Marco Grimaldo visits area pre-legislative session

by | Dec 21, 2012 | What’s Happening

Sunday, Jan. 13, 10:30 am

The Community Relations Council organizes the Tidewater community each year to prepare for the “Date with a State,” when representatives from Jewish communities across Virginia descend on Richmond to lobby for issues considered pertinent to Jewish interests. This year’s trip will take place on Tuesday, Jan. 22.

When the legislature meets, bills are discussed that concern a host of moral issues that are addressed by Judaism’s value system. While feeding the hungry or taking care of the environment may not be specifically Jewish issues, Jews certainly believe that the Jewish value system can and should inform feelings about these issues.

To help understand what will be on the legislative agenda this year and to better comprehend the issues with real depth, the CEO of the Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy (VICPP), Marco Grimaldo, will visit Congregation Beth El for breakfast, on Sunday Jan. 13 in an event hosted by Beth El, the CRC and Ohef Sholom Temple. In a public dialogue with Rabbi Jeffrey Arnowitz (who is a member of the board of the VICPP), Grimaldo will bring insight and analysis to issues expected to come before the State Legislature during this year’s session. Included in the conversation will be bills addressing support for the poor and hungry, education and the environment.

The VICPP was created 30 years ago to help religious organizations keep track of issues that they might find relevant as they come before the legislature. Members of the organization complete an annual survey to help guide the organization’s agenda. The current priorities of VICPP are Stewardship of Creation, Poverty and Hunger, At-Risk Children, Healthcare and Immigration. The morning’s program should provide excellent insight into how the Commonwealth is currently addressing these issues and how they may be expected to develop in the future.

To attend the brunch, Topics to Chew on: A Conversation about Faith and Advocacy with Marco Grimaldo and Beth El’s Rabbi Arnowitz, RSVP to or 625-7821 no later than Jan. 9. For more information on the annual Date With the State, contact Robin Mancoll, director, Community Relations Council at

by Rabbi Jeffrey Arnowitz