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Community Relations


The Jewish Community Relations Council, inspired by Jewish values, seeks to sustain a more civil and caring community in Western New York and around the world.


Representing the Buffalo Jewish community, we will:

  • Build meaningful and collaborative relationships with other faith, ethnic, and cultural communities toward the goal of building a more civil society.
  • Be visible and vocal in the greater community during times of crisis and on vital social issues.
  • Be actively involved in key issues impacting the Jewish community
  • Educate and advocate on all those issues, seeking consensus based on core Jewish values.



Respecting all viewpoints and with concern for social justice, we will build our collective voice based on the following core Jewish values:

Darchei Shalom
Paths of peace. Keeping peace through ongoing inter-group relations, promoting mutual respect, and fostering understanding within our community.
Tikkun Olam
Repair the world. Making the world a better place for all people.
Lo Ta’amod Al Dam Rey’echa
Do not stand idly by. Making our voice heard on issues of vital importance to the Jewish community and the communities in which Jews live.
Ger Hayiti B’Eretz Nachriyah
I was a stranger in a strange land. Caring for the immigrant and the stranger, welcoming those who seek refuge in our community.

Connections Newsletter

Linking you to the work of creating a more civil and caring community in WNY

Shabbat of Kindness

In solidarity with our Jewish community family in Poway

We held a Shabbat of Kindness May 3-4, 2019.  Many local clergy and community members provided resources and tools to assist you in creating a meaningful Shabbat experience.

We honored the words of Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein of the Chabad of Poway

“We need to show them that terrorism and evil will never prevail,” he said.  “Let’s fill up the synagogue; let’s stand tall; let’s dance together.”

Please enjoy this Shabbat of Kindness Resource Kit.  In it, you will find information on:

  • attending Shabbat services and a Shabbat dinner
  • special prayers, counting the Omer apps, and songs
  • articles of resilience and memory
  • ideas for acts of kindness and conversation starters to make friends
  • social activism
  • tips for speaking to children about incidents of hate

Please share your creative Chesed (kindness) ideas on Facebook or email Mara.

Official Statement from the Buffalo Jewish Community Relations Council re: terror attack in New Zealand


March 15, 2019

The Buffalo Jewish community is shocked and saddened by the terror attacks in Christchurch, New Zealand today. At least 49 people were murdered and more were injured while attending Friday prayers in two different mosques because they were Muslim. Our hearts go out to the families of the victims, those who are injured, and all Muslim communities around the world.

We strongly condemn this attack, which is a barbaric assault on every person who believes in the dignity of human life. Whether because of religion, skin color, ethnicity, etc. we are all human beings.

We stand with our Muslim brothers and sisters – in New Zealand, in Buffalo, and world-wide – in the face of extremist hatred, Islamophobia, and violence. We have reached out to our friends in the local community here in Buffalo to express our support in this time of grief. We know the pain of being attacked in a place of worship and must work to make sure places of prayer are safe. We pledge to continue our efforts as we work to call out and ultimately end intolerance and hate.

Nina Lukin & Ted Steinberg
Buffalo JCRC Co-Chairs

Mara Koven-Gelman
Director, Buffalo JCRC

Click here to download this statement as a PDF.


Stronger Than Hate – Buffalo Stands with Pittsburgh

We grieve and stand in solidarity with the victims and their families.

The shooting on Shabbat morning (October 27, 2018) at Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, PA was a direct attack on the Jewish community, motivated by hatred.  The anti-Semitism and xenophobia that fueled these violent acts have no place in our society.


Click here to download a copy of the Buffalo Jewish Community Relations Council OFFICIAL STATEMENT regarding the Pittsburgh Massacre.

Numerous people in the community, both Jewish and non-Jewish attended Shabbat services November 2 – 3, 2018 to show their solidarity.  Every synagogue opened their doors to people of all faiths, backgrounds and affiliations. Click here for a listing of synagogues throughout Jewish Buffalo if you wish to join in a future Shabbat service.

On Saturday, November 3, 2018, the community gathered for Let There Be Light at The Tabernacle, which honored the lives of those lost in the Pittsburgh Synagogue tragedy by recommitting to peace and acceptance for all.

Need help talking to your children about anti-Semitism?  Click here for an article from PJ Library.

Here are opportunities for you to provide DONATIONS honoring those who died in the attack:

To see local media coverage on the event, click here for a listing of links to articles, videos and interviews.

Event Photos

Event Videos

Upcoming Events

Sep 09

JCRC Committee Meeting

6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Oct 10

Valentino Dixon Exhibition

5:30 pm - 7:30 pm
Nov 04

JCRC Committee Meeting

6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Contact Community Relations

Buffalo Jewish Service Corps

Federation, in partnership with the American Red Cross, supports the Buffalo Jewish Services Corps (BJSC), a Jewish response team that is at the ready to respond to local emergencies as an adjunct for Red Cross and other organizations. BJSC members have received basic Red Cross training such as Sheltering and Psychological First Aid. The Corps is always looking for new team members. Please contact Federation’s office to learn more about how you can be a part of BJSC.