FBI Minneapolis
Associate Division Counsel Jeffrey K. Van Nest
(763) 569-8541
January 11, 2018

FBI Honors the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas with Director’s Community Leadership Award

Special Agent in Charge Richard T. Thornton of the Minneapolis Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is pleased to announce that the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas (JCRC) has been named as the local recipient of the FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award for 2017.

The Director’s Community Leadership Award (DCLA) was established in 1990 by the FBI to publicly recognize the achievements of individuals and organizations that have gone above and beyond the call to service by making extraordinary contributions to their communities in the areas of civil rights, terrorism, cyber, drug, gang, or violence prevention and education.

As the public affairs voice of the Jewish community, the JCRC fights anti-Semitism and prejudice, advocates for Israel, provides Holocaust education, promotes tolerance and social justice, and builds bridges across the Jewish and broader communities. JCRC consistently demonstrates leadership within the territory of the Minneapolis Division and has been an essential partner for more than 15 years. In the first three months of 2017, the nation saw an increase in telephone threats made to Jewish community centers and synagogues. This included threats made to two Twin Cities area Jewish Community Centers. In the wake of these threats, JCRC demonstrated essential community leadership by organizing community forums to partner with law enforcement, provide education, and to address community concerns.

Our partners in the community, such as JCRC, are essential for helping us to investigate crimes and keep United States Citizens safe. JCRC has demonstrated outstanding contributions in 2017 toward prevention of hate crimes, leadership in support of educational programs, and advancement of cooperation between law enforcement and ethnic and minority groups. The Minneapolis Division of the FBI proudly presents the JCRC with this award.

SAC Thornton will honor the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas at an award ceremony Wednesday, January 17, 2018, at Beth El Synagogue in Saint Louis Park. Media interested in attending should contact CDC Jeffrey Van Nest.

FBI Director Christopher A. Wray will formally recognize the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas during the Director’s Community Leadership Award ceremony at FBI Headquarters in Washington, D.C., on April 20, 2018.

Last year’s DCLA award recipients were the Sanford Health Dakota Children’s Advocacy Center. Other recipients have included the Executive Director, South Dakota Network Against Family Violence and Sexual Assault, Pillsbury United Communities, Former U.S. Senator Rod Grams, and the Somali-American Ka Joog Organization.