March 27, 2020


During this COVID-19 public health crisis, JCPA is working to ensure the safety and health of the Jewish community, support the Jewish Community Relations Councils (JCRCs) on the frontlines of engagement with legislators, increase our educational webinar platform, and intensify advocacy with our diverse issue-based coalition partners. Our aim is to ensure that the community relations work is strong during this pandemic. Our priority advocacy areas are focused on helping those vulnerable populations at higher risk of infection, including individuals in prison, immigrants and children in detention, in long-term care facilities, and those who are homeless, while we support the efforts of the Jewish community that is also severely impacted by this pandemic.



JCPA Shares Faith Priorities for the Third Stimulus Bill — JCPA cosponsored a webinar on faith priorities in COVID-19 and sent letters to House and Senate leaders, as well as an action alert that generated thousands of messages to Members of Congress to share faith principles for the COVID-19 crisis response, created by the interfaith Domestic Human Needs Working Group, in which JCPA is an active member. 

JCPA Advocacy Priorities in the Federal COVID-19 Stimulus Bills — In coordination with our interfaith and secular coalitions, JCPA is advocating with Congress safeguard voting rights and protections for those who are vulnerable during this public health crisis. Highlights of our advocacy requests for the third stimulus package include:

  • Poverty, Nutrition, and Health: Significantly increase funding and flexibility for food, housing, and other federal assistance programs, and expand and modernize Unemployment Insurance and paid sick and family leave.
  • Voting Rights: $2 billion for states to expand access to voting through Vote by Mail and early voting, online and same-day registration, and other voting and elections protections like a prohibition on polling location adjustments that disenfranchise voters.
  • Immigration: Allow immigrants and others with Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITIN) to access Medicaid and economic relief, and release as many immigrants as possible from detention. 
  • Criminal Justice: Ensure those in federal prisons have basic necessities and release as many people from incarceration as possible through existing mechanisms, particularly elderly and medically-vulnerable people. For those who will be or already been released, lift bans on access to social services and housing.
  • Domestic Violence: Fund programs focused on the urgent needs of domestic violence and sexual assault survivors and programs that serve them as violence surges during lockdowns.
  • Jewish Agencies and Nonprofits: Support the Jewish Federations of North America and Network of Jewish Human Service Agencies in advocating for nonprofits and social safety net programs. 

Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) Nonprofit Action Alert — JCPA is a member of the JFNA Committee on the Coronavirus, which is leading advocacy for emergency services, social safety net programs, non-profit, charitable deductions, support to caregivers, and support to the Federation system. JFNA mobilized the Jewish community to support the nonprofit sector in the stimulus bills. 

Solidarity with Asian American Communities Around COVID-19 — JCPA is speaking out against hate and bigotry against Asian American and Pacific Islander communities in America. JCPA wrote a solidarity letter in both English and Mandarin, signed by 87 national organizations and JCRCs across the country, which received significant national and media attention by Jewish and Chinese press. More than 50 Jewish and Asian American groups signed a second JCPA letter urging the President not to use the term “Chinese Virus,” which inflames stereotyping and physical violence against Asian Americans. When the President ceased using the term, JCPA and Asian groups pivoted to a new letter expressing appreciation for the change

David Bernstein, JCPA CEO, presents Chinese Ambassador to the U.S. Cui Tiankai with the solidarity letter in support of Chinese people in the U.S. and abroad.



Upcoming! Tune In for JCPA’s Webinar Series on "Advocacy in the Age of COVID-19" — JCPA is launching a webinar series at the end of March on important issues that need attention during this pandemic period. The webinars will focus on criminal justice reform, immigration, voting rights, Israel, and human needs related to COVID-19.

Jewish Values Series During a Pandemic

Yossi Klein Halevi

Coronavirus and Israeli Democracy: Crisis and Opportunity

Oren Segal and Aryeh Tuchman
ADL Center on Extremism

Antisemitism and Hate on the Internet During a Pandemic

How have extremist groups exploited the current moment to advance their hatred and antisemitism? What’s being said and where is it being said? What can Jewish organizations and others do to combat such bigotry?

Asaf Bitton, M.D.
Global Health, Harvard Medical School

The Jewish Community and the Pandemic

What is the current state of the coronavirus pandemic? How will it likely impact local communities? What are some of the policy approaches being tried around the world and what seems to be working?

Rabbi David Wolpe
Max Webb Senior Rabbi, Sinai Temple, CA


Jewish Values During A Pandemic

What do Jewish values instruct during a pandemic and amid the spread of the coronavirus? How should individual Jews act? How should we act collectively? What can Jews do to ensure other vulnerable groups feel safe?


JCPA convened 300 Jewish professionals and civic lay leaders from February 8-11 in Washington, D.C., for the JCPA2020 National Conference. Participants tackled today’s most challenging issues in a series of powerful plenaries and workshops, and left with the skills, training, and networks they need to be successful in their community relations work all across the country.

During the period of social distancing make time to watch the substantive conference workshops and plenaries. Click here to read the full recap of JCPA's powerful plenaries and workshops.

Programs and topics included:

  • Development of a strategic roadmap to leverage the power of the community relations field to combat antisemitism and hate.
  • Criminal justice reform track.
  • Israel sessions on politicization, understanding current events, and countering delegitimization on campus.
  • Workshops on JCPA’s public policy priorities, including immigration, gun violence prevention, civil rights, and religious liberty.
  • Adoption of six new policy resolutions by the Delegates Assembly.


Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA), a network of 125 local Jewish community relations councils and 17 national Jewish agencies, advocates for a just and pluralistic America, Israel's quest for peace and security, and global human rights.

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