Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Federation & JFS Prepare Community for Annual Advocacy Day

Ashley Harrington, Manager of Public Affairs and Young Adults Initiatives at Jewish Family Service San Diego contributed to this article.
In preparation for the Jewish Public Affairs Committee of California’s (JPAC) upcoming annual Advocacy Day, San Diego Jewish community professionals hosted two community-wide training sessions.

JPAC is the largest single-state coalition of Jewish organizations in the nation, comprised of local Jewish Federations, Jewish Community Relations Committees and Councils, and other Jewish community advocacy groups from throughout California. JPAC advocates on behalf of Jewish social service agencies, traditional community concerns, and broadly shared values that affect the citizens of our State. Each May, during Annual Advocacy Day, Jewish community leaders, and professionals from throughout the state gather in Sacramento to network with legislators and administration officials and lobby their representatives on public policies that are of importance to the wider Jewish community.

This April, Jewish Family Service and the Jewish Community Relations Council of the Jewish Federation of San Diego County hosted two impactful Community Advocacy Trainings. The first community training was at Congregation Beth El and the second training was at Temple Emanu-El, which was aimed towards Jewish community members residing in East County, in particular congregants of Tifereth Israel, Beth Jacob, Ohr Shalom, and Temple Emanu-El. The trainings were part of a Community Connections series – a JFS and Federation partnership focusing on community-wide education and fostering a greater connection to other communities – Jewish and non-Jewish – throughout San Diego.

For the first time, the series partnered with synagogues to offer advocacy trainings to their Social Action Committees and congregants. The trainings provided congregants, Rabbis, and administrative staff with best practices on how to advocate and inform participants about the many Jewish values and traditions that are behind advocacy work.

During the trainings Rabbi Gerson of Congregation Beth Israel and Rabbi Marcus of Temple Emanu-El discussed various Torah portions and traditions that require us to advocate on behalf of those in need. Rooted in the concept of inherent human dignity, much of the Rabbis’ impassioned support called on attendees to care for the well being of all vulnerable members of our community – locally and globally.

The trainings featured two local lobbyists—Kristen Byrne (Vice President of MJE Marketing) and Rachel Laing (Principal at Laing Strategic Communications)—who shared their decades of experience in messaging, communications, and advocacy work in San Diego. They de-mystified advocacy and boiled down lobbying to the essential elements—getting your message in front of a decision maker, sharing facts, figures, & personal stories, following up, and activating the media and community around your cause. 

Click here to view 2015 Legislative priorities. Click here to view the 2015 agenda. 

Are you looking to make a difference and put your advocacy skills to work? Join the Jewish Public Affairs Committee of California on May 11 & 12 in Sacramento for Advocacy Day.

Click here to register now.  


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