The Jewish Community Relations Committee (JCRC) of the Jewish Community Federation of Richmond is the central public affairs arm of the Richmond Jewish community.

Who We Are:

The Jewish Community Relations Committee is comprised of four outreach areas and subcommittees:

  • Government and Legislative Affairs
  • Israel Education and Advocacy
  • Intergroup and Interfaith Outreach
  • Public Education

Our Areas of Focus Include:

  • Eradicating antisemitism and all forms of racism
  • Supporting a strong, democratic, and peaceful Israel as the homeland and nation-state of the Jewish people
  • Spreading awareness of the lessons of the Holocaust
  • Promoting religious freedom and the separation of church and state
  • Ensuring the safety and security of Jewish agencies, organizations, and individuals in greater Richmond
  • Protecting the most vulnerable among us

Outshine Hate

Outshine Hate is part of the strategic plan of the JCRC. It is a comprehensive, community-wide effort to ensure that Jewish Community Federation of Richmond delivers, supports, and amplifies relevant programming, action, and initiatives that combat the scourge of antisemitism and hate. 

The Plan:

Our five-part plan is undergirded by a proactive approach to relationship-building. Together with local and national partner agencies and community institutions and elected officials, Federation seeks to address the need in the Richmond Jewish community to identify and confront antisemitism, anti-Jewish, and anti-Israel bias using a comprehensive multidisciplinary approach. As Federation looks ahead to engaging key audiences like educators and the next generation, we are organizing and executing new programming and training based on five core areas of focus:

Advocacy

The Federation will work with partners locally, regionally and nationally to advocate and support policies and legislation which combats racism and antisemitism and supports Israel and counters delegitimization in the context of two states for two peoples.

JCFR/JCRC will use our collective voice to foster a strong relationship between the United States and Israel – on the municipal, state and federal levels.  We encourage public officials to speak out against BDS and deepen the alliance between the U.S. and Israel. We will expose efforts to delegitimize the state of Israel.

Educator Training & Professional Development

Israel education provides a positive connection with one’s Jewish heritage, culture, religion and language. It can build a sense of collective Jewish responsibility and enduring relationships between learners and the land, state, and people of Israel. While Israel education involves the acquisition of knowledge (i.e. learning about Israel), it also involves asking some of the challenging questions about contemporary Jewish existence. For example, the tensions between the Jewish and Demoractic character of Israel, the authority of the Rabbanut and their command over the country, and the role that Palestinian Citizens of Israel (or Arab-Israelis) play in society.

One of the best approaches to Israel education offers authentic encounters with Israelis and the land of Israel, most commonly presented as travel to Israel and personal interactions with Israelis.

Intergroup Relations

In order to build upon relationships with the Christian, Muslim and Black communities around issues of mutual interest, and those related to fighting racism, anti-semitism and Islamaphobia and supporting Israel, the Jewish Community must stand together with our friends of others faiths while also building meaningful relationships based on dialogue, coexistence and understanding. This will build coalitions and understanding and further our mission of strengthening our world.

Israel & Global Jewry

In partnership, the Israel and Overseas department and JCRC will showcase the "intersectional" nature of Jewish history and highlight the story of our people beyond the Ashkenazi narrative that is so pervasive. This will address important growth that needs to occur within the Jewish community to recognize the Arab, Latino, and Black Jews in our midst, while also educating inter-cultural and inter-religious groups about the multi-layered Jewish story and building trust with other minority communities as a result. This is essential in combating the narrative that Israel is a colonial state, and is a teaching opportunity about the ethnic diversity within the Jewish community.

Security

In 2020, The Jewish Community Federation of Richmond partnered with Secure Community Network (SCN) to enhance our community’s safety, security, and preparedness posture. SCN, a nonprofit 501(c)(3), is the official safety and security organization of the Jewish community in North America. SCN works on behalf of 146 federations, the 50 largest Jewish nonprofit organizations in North America, and over 300 independent communities as well as with other partners in the public, private, nonprofit, and academic sectors to ensure the safety, security, and resiliency of the Jewish people.

Outshining Hate in 2022-2023

  • Security Training with Dave Brackins

  • Security Training with Dave Brackins

  • Signing the IHRA's definition of antisemitism into law

  • VA Jewish Advocacy Day

  • Black-Jewish relations: a community panel and conversation about creating a "double victory" against racism and antisemitism

  • Black-Jewish relations: a community panel and conversation about creating a "double victory" against racism and antisemitism

  • Chanukah Menorah Lighting at City Hall

  • Advocating for the expansion of rights for Ukrainian refugees with Senator Kaine

  • Expanding partnership with the German Embassy in honor of Jewish American Heritage Month

  • Mayor Stoney proclaimed May as Jewish American Heritage Month in perpetuity at City Hall, honoring the Jewish Community Federation of Richmond and the Jewish Community Relations Committee.

  • Signing of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance's definition of antisemitism into law with Governor Glenn Youngkin and RTA students

  • JCRC Chairs Amy Melnick-Scharf and Ephraim Seidman are honored at the General Assembly for JCRC's essential role in education and advocacy in the 2023 session.

  • Halina Zimm tells her story on a tour of the Virginia Holocaust Museum that addresses the intersection of racism and antisemitism.

  • VA Jewish Advocacy Day

Recent Virtual Programs

Click on the links below for recordings of recent virtual programs.


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