Delegate Anne Ferrell Tata honored

by | Jul 13, 2023 | Homepage Posts

A luncheon to honor and express appreciation to Delegate Anne Ferrell Tata for her leadership and efforts in passing the first piece of legislation in Virginia aimed at fighting antisemitism – adopting the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s Working Definition of Antisemitism to be used as a tool and guide for training, education, recognizing, and combatting antisemitism – took place at the Sandler Family Campus on Tuesday, June 27. The Jewish Community Relations Council of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater sponsored the event.

On his first day in office, Governor Glenn Youngkin established the Commission to Combat Antisemitism.  After 11 months of work, one of the Commission’s 21 recommendations to combat antisemitism in Virginia was the adoption and implementation of the IHRA working definition of antisemitism.

“Delegate Anne Ferrell Tata did not hesitate when asked to be the primary sponsor of this legislation,” says Kirk Levy, JCRC’s legislative chair.

“Delegate Tata did not just file this legislation; she was the champion from start to finish,” says Levy. “She worked with the statewide Jewish community on the language throughout the process, knocking on the doors of fellow delegates and senators, garnering bipartisan support, and testifying in the most prepared way. Through it all, she showed selflessness and flexibility, with only the passage of the bill and the Jewish community’s best interest at hand.”

Following the passage of the bill, Delegate Tata said, “I am proud and honored by the overwhelming bipartisan support from the Virginia General Assembly, which represents a strong step forward in eliminating antisemitic hate and discrimination in Virginia and nationwide.”

At the luncheon, she reiterated that she worked with delegates on both sides of the aisle and credited Connie Meyer, Governor Youngkin, and Attorney General Jason Miyrares with making certain the legislation passed.

Tata said she was “shocked at the people that stood in line to speak in opposition of the bill.”

Delegate Tata said she recently learned the Hebrew word, ‘Hineni,’ Here I am. “When I came into this, I said ‘Hineni.  Here I am.’  I didn’t want to disappoint y’all.”

At the event, David Brand, special assistant for outreach, Office of the Attorney General of Virginia, said that Delegate Tata “took the bullets and stayed the course and handled it in a bipartisan way.” He also noted that only 35 states have adopted the definition.

-Terri Denison