Mission StatementThe Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) is an independent body working on behalf of the York Pennsylvania Jewish community, on critical issues affecting Jews as individuals and as a community. As the public affairs voice of the York Jewish community, the JCRC combats anti-Semitism and prejudice, advocates for world Jewry, promotes social justice and acceptance, and builds bridges across the Jewish and broader communities.
August 17, 2017
To Whom It May Concern,
Saturday August 12th was what the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) described as a dark and tragic day for our nation, as many here in York
and around the world watched the events unfold when hundreds of white supremacists gathered in Charlottesville for a "Unite the Right"
rally. The Nazis, the KKK, and white supremacists used the dismantling of the Robert E. Lee statue as an excuse to publicly, in the blinding
light of day, spew their hatred for all who are not white. Chanting, "Jews will not replace us", “the Goyim know”, "Jews are Satan's
children" and “the Jewish media is going down”. The phrase "you will not replace us" has been reported by the Anti-Defamation League
to "reflect the white supremacist world view that... the white race is doomed to extinction by an alleged 'rising tide of color' purportedly
controlled and manipulated by Jews".
As a way to show solidarity with Charlottesville, members of the York Jewish community came together with the larger York community
to attend a Stand With Charlottesville rally hosted by Reverend Christopher Rodkey of Dallastown and community activist Marta Peck
in downtown York. Not only does the York Jewish Community Relations Council condemn acts of violence, but we condemn acts of hate
speech infecting our country. The Jewish people know all too well what can occur when the rancor of Nazis and white supremacists,
as well as those who support them, is left unchecked. But we are far from the only community targeted by visceral hate. We stand
fiercely against all forms of hate directed toward anyone based on their religion, race, sexual orientation, gender or gender identity.
We grieve with the Charlottesville community, and stand with our interfaith and diversity partners to let Southern Pennsylvania know
that hate is not tolerated here or elsewhere in our nation.
Free resources that are available to our community in the form of diversity education and Holocaust education are based out of the
York JCC please visit their website for more information on how you and your organization, church, or school can take advantage of them.
Nada Seidon, Chair
On Monday, February 27th, the YorkJCC experienced a deplorable and inexcusable act of hatred when a bomb threat was called
into the center. Recently, over 100 JCCs across the U.S. have been the target of these threatening disruptions. These threats
affect our most vulnerable: toddlers in their childcare and preschool classrooms, seniors engaged in enrichment classes,
as well as members using the exercise facility and swimming pool, all of whom had to be evacuated.
Whatever the caller’s intent, the seeds of fear and hate they spread did not take root. What did happen was a beautiful
outpouring of support in voice and deeds. During the evacuation, a local school, in the full swing of a school day, opened its
doors and offered refuge and food for the evacuees. In addition, just two days after the event, Pastor Laura Haupt of Luther
Memorial Church, in concert with Rabbi Jeffrey Astrachan and three additional pastors representing their congregations,
held an interfaith solidarity service. Over 200 people of all faiths participated, including our Congressman, Rep. Scott Perry,
PA State Rep. Kristin Phillips-Hill and Pastor Katie Brantner, who, on behalf of Governor Tom Wolf, read statements of
condemnation as they offered support for the JCC.
Indeed, the Jewish community in York, PA is blessed to have such caring neighbors who see not the differences between us,
but the humanity in all of us. We are deeply grateful for the generous acts of affection and compassion. We are beyond humbled
that so many people reached out to offer their support. We all have an obligation to one another to be of service. It is moments
like this that the world is in most need of repair, and the York community did its part.
This community brought blessings to the people who needed them. All a blessing takes is a little time, and a kind heart.
Thank you, York Community, for being a blessing.
Nada Seidon, Chair
On Oct. 9, 2016, our central Pennsylvania community had the pleasure of hosting Ambassador Dennis Ross,
an American diplomat and Middle East scholar. Ross had served four presidential administrations as a foreign policy
adviser in the State Department for over 30 years. This lecture was held at the York College of Pennsylvania as a
pioneering educational collaborative between colleges in the region, and the Jewish Community Relations Councils
of York and Harrisburg.
The invitation of Ambassador Ross was prompted by a series of billboards between York and Harrisburg as part of
the BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) Movement to delegitimize Israel’s right to exist. Through thoughtful
discussions and meetings between the two communities it was decided that the best approach to combat the one
sided BDS attack, was to educate not only the Jewish communities but also non-Jews as well on the historic
70-year relationship between Israel and the US, it’s strategic importance to the US as the only democratic
government in the Mid-East and Israel as one of our trading partners.
