Our History

JCRC/AJC was founded in 1937 as the Jewish Community Council of Metropolitan Detroit (Council) by a group of prominent Jewish leaders. At that time, the city’s Jewish community was home to numerous organizations that reflected diverse religious and political viewpoints. However, until Council was founded, there was no entity that dealt with controversial Jewish issues of local, national and international concern.

Initially the voice of many local nonprofits, the organization played a protective role on behalf of the community, fighting anti-Semitism locally and the Nazi threat in Europe. Following World War II and well into the 1960s, the Council argued against discrimination in hiring, education and housing, as well as other civil rights issues. A strong voice of support for Israel since it declared its independence, the Council put a greater emphasis on seeking allies among government, religious and civic representatives, beginning in the late 1960s, as growing concern about the plight of Jews around the world heightened.

In 2006, the Council was renamed the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) in order to better convey the organization’s mission. Ten years later, it merged with the American Jewish Committee (AJC), becoming the JCRC/AJC, in order to boost JCRC’s efforts and resources in support of Israel, interfaith affairs and outreach to elected officials.

Today, the JCRC/AJC is committed to advocating on behalf of Israel, as well as to the organization’s domestic public policy agenda, shaping public opinion through media relations activities, community revitalization projects, outreach to Detroit’s ethnic and religious groups and helping to build bridges with the community’s agencies, institutions and others