Greetings from our new Executive Director
April 1, 2020
Posted by: Tye Gregory, Executive Director
Tye Gregory here, recording from my shelter-in-place to yours.
Today is my first day as JCRC’s new Executive Director, and I am both humbled and honored to have the opportunity to continue the 75-year legacy of this beloved institution, representing our Bay Area Jewish community to advocate for our needs and those of our neighbors, building a just society and a secure Jewish future.
To put it bluntly, this is not the first week, month, nor year that I, nor any of us at JCRC, expected for a new Executive Director. But if there is one lesson from my time in the Jewish community that has prepared me for this challenge it is that relationships matter. Under the leadership of my predecessors, like Rabbi Doug Kahn and Abby Porth, JCRC has cultivated broad and deep relationships with policy makers and civic leaders on the local, state, and federal level, often without credit or fanfare, so that we may rise to the occasion during difficult moments like these.
In the early weeks of this crisis, JCRC advocated for struggling non-profits in the federal stimulus package, as many of our fee-for-service institutions have been hit particularly hard, like our JCCs. We are also working side by side with Chinese American and Asian Pacific Islander communities, who have been the target of despicable attacks, both online and in the public arena. And we’ve worked in interfaith and multiethnic coalitions to address the needs of our most vulnerable Bay Area populations, like people of color, LGBTQ folks, immigrants, the elderly, and the homeless, all of whom too often lack a voice in our politics.
We know this crisis will worsen before it gets better, and our team is working overtime, diligently assessing the needs of our Jewish community, of our frontline health care workers, and of our most needing neighbors.
Yet we know things will get better, and when that day comes, JCRC will be prepared for the new challenges that COVID presents us, like the sustained economic impact on small businesses and marginalized communities; and when familiar ones return, like rising anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism, the degradation of our democratic norms, and so much more.
For now, I want to thank the thousands of Bay Area community members who respond to our action alerts, show up to our civic engagement events, and of course to all of those who financially support JCRC’s critical work each year.
My parents, grandparents, and extended family all made the Bay Area their home. What I gained from them over the years, along with my time living and working in this community, is that I know we will prove resilient in the face of this unprecedented test.
I look forward to getting to know you and the community in the months ahead, and to a time where we can meet in person face to face very soon.
Thank you and please stay safe.