CEO October 2017 Update

The Federation is here in times of need


On Sept. 17, the JCFR hosted the 21st annual Grand Event at the Virginia Holocaust Museum. Earl and Linda Ferguson and Barbara and Michael Kiken chaired the event with Joshua Malina as the guest speaker and it was a smashing success. 

We thank the Fergusons and the Kikens for their dedicated leadership in our community.

One of things emphasized at the Grand Event is the value-added of Federation. Aside from Federation’s significant impact in providing financial resources to our agencies, Federation has outreach programs like Richmond Jewish Coalition for Literacy.  For over 15 years, RJCL has worked with students at Swansboro Elementary School in the city of Richmond, where dedicated literacy volunteers are sharing at least one hour per week, serving as both tutors and mentors to a child. A year ago, we added Laburnum Elementary School in Henrico County to this engaging program. 

The Richmond Council for Jewish Education – RCJE – an ad-hoc committee of the JCFR, is made up of educators from Synagogues and other area organizations, including Rudlin Torah Academy, the Virginia Holocaust Museum and the Weinstein JCC. RCJE continues to focus on communal holiday and educational programs, while continuing their successful programs like Camp Sababa (50 campers this summer), Educator Workshops, Purim and Yom HaAtzmaut celebrations and subsidies for local educators.

Many leadership programs are implemented by JCFR nearly every year, including Community Leadership Institute, Network JCFR and Honeymoon Israel. Richmond is the first intermediate Federation to participate in this very important program. About 20 Richmond-based couples with at least one Jewish partner will participate in an enriching, provocative, fun and inspirational nine-day experience in Israel with an affordable price tag of $1,800 per couple including all flights and ground costs. The first Richmond-based trip is Nov. 2-12. It's the first time an intermediate community will be part of Honeymoon Israel.

It also was announced earlier this month that Jewish Federations of North America disaster relief has been made available to Houston and Florida. 

Most recently, the enormous storm in Florida caused widespread damage and flooding, and left more than 10 million people without power. Though most reports indicate that Floridians may have dodged a worst-case-scenario, residents and communities are just now beginning to return to assess the damage. 

JCFR through JFNA opened a mailbox and many donations have already been received.  This fund will raise money for the victims of Hurricane Irma, as well as victims of all 2017 hurricanes. One hundred percent of the donations will go toward disaster relief.

 Regarding the Federations’ Hurricane Harvey Relief efforts, more than $10 million has been raised through all of the Federations over North America. This $10 million is one third of the estimated $30 million needed to rebuild. These funds, from Federations, foundations and the Government of Israel, are already being put to work. 

So, while we had a chance to celebrate and listen to Joshua Malina’s great story at the Grand Event, we remember that JCFR stands ready to help with disaster aid and to help meet needs in our community ranging from  security, senior care, and various types of scholarship assistance. 

Kadima!  Forward we go!

As always, contact me at (804) 545-8622 or email



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