Justice, Advocacy and Israel

At the core of Community Relations (CR) work at the Rochester Federation are commitments to tzedek, pursuing justice, and tikkun olam, repairing the world.  We are working to build a Jewish community committed to learning, caring and social justice in our city, our country and in Israel. 


We work in cooperation with Jewish community partners and those in other ethnic and religious communities on key areas of concern, as well as with the Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA), the representative voice of the organized American Jewish community.


Scroll below to see examples of our work and let us know if you would like to become involved.


For more information, please contact Carrie Howe.


Social Justice


  • We engage 150-200 volunteers annually through the Rochester Jewish Coalition for Literacy, helping students in 14 Rochester city schools learn to read at grade level. To get involved, contact chowe@jewishrochester.org.
  • We have been instrumental in assuring a safe place for abused Jewish women through the establishment of the 24-hour Sara Line.
  • We engage in education and advocacy on issues affecting the Jewish community  in Rochester and beyond, including security, health care, support for seniors,  poverty and hunger. We help collect food for Jewish Family Service's Brighton Food Cupboard through the "Stock-a-Shelf" program.
  • Our noon-time Interfaith Bible Study is now in its 21st successful year. Check out "Major Lessons from Minor Prophets"
  • The Commission on Jewish Muslim Understanding of the Jewish Federation and the Islamic Center of Rochester sponsors a discussion series, free and open to the community. 


We respond to needs in Israel as they arise and implement programs designed to engage synagogues, organizations and individual members of the Rochester Jewish Community.


We offer regular opportunities to get updates on Israel affairs from world class experts on Israel's political scene, including an annual speaker series.


  • We initiate major community rallies in support of Israel.


  • We celebrate Yom Ha'Atzmaut, Israel Independence Day, and other significant occasions during the year.


For information, contact Community Relations Director Karen Elam, kelam@jewishrochester.org.


Whether we are speaking out for health care concerns, working on behalf of peace with security for Israel or lobbying for hate crime legislation, we have helped to forge coalitions between grassroots activists and elected officials to influence public policy. 

  • Each year, we sponsor a legislative gathering for state and local elected officials to address issues of concern to the Jewish community and the community at large.


  • We bring together public school superintendents to address issues that arise in relation to Jewish students.