A message from the Board Chair

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A LETTER FROM JEWISH COMMUNITY ACTION'S BOARD CHAIR

On behalf of Jewish Community Action, I’m writing to let you know that our awesome Executive Director Carin Mrotz will be leaving in 2022 - and that she’s leaving JCA in a fantastic position for our next era of great leadership.

In more than 17 years at JCA, including more than four years as executive director, Carin has grown JCA into a social justice force in communities and at the Capitol. Since becoming executive director in 2017, she’s built a tremendous staff, grown our grassroots membership to the largest we’ve had, and increased and diversified our budget. She’s led new campaigns for tenants’ rights, immigration and criminal justice reform, and groundbreaking new efforts to combat antisemitism and white nationalism. Under her leadership, JCA has had big wins, including helping end police evictions and boost suburban tenants’ rights, ending the Hennepin County sheriff’s ICE collaboration, and ensuring Hennepin County’s new better-funded hate crime response.

It’s typical of Carin’s stewardship that she’s given us a months-long runway to search nationally for her successor. She’ll be with us through at least next Passover, and consult during the actual switchover. What can we say: she’s a mensch!

As Carin wrote in her own statement, “The organization is as strong and vital as we’ve ever been, and I’m so proud to have been part of this, to have stewarded JCA to this point. And as I reflect on my tenure at Jewish Community Action, I’m called to find out what’s next for me and to help the organization I love so dearly do the same.”

And what about JCA? The short version is, we’re going to keep executing our current efforts, which include advocating for affordable housing and tenants’ rights, pushing for transformative reforms to the criminal justice system and expanding immigrant rights, working to build a clear and shared analysis of the role antisemitism plays in white supremacy, and providing the training and leadership development to make our community a powerful voice for justice. Since 1995, we’ve brought together Jews and allies to directly address root causes of poverty, racism and injustice. We are grounded in local coalitions - working alongside interfaith, BIPOC and immigrant groups and driven by our Jewish values to make social change. We know this work will endure and only continue to grow.

Our board is creating a search committee to find the right person to direct JCA’s future course. Look for updates from us as we move forward.

David Brauer

Board chair, Jewish Community Action

chair@jewishcommunityaction.org



A MESSAGE FROM CARIN

After more than 17 years on staff and 4 and a half as Executive Director, I’m excited to share that my next role at Jewish Community Action will be working with our board to transition to new leadership - finding and welcoming our next Executive Director.

When I joined the staff of JCA in the spring of 2004, it was supposed to be my “day job in social justice” while I went to graduate school in the evening. I was to manage operations and planned never to do any organizing, but within a year I was staffing a brand new initiative to organize and mobilize Jews outside of congregations. My responsibilities continued to grow; If I’d planned to be a short-timer, I failed spectacularly and kept doing so. Every time I paused to consider an exit, our work drew me in even closer. I finished my master’s degree, I had a child, then another, and at each inflection point in my own life, JCA’s work rose up to meet my curiosity and desire for justice.

In the past four and a half years, we’ve grown so much. We’ve recruited and built a vibrant board of directors. Our campaigns have become focused and unstoppable. Our staff is talented and dedicated, our members are engaged and building power together. The organization is as strong and vital as we’ve ever been, and I’m so proud to have been part of this, to have stewarded JCA to this point. And as I reflect on my tenure at Jewish Community Action, I’m called to find out what’s next for me and to help the organization I love so dearly do the same.

That I am in my 18th year on staff holds deep meaning for me - in Jewish numerology, 18 stands for life, and so it feels fitting that I’ll complete this year focused on bringing new life, fresh ideas, and sustaining leadership to JCA.

JCA has given me so much. Our work, our crucial organizing for racial and economic justice, gave me the path to my place in the Jewish community. It led me to the rabbis who have guided me in seeking justice and welcomed my children to Jewish life. It pulled me close to the JCA members who have challenged me and held me and who have become my family. It brought me a network of peers and partners in organizing who have become my closest friends. I’m so proud and so honored to have been a part of this organization and I’m so energized to watch it grow past me.

As for the inevitable question of what’s next for me - I’m excited to find out.

Thank you for everything,

Carin

carin@jewishcommunityaction.org

FAQs

Why is Carin leaving?


After almost 18 years, she’s ready for a change. Carin has built a powerful organization and should feel proud as she passes the baton.

She’s got another gig?

Not yet. We’re excited to see where she goes, and she'll remain a JCA member. We hope she’ll take a little time off somewhere in there; she works ferociously and could probably use a breather.

But you’re sad, right?

Definitely, but it’s a happy sad. Mostly sad, though.

Who’s on this search committee?

David Brauer, our board chair, will chair it. There will be board and community members on it.

Any other leadership changes?

Nope. Carin’s long-time number two, Dave Snyder, is staying right here. The board will remain the same - though if you’re interested in joining our board or one of our committees, email transition@jewishcommunityaction.org.

Do you anticipate major changes under a new director?

JCA’s underlying progressive, community organizing and social justice philosophy won’t change. But it would be silly to do a national search without letting the new executive director paint their own vision for how we get there. Ultimately, the JCA board will decide what person and plan is most compelling. So right now, we don’t know.

What if I want to apply for the gig?

We’ll have a job description ready to share by November. We’ll be posting it far and wide, but if you want to make sure you’re on the list, let us know at transition@jewishcommunityaction.org.

 

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