As part of its 75th anniversary gala, the Jewish Council for Public Affairs recognized its past chairs, including Atlanta’s Lois Frank and Larry Gold. The gala was held on Feb. 10 in Washington, D.C., as part of the JCPA 2019 national conference last week.
“Lois and Larry are wonderful leaders in the community relations field,” said Harold Kirtz, president of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Atlanta, one of the organizations JCPA supports.
“They have made Atlanta proud because of the work they have done, and continue to do, to make Atlanta and the wider community much better places in which to live. Both of them make social justice as centerpieces of their lives,” Kirtz said.
Lois Frank started her involvement with the JCPA in Atlanta as an active member of the American Jewish Committee, and then, as a representative chosen to attend the JCPA national conference for the first time. “I really got a taste for what community relations was about,” she said. “I immediately became more involved.”
Frank served as JCPA chair from 2006 to 2008 and has since continued her work within the organization and the community. She is a former chair of the Community Relations Committee of the Atlanta Jewish Federation and president of Federation’s Women’s Philanthropy.
She served on the Georgia Juvenile Justice Commission board and the Southern Regional Council, a civil rights organization for 14 Southern states. A national vice president of the AJC, Frank was honored by the National Conference for Community and Justice, among other organizations.
Larry Gold was also among the past chairs, serving more recently, from 2012 to 2014, and was very active during that time with poverty work in the community. With Gold’s support, JCPA lobbied for protection of food stamp programs and participated in holding Hunger Seders at the nation’s capital. He also visited Jewish Community Relations Councils around the country.
Today Larry remains involved with the JCPA as chair of the nominating committee, the search committee, and the committee that revised and updated JCPA’s bylaws as part of its new governance project.
One of JCPA’s domestic issues that resonates with Frank is criminal justice. “It’s been a major thrust because we know Atlanta is a place where we interact with all kinds of socio-economic groups and the issues of poverty and homelessness, among others, that concern them,” she said.
“Criminal justice is a great point of intersection. We’ve seen civility as a major issue within community relations, and now more than ever, we need to be working on behalf of the community across ethnic, economic and racial lines to achieve economic goals. I believe deeply in the mission of Jewish community relations, especially locally, and I’m as passionate now as I was 25 years ago when I began.”
JCPA is made up of 125 community relations councils and 17 national Jewish agencies. Its mission is to inspire and support its public policy platform and advance the interests of Jews. Since its founding, the organization has fostered engagement in issues such as eliminating racial quotas in immigration; countering the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement; and a variety of criminal justice reform and civil rights related problems.