a Jewish presence in the City of St. Louis
Cote Brilliante Presbyterian Church, led by Reverend Mary Newbern-Williams, is virtually all African-American and Christian, while Central Reform Congregation, led by Rabbi Susan Talve, is overwhelmingly Caucasian and Jewish. The Joint Venture is a partnership between our two congregations.
The Joint Venture, which is now incorporated as a nonprofit organization, first united for the purpose of improving both interracial and inter-religious relations. They have worked together on community projects such as Habitat for Humanity, sponsored a mixed-race dialogue program and organized education programs.
The Joint Venture plans an annual joint service and other activities in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Junior's birthday.
The Joint Venture has also sponsored a political dialogue between the candidates for Mayor; attended theatrical presentations at the St. Louis Black Repertory Theater and of Klezmer music; sponsored speakers; hosted each other's members in their homes; and attended picnics and celebrations sponsored by each Congregation.
The Joint Venture has organized a nationally recognized mentoring program in 1992, and in 1999, supported the construction of a much needed school/community park and educational garden.
The Joint Venture's secret to success has been their commitment to joint action, the willingness to honestly face what they disagree on, and to not be afraid of trying new ways to achieve their original goals of improved interracial and inter-religious relations.
Members of the Joint Venture meet monthly for dialogue and planning.
For more information, contact Philip Deitch at (314) 843-6769.
Click here for a fuller history of our Joint Venture.
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