Shinshinim experience Jewish Advocacy Day as Israelis

by | Mar 16, 2023 | Trending News

Carin Simon, Alma Ben Chorin, and Rabbi Ari Oli.

We joined the Tidewater delegation for Jewish Advocacy Day in Richmond on Wednesday, Feb. 8.

In the morning, we all met to ride the bus to Richmond at the Simon Family JCC—you could feel the excitement. After six months of working with the community, meeting people, and being involved in community events, we feel this is our second home, and we were honored to be part of such an important day.

During Jewish Advocacy Day, Tidewater’s delegation advocated for proclaiming May as Jewish American Heritage Month, ensuring Jews are protected through hate crimes law, the statewide adoption of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance working definition of antisemitism, and fighting the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement—all as recommended by the Governor’s Commission to Combat Antisemitism.

As Israelis, we are grateful for the work being done in Tidewater for Israel and its future. We genuinely believe that the desire of the community to maintain the connection between Israel and the Diaspora preserves the existence of the State of Israel and the survival of the Jewish people. The fact that Virginians do so much to make sure the Jewish people have their own state warms our hearts.

We are thankful for the chance to speak with Virginia legislators in the name of Israel, our home.

One special experience from Jewish Advocacy Day took place when Aya talked to Delegate Emily Brewer about the importance of the work the Jewish communities in the United States do to stay connected to Israel. Delegate Brewer put a Virginia-Israel flag pin on her dress to show her support for our security and rights as a nation. She even asked for our phone numbers so we could lead some programs with schools in her district.

Israelis always feel excited when they meet people who support the existence of the State of Israel. We do not take this support for granted. We will never stop fighting for Israel’s rights as a nation.

We know the Tidewater delegation made a difference.

To connect with the Shinshinim, contact Nofar Trem at or 757-965-2334.

To be involved with advocacy efforts or learn more about the JCRC, contact Joel Bond at or 757-965-6129.

Aya Sever and Alma Ben Chorin