Stanley Stone, executive vice president of the Central federation, said that with a will to make it work, the new joint community relations council “will be successful.”
May 14, 2009
The Jewish Federation of Central New Jersey will be joining a newly formed regional Jewish community relations council that includes United Jewish Communities of MetroWest NJ and UJA Federation of Northern New Jersey.
The joint “CRC,” announced last week, is intended to trim costs and combine forces among the Jewish federations.
The Central federation covers Union County; the Northern federation covers Bergen, Passaic, and northern Hudson counties.
The regionalized CRC will be led by Joy Kurland, director of the Northern NJ Jewish Community Relations Council. She will be assisted by Melanie Roth Gorelick, associate at the MetroWest Community Relations Committee, which covered Morris, Essex, and Sussex counties.
CRCs advocate for Israel, Jewish issues, and interfaith affairs among lawmakers, civic leaders, and faith-based groups.
As a budget trimming measure, the Central federation eliminated the post of the director of its own JCRC in February, at that time held by Felice Maranz.
Stanley Stone, executive vice president of the Central federation, said that “theoretical discussions” about consolidating the CRCs began three years ago but came to no conclusion. “In the light of the current economic situation, we brought it back to the table,” he said.
He said that he regretted the loss of UJC MetroWest’s CRC director, Lori Price Abrams, whose position was eliminated along with 12 other MetroWest staffers last week, but was delighted to have Kurland at the helm of the new body.
“We still have to clarify the details of governance and exactly what staffing will be dedicated to our particular community,” he said. “Our leadership has agreed that given the critical importance of the JCRC’s work, funding will be provided for staffing, though obviously not at the previous level.
“This is a process that will have to move forward by trial and error, but if there’s a will to make it work, it’ll be successful.”