Jewish Press of Pinellas County

Guide sent to media to assist in coverage of Jewish community

The Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC), a program of the Jewish Federation of Florida’s Gulf Coast, announces the completion of a media guide for year-round planning and coverage of the Jewish communities in Pinellas, Pasco, and Hernando counties.

The guide has been printed and sent to select media throughout the area and is available to the public online at Jewish- The guide will be updated periodically and the most up-todate information will be placed online.

“The importance of having such a guide was made clear to us when the Tampa Bay Times went to a messianic rabbi last year when they needed a comment about a Jewish issue. We want to make sure that that never happens again,” said Stuart Berger, chair of JCRC. “Messianic Jews,” also known as Jews for Jesus, practice Jewish traditions while embracing Jesus as the messiah.

An ongoing project of the JCRC (Jewish Community Relations Council), this guide was created to serve as a convenient go-to document when reliable information regarding Judaism and issues pertaining to Israel is needed. Included in the guide are short descriptions of the three major Jewish denominations and some of the more well-known Jewish organizations as well as contact information for local Jewish organizations. Also included is a calendar of Jewish holidays and a short description of each. This calendar can be consulted when scheduling important events and is useful for teachers and the public schools to avoid scheduling exams during the High Holidays as well as the holidays of Sukkot, Passover and Shavuot.

The JCRC’s primary purpose is to develop and carry out a unified community relations program to broadly represent the interests of the local Jewish community as well as support and promote Israel advocacy and education. The committee members are Steve Schwersky (Florida’s Gulf Coast board president), Stuart Berger (JCRC chair), Steven Shepard, Eric Caplan, Kelly Siegel, Samuel Hutkin, Bruce Hadburg, Byron Kolitz, Eric Pastman, Hana Cowart, Howard Rothman, Jamal Stafford, Jose Irizarry, Liz Drayer, Liz Wagner, Mark Simpson, Scott Daniels and Susan Jacobson.

Meetings are generally held quarterly. If interested in joining, contact Maxine Kaufman at The JCRC is a member of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, which serves as the national representative voice of the organized American Jewish community.

For questions about the media guide, contact Kara Gold-Harris at

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