Middle East Forum: Israel@65happened on May 21, 2013. Two Hundred community members joined Ambassador Dennis Ross, Dr. Kenneth Pollack, and Mr. Barry Bogage to discuss Israel's successes and challenges as she turns 65.
"Virginia Goes to Washington" happened on April 24, 2013. Over two dozen Jewish leaders and agency executives from JCA, JFGH, JSSA and the Jewish Federations of Greater Washington, Tidewater and the Virginia Peninsula brought key issues of concern for the Jewish community to Senators Warner and Kaine and Congressmen Connolly, Moran and Wolf. We advocated in support of: the Older Americans Act, Charitable Tax Deductions, foreign aid to Israel and strengthening sanctions on Iran.
JCRC's Debbie Linick briefed the JCCNV's Monthly Policy Discussion Group on "The Gun Control Debate." The discussion covered legislation at the state and national levels and opened to audience comments and opinions.
JCRC hosted a D.C. candidates forum preceding the April 23rd Special Election to fill DC Council Chairman Phil Mendelson's open at-large City Council seat. All six candidates: Anita Bond (D-incumbent), Matt Frumin (D), Patrick Mara (R), Perry Redd (Green), Elissa Silverman (D) and Paul Zukerberg. JCRC also urged D.C. residents to "VOTE YES" on the D.C. Budget Autonomy Initiative.
On April 7, the JCRC hosted its annual Maryland and Virginia Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day) Commemorations at Congregation Har Shalom in Potomac and the JCC in Northern Virginia. Survivors spoke and were honored, art and artifact exhibits were displayed, candles were lit in memory of the six million, victims' names were read and their memories were cherished, and the community pledged to continue prioritizing remembrance. In Maryland Dr. Walter Reich, of George Washington University provided keynote remarks while George Mason University History and Art History Professor Marion Deshmukh gave a seminar on "Holocaust Art: Then & Now," in Northern Virginia and interviewed two of the artists whose original works were on display.
The JCRC was proud to support Governor O'Malley and his "common sense" gun control policies at the Marylanders Rally to Prevent Gun Violence. Despite the bitterly cold work day, almost 100 people from our community joined hundreds of Marylanders rallying for an end to gun violence. The rally was held at the State House in Annapolis on March 1, 2013.
The Virginia House of Delegates hosted a Center Aisle Ceremony in honor of Israel's 65th Anniversary of Statehood on February 13. Resolutions were passed in the House (HJ844) and the Senate (SJ399) thanks to Senators Ebbin and Saslaw and Delegate Eileen Filler-Corn and House Speaker William Howell. The resolutions passed with unanimous consent and included the majority of Delegates and Senators as patrons. JCRC helped organize a day of visits with elected officials and Jewish leaders that culminated in a reception in the General Assembly building hosted by the Embassy of Israel.
On February 12, the JCRC hosted its annual Annapolis Advocacy Day. Over 150 Jewish constituents representing eight districts met with state legislators to advocate for an end to the death penalty, stricter gun control, greater market access for kosher wine, and continued funding of Jewish agencies.
January - JCRC organizes Virginia Jewish Advocacy Day in collaboration with JCRCs in Richmond, Tidewater and Penninsula. Northern Virginia participation is co-sponsored by the American Jewish Committee, B'nai B'rith, Hadassah, JCCNV, the Jewish Federation and Temple Rodef Shalom's Hineinu Environmental Advocacy Group. This year over 130 activist heard briefings from the Governor and Attorney General and launched visits to over 50 state delegates and senators. Learn about our top issues here.
On January 22, 2013, Hayfield Secondary School hosted an "International Night" with funding from JCRC through our Youth Tolerance Project Competition. JCRC's Youth Tolerance Project Competition encouraged students to submit ideas for projects that promoted tolerance and understanding in their schools, communities, or beyond. Project winners were announced at the 2012 Holocaust observances and the high school awardee in Virginia received funds to undertake an International Night at Hayfield Secondary School in Fairfax. Over a hundred students participated, dozens provided food samplings or table displays. An additional group of students offered dances and performances from their cultures representing Europe, Asia, Africa, the Middle East and South America. Find information about JCRC's upcoming Holocaust educational and commemorative programming at www.jcouncil.org/Holocaust
February 3 marked Super Sunday - the largest annual fundraiser in our local community organized by the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington. Before kick off in the Super Bowl, hundreds of Jewish volunteers got on the phones in Rockville, Fairfax and D.C. securing hundreds of thousands of dollars that support Jewish philanthropy throughout our region, our country, Israel and the world. Each year, JCRC escorts dozens of elected officials, including D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray (left), who praise our efforts and join the call.
JCRC's DC Leadership Series continued with a program hosted at Temple Micah and introducing freshman Council Member David Grosso to Micah congregants and representatives from other DC Jewish organizations. The Council Member has been assigned to a wide breadth of Committees: Business, Consumer and Regulatory Affairs; Education; Finance & Revenue;Transportation and the Environment; and Health; and addressed his priorities in each of these policy areas. Overall his main goals on the Council include providing a fresh perspective, especially on issues of school reform and government transparency.
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