Building Community Relationships through Common Ground

One of the Jewish Federation of Cleveland Community Relations Committee’s (CRC) main missions is to work with people of all faiths and ethnicities to build a more just and civil society through advocacy, volunteering, and community building initiatives. On June 24, CRC was proud to host one of the many events taking place that day across the city as part of the Cleveland Foundation’s 2nd Annual Common Ground initiative. “This event is very core to the mission of the Federation and CRC, which is to engage, outreach, and build relationships with the community as a whole,” said Bradley J. Schlang, CRC Chair.

“We’re addressing issues every day and looking for ways we can make a true impact on the entire community through our differences,” said Juan Molina Crespo, Executive Director of Hispanic Alliance, Inc. “Our goal is to make the Cleveland metropolitan area a better place for all of us who live here.”

Throughout the discussion, everyone was able to enjoy a variety of foods representing the eclectic flavors of the Israeli, Latino, and African American cultures. That was matched by the different communities coming together in conversation. “Diversity and finding commonality is rare,” said Cecil Lipscomb, Executive Director of the United Black Fund of Greater Cleveland. “We are purposely looking for ways we can find connections, and it means a lot to our organization to bridge to the Jewish community, the Latino community, and others.”

The Common Ground dinner was also a reunion of the leaders from the Federation, Esperanza Inc., United Black Fund, Hispanic Alliance, Cleveland Foundation, and the Cleveland Public Library who traveled on the Federation’s Thomas and Joann Adler Civic Leaders Israel Mission in July 2017, and who came together to collaboratively plan this event.

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“Our goal is to make the Cleveland metropolitan community a better place for all of us who live here.