JCRC hosts briefing on educational partnerships
Photo: JCRC
From left, Dr. Joe May, chancellor, Dallas County Community College District; Robert Mong, president, UNT Dallas; Dr. Michael Hinojosa, superintendent, Dallas Independent School District; Cindy Sweet Moskowitz, chair, JCRC; Melanie Rubin, immediate past chair, JCRC; and Jaynie Schultz, community leader and event moderator.

DALLAS — More than 50 Jewish and non-Jewish community leaders attended a JCRC program on Feb. 5 hosted by the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas’ (JFGD) Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC). The event, “Maintaining a Vibrant Dallas: Ensuring the Workforce of Tomorrow,” featured Dr. Joe May, chancellor of the Dallas County Community College District (DCCCD); Robert Mong, president of the University of North Texas at Dallas (UNT Dallas); and Dr. Michael Hinojosa, superintendent of the Dallas Independent School District (DISD). In a panel discussion moderated by Jaynie Schultz, the three institution leaders discussed how they are working together to ensure that Dallas area youth are prepared to become the workforce needed to maintain a strong Dallas economy and business landscape.
Cindy Moskowitz, chair of the JCRC, opened the program, acknowledging the VIPs in the room, including A.J. Rosmarin, board chair of JFGD; Mariam Shpeen Feist, president and CEO of JFGD; Texas State Representative John Turner; Rose Kimball (representing Texas State Senator Nathan Johnson’s office); and Dustin Marshall, DISD board of trustees member. Leadership from various Jewish organizations, including the National Council of Jewish Women and various local synagogues, were present at the event as well.
“The success of our local students is important for them personally and for the future of the greater Dallas community as a whole. I was honored to lead a discussion with public educational institution leaders who are working tirelessly to close the gaps between educational attainment and economic success. Their collaboration and shared vision is remarkable and to be applauded,” said Schultz.
Recent data shows that 65% of jobs in North Texas require some sort of credential, yet only 35% of our population meets those requirements.
Therefore, North Texas companies are forced to import talent from other places, and in effect, are leaving our local population behind. Research has shown that quality early learning plays a critical role in preparing children for school and enabling them to be successful as they progress through the early elementary years and even later, through high school. The leaders of these three institutions — DISD, DCCCD, and UNT Dallas — understand and support this, and are working together to meet the challenges of our gap in workforce demand and local talent pool.
“It is inspiring and hopeful to learn about the nationally recognized collaborative efforts of these great educational institutions to create pathways to social economic mobility for our underserved children in Dallas, and in effect, working to ensure that North Texas has the educated workforce it needs to maintain our successful, thriving economy. There are many opportunities for the support and involvement of members of the Jewish community,” remarked Dr. Stephanie Hirsh, who chaired the event.
One of the JCRC’s priority advocacy initiatives over the last several years has been to work with other stakeholders in Dallas to help alleviate multi-generational poverty in Dallas. Through its Education Initiative, the JCRC aims to promote quality early learning as an important solution to alleviating poverty by education and serving as a resource to the Dallas Jewish community. At past programs, the JCRC has hosted Tim Bray of the Institute for Urban Policy Research, Regen Horchow Fearon of Early Matters Dallas, Elizabeth Sobel Blum of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, and Dallas ISD Board of Trustees Members Edwin Flores and Dan Micche.
The JCRC also advocated for increased quality early learning and child care safety during their Jewish Communities Day at the State: Legislative Mission to Austin during the 86th Texas State Legislature.
“I am so impressed and moved by what I learned at today’s JCRC program. The collaboration among these three leading institutions is a lesson for all in how our establishments can work together to solve some of society’s greatest challenges,” commented Cindy Moskowitz, JCRC chair.
Jolene Risch, owner of the recruiting firm Risch Results, found the panel very informative and sees some of the initiatives presented as an opportunity to bridge the skills gap between the current work force and the skills local companies need to grow. These institutions are addressing this gap with relevant training and career readiness.
“One of the initiatives I am especially interested in is P-Tech (Pathways in Technology Early College High School). This is a “pioneering education reform initiative created by IBM to prepare young people with the academic, technical and professional skills required for 21st century Jobs and ongoing education,” said Risch.
“It is so important for our Jewish community to be engaged in important conversations affecting the greater good. It is the power of the collective in action. The Jewish Federation and JCRC continue to affirm that in order for us to thrive, our wider Dallas community must be vibrant and strong, as well,” commented Rosmarin. For more information on the work of the education institutions presented at the briefing, or the work of the JCRC, please visit www.jewishdallas.org/jcrc or contact the JCRC at jcrcdallas@jewishdallas.org.

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