The JCRC of York thanks the many people that gave of their time, talent and money to this successful venture.
We are hopeful moving forward that our two communities will mark this event as the first in an annual educational
Click here for a pdf article that was published in the York Daily Record October 17, 2016 about
Ambassador Ross’s speech written by Allison Siegelman, Chair of the Dennis Ross event and
member of AIPAC. (pictured below with Dennis Ross)
The York JCRC denounces the increasingly intolerant and inflammatory anti-Muslimrhetoric that is currently pulsing through
American society. Respect for the diversity of religions is at the very core of our national identity, is vital for our democracy to
thrive, and is among our most cherished values as Americans and as Jews.
Our country, and indeed the entire world, is facing a very real threat from radical Islamist terrorism. However, the JCRC finds
repugnant any proposal thatsingles out certain human beings for disparate treatment solely on the basis of their religion.
Islamophobia, along with anti-Semitism and other forms ofbigotry, is an affront to the core American values of inclusivity,
pluralism, and religious freedom. Yet, we now read daily of hatred and threatsdirected at mosques and individual Muslims
across the country. The Jewish community knows all too well what can happen when a particular religious orethnic group is
singled out. Today we are witnessing a resurgence of anaggressive nationalist racism that, if allowed to flourish unchecked,
could set us back years.
As the New Year approaches, the JCRC urges the community to reflect on such issues and to make a New Year’s resolution
to be open-minded, informed, and welcoming to those who may seem different.
Nada Seidon, York JCRC Chair
CALL TO EDUCATE! August 17, 2015
The Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) of York Pennsylvania recognizes the strenuous diplomatic
efforts by the United States and its fellow members of the P5+1 to address the challenge of a
nuclear-armed Iran. We support the diplomatic process to find a peaceful resolution to prevent Iran from
obtaining a nuclear weapon. With so much at stake and so much controversy surrounding this issue it is
crucial that we all educate ourselves with the facts. Knowledge is power.
This deal, whether ratified or rejected by Congress will likely change the geopolitical landscape around the
world – as well as here at home.
Due to the complexity of the deal and its lasting implications the JCRC committee comprised of
professional and lay leadership representing the York Jewish Community Center, Jewish Family Services of York,
Congregation Ohev Sholom and Temple Beth Israel is posting this- Call to Educate!
In an effort to give easy access to the facts the JCRC has posted links on the web sites of the four
organizations listed above to assist the public to educate themselves on this vital security issue.
By visiting these sites you will find links to a wide spectrum of views and resources relating to this issue.
In addition you will find the contact information for your Senators and Congressman in Washington.
Silence is not an option.
We strongly urge you to learn more about this critical issue of our time, and then take the appropriate
As Americans we all have the right to be heard; it is our responsibility to exercise that right!
These resources represent neutral, opposition, and supportive viewpoints. (Listed
- ABC News: A Brief History of US-Iran Relations
- AIPAC’s Position on the Iran Nuclear Deal
- CBSN News: Former Israeli PM worried about the Iran Nuclear
- Hudson Institute: Can the P5+1’s Vienna Deal Prevent an
Iranian Nuclear Breakout; Keynote Speaker: Senator Tom Cotton
- JFNA: Leading experts have
shared their insights and perspectives on the Iran nuclear deal in live
webcasts. You can watch full versions and highlights here. Experts include:
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, US Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz,
and Dr. Robert Satloff.
- JSTREET’s Position of the Iran Nuclear Deal
- President Obama speaking on Iran at American University
- Reform Jewish Movement
Response to Iran Deal: Address Important Concerns, Focus on the Day After
- Senate Hearing on Iran Nuclear Deal
- Senator Toomey: Iran Speech
- Three Hundred and Sixty-three Rabbis Urge Congress to
Support Nuclear Deal with Iran
U.S. Congress: Full Text of Agreement
White House Fact Sheets
Take action &
exercise your right to be heard
officials want to hear from you!
Below is the contact information for Senator Casey, Senator
Toomey, and Congressman Perry if your elected official is not one of these
individuals please use the following website to find their
contact information http://www.house.gov/representatives/find
Bob Casey: 393 Russell Senate Office
Building, Washington, DC 20510 Ph: 202-224-6324 Fx: (202)
- Senator Patrick Toomey: 248 Russell Senate Office Bldg., Washington, DC 20510
Ph: 202-224-4254 Fx: (202) 228-0284
Scott Perry: 1207 Longworth House Office Bldg., Washington, DC 20515
Ph: 202-225-5836 Fx: (202) 226-1000