Connecting with and forming relationships with our legislators – and our local and statewide officials – is a year-round emphasis of our JCRC work.
In Virginia, as our legislative session approaches and runs for just a few months, it takes even more of a center stage.
Last month we had the opportunity to bring many of our central Virginia Senators and Delegates to the Jewish community for our annual Legislative Reception.
For the past two years of course, due to COVID-19, our program was virtual. But due to this unexpected format, we were able to hear even more from our special guests on the issues that matter most to our community.
Having our Legislators address our concerns yearly like this is a reminder that relationships like this need to be cultivated – and revisited. We can’t just meet, get to know someone, and then take that relationship for granted. We need them renewed yearly, both to keep the relationship strong and to let our leaders know that in any particular year, our needs have either changed or are even deeper in one area or another. These are just some of the reasons it is both important to host the program – and for our community to show their interest and engagement by showing up.
We have been pleased to have over 150 community members register for our programs last year and over 130 register this year.
If you were not able to attend this year, you can view this year’s programs by visiting www.jewishrichmond.org/JCRC.
It should not go without saying that we deeply appreciate the time our legislators spent with us for our virtual programs this year. We also thank them for the time they give to us year-round.
This year, on the evening of Dec. 8th we were joined by Senator Siobhan Dunnavant, Senator Jennifer McClellan, and Delegate Schuyler VanValkenburg.
On the morning of December 9th, we were joined by Senator Joe Morrissey, Delegate Betsy Carr, Delegate Dawn Adams, and Delegate Carrie Coyner.
Our tradition of both a lobby day with our legislators and a community forum with our Executive Leaders is well known in our community.
This year, on Feb. 2nd, much like our program last year, we will host a virtual program for our new Governor, Lt. Governor, and Attorney General.
Please save the date and be on the lookout for more details and registration in our e-news and on the same JCRC webpage. (Register HERE)
JCRC 2022 Advocacy Issues
Over the next few months, we will be engaged in the process of reviewing legislation that is presented and assuring that the interests of the Jewish community are taken into account. Leading into that process, we have presented our legislators and the administration with a set of initial legislative issue areas we want them to be aware of. These are not only the issues areas we want addressed by legislation – but also by any initiatives or resolutions being considered. The main issues areas are below and are expressed in more detail on our JCRC webpage.
- SUPPORT RENEWED $3m for HATE CRIMES PREVENTION/NON-PROFIT SECURITY IN GOVERNOR’S PROPOSED BUDGET
- SUPPORT EFFORTS TO HIGHLIGHT AND ADDRESS THE RISE IN ANTISEMITISM NATIONALLY AND IN THE COMMONWEALTH
- CONTINUE TO IMPROVE HOLOCAUST/GENOCIDE EDUCATION AND AWARENESS IN THE COMMONWEALTH
- ENSURE ANTISEMITISM IS INCLUDED IN COMMONWEALTH’S EFFORTS TO FIGHT RACISM AND BIGOTRY OF ALL KINDS
- HELP US CHALLENGE BDS (Boycott, Divestment & Sanctioning of Israel) AT UNIVERSITIES AND THROUGHOUT THE COMMONWEALTH
The Importance of Jewish Community Advocacy
At a time when Antisemitism is on the rise, we experience the Catch 22 of canards about our “power” and the reality of our numbers.
The Jewish community is of course less than 1% of the U.S. population. And yet we have experienced horrible consequences when we have not been able to protect ourselves as a vulnerable minority.
Is it any wonder that our community long ago decided to never let that happen again? Not at all. We are engaged in the American political system in the same way so many other cultural and political groups are – and the way many wish they were – and to say there is anything untoward about that is the height of dishonest and slander.
So, join us this winter for our advocacy efforts – and do so with pride and with the urgency it demands.