Inaugural Virginia Weekend of Unity

by | Feb 4, 2019 | What’s Happening

Friday, February 22–Saturday, February 23

Two Orthodox shuls in Virginia have embarked on a journey to bring two Jewish communities closer together. Congregation B’nai Israel of Norfolk and Keneseth Beth Israel of Richmond are joining forces for an innovative program, which was originally the brainchild of Jeffery Brooke, B’nai Israel’s president.

“From my days in B’nai Brith Youth Organization, I have always had friends in Richmond, and I have always been struck by the similarity in our two communities,” says Brooke. “Over the last several years of going to Richmond more frequently, I run into people just like us and former Norfolk residents who have fond memories of our town and previous interactions. It just seems like a natural thing for us to get together, remember the old days, rekindle old friendships, and make new ones.”

Discussed for several years, the two synagogues will gather for a weekend of unity and inspiration in Norfolk when the event is hosted by Congregation B’nai Israel.

The weekend will kick off with a “Carlebach” style Kabbalat Shabbat. After davening, a communal Friday night dinner will take place at B’nai Israel. The weekend will offer many opportunities to socialize and listen to lectures from rabbis of both communities.

This event is open to the entire Tidewater and Richmond Jewish communities.

By Rabbi Gavriel Rudin

For more information or to attend the Friday night dinner, contact Rabbi Gavriel Rudin at 757-386-3274 or

Rabbi Gavriel Rudin is director of community development and programming at B’nai Israel Congregation.