (featuring discussion with elected officials and those running for office), Israel Speaker Series, and more. For more information on the Community Relations Council, contact us at 717-236-9555. 

Standing with Israel

5/14/2021 The Jewish Federation of Greater Harrisburg and the Jewish Community Relations Council strongly support Israel’s right to defend itself against rocket attacks from Hamas and other terrorist organizations.   Israel and its citizens have the right to live in peace and security. We stand firmly with the people of Israel and the Israeli Defense Forces at this difficult time.  We mourn the loss of all innocent lives in this conflict and pray for a rapid return to civility and calm.


To provide humanitarian aid to Israel and visit JFNA here.


Updates on the conflict can be found here:


CRC January 9, 2020 Statement on Antisemitism in America

Tragically, the Hanukah stabbings in Monsey, NY on December 28 were only the latest anti-Semitic acts against Jewish communities across the US.  The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) cataloged 1879 anti-Semitic occurrences in 2018*, ranging from desecration of synagogues and cemeteries to anti-Semitic insults to violent attacks resulting in injuries and death. The ADL reports that there have been incidents and crimes in every state.  Such attacks continued throughout 2019 and into 2020.We experience shock and pain after each killing, attack, desecration, slur and insult.  As Jews, Americans and humans, we are repulsed by targeted actions against any person based on religion, ethnicity, race or sexual orientation.
The intent of these attacks is clear.  The selection of targets is deliberate and intentional.  We unequivocally and in the strongest possible terms, condemn all acts of violence motivated by religious or ideological intolerance.   In this rising tide of reprehensible and cowardly acts, we must not become complacent or accept this as the “new normal.” We must challenge ourselves and others to recognize killing, violence, vandalism and intimidation by extremists as unconditionally wrongful conduct that threatens the very fabric of our society.

We urge all members of our Community to remain vigilant against all forms of violence, to build bridges of understanding within and beyond our Community and to speak out forcefully against intolerance and racism.  The promise of America is a shared vision of ideals, regardless of national origin, religion, race or sexual preference.  Anti-Semitism threatens our security and our way of life in America as well as that of every other affinity group. 

The words of German Lutheran Pastor Martin Niemoller after World War II still resonate today:

First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—
because I was not a socialist.
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—
because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—
and there was no one left to speak for me.
*The 2019 ADL report is not yet available.

The Community Relations Council (CRC) and Israeli Speakers Educational Endowment

The Community Relations Council (CRC) Israeli Speakers Educational Endowment of the Jewish Community Foundation of Central Pennsylvania was established in 2015 by Dr. Edward and Esther Beck and Dr. Gustav (z'l) and Rita Beck, to bring to Harrisburg and Central PA notable expert Israeli speakers representing the many different and diverse views and voices of a vital Israeli society to brief the Greater Harrisburg community on the many challenges facing Israel in this complex world. Speakers will be chosen by the CRC with the consent of the Board of  Directors of The Jewish Federation of Greater Harrisburg. 

It is hoped that enough funds could be raised to have at least two speakers per year in perpetuity and those interested in growing this important fund should contact Paulette Keifer.