JEWISHcolorado’s Jewish Community Relations Council to honor Jacki Cooper Melmed at annual leadership luncheon; President and CEO of Jewish Federations of North America Eric Fingerhut to speak

Feb 20, 2024 | Article, JCRC, Press Release

(DENVER) — JEWISHcolorado’s Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC), will host its annual leadership luncheon on Wednesday, March 13, 2024, at the Denver Art Museum from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. Jacki Cooper Melmed, Chief Legal Officer for UCHealth and former chair of the JCRC, will be honored with the Community Leadership Award. The event will also feature remarks from Eric Fingerhut, President and CEO of Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA).

As the central community and governmental relations agency of the organized Jewish community in Colorado, the JCRC is both a voice for the Colorado Jews at the State Capitol and a partner in building relationships with and among stakeholder communities. The council focuses on ensuring Jewish safety, inclusion, and belonging through strengthening our communal infrastructure, public official advocacy, providing public education, and fighting antisemitism and anti-Israel activity. The Council consists of 40 member organizations and 15 at-large members.

Since October 7, the JCRC has responded to tragedy and hate by planning, convening, and mobilizing communities across the state. Among the JCRC’s most recent efforts was securing an additional $1 million for Colorado’s Nonprofit Security Grant Program (NSGP) helping an additional seven Jewish organizations receive funding, supporting the visit of Israeli Hostage families to the Colorado Capitol to help educate lawmakers on the war, preventing the adoption of a ceasefire proclamation by Denver City Council, and participating in meetings with local, state, and federal officials.

Jacki Cooper MelmedFor her advocacy of and commitment to the Jewish community, Jacki Cooper Melmed will be honored with the JCRC’s Community Leadership Award. Cooper Melmed currently serves as Chief Legal Officer for UCHealth, where she oversees legal, compliance, governmental, and regulatory affairs. Before joining UCHealth, she served as Chief Legal Counsel to Governors Jared Polis and John Hickenlooper for over 6 years. Cooper Melmed has served on a number of non-profit boards focusing on affordable housing, community relations, arts and culture, and criminal justice issues. She served on the Board of Directors for JEWISHcolorado and as chair for the JCRC, and has attended numerous Public Officials Missions.

Eric Fingerhut, President and CEO of Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA)Eric D. Fingerhut is the President and CEO of The Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA). Prior to his appointment at JFNA, Mr. Fingerhut served as the President and CEO of Hillel International from 2013-19. Mr. Fingerhut has also had a varied and distinguished career in public service and higher education. He served as Chancellor of the Ohio Board of Regents from early 2007 to 2011, leading Ohio’s system of public universities and colleges; as Ohio state senator from 1997 to 2006; and represented Ohio’s 19th congressional district in the U.S. Congress from 1993 to 1994. In 2004, he was the Democratic Party’s candidate for U.S. Senate.

Tickets are $75 and tables of ten are available for $1,800 with proceeds benefiting the JCRC and its vital work in the community. Details and registration: Sponsorship packages are available by contacting the JCRC at For more information about the JCRC, please contact Dr. Dan Leshem, JCRC Director at or 303.951.0271. JCRC gives special thanks to the event sponsors United Airlines, Zeff Kesher Foundation, Ovintiv, UCHealth, and Foster Graham Milstein & Calisher, LLC.

About JEWISHcolorado
JEWISHcolorado convenes, connects, invests, and protects Jewish life in Colorado, Israel, and around the world. JEWISHcolorado, part of the Jewish Federations of North America, strives to create a vibrant, secure, connected, and inclusive Jewish community. We stand together in shared purpose guided by our Jewish values, connected to the people of Israel, and continuously working on behalf of the Jewish community through outreach, advocacy, programming, and grantmaking. For more information, please visit