Tidewater Jewish community shines local and global light

by | Dec 9, 2021 | Trending News

Along with Jewish communities around the world, we recently shared our Hanukkah candle lightings with friends, families, and our community. From the annual Chabad of Tidewater celebration at Mount Trashmore (the 40th year of lighting that particular menorah!), to synagogue celebrations, to the lighting of menorahs in homes around our community shared on social media—we felt the warmth of Hanukkah lights throughout Jewish Tidewater.

This year, United Jewish Federation of Tidewater and our Jewish Community Relations Council joined a coalition of more than 60 North American Jewish and non-Jewish organizations and corporations to #ShineALight on the dangers of antisemitism through education, engagement, and advocacy. The campaign, as we recently shared with the community, provided myriad opportunities for us to know the facts about antisemitism, share the message, and take action.

The Shine A Light campaign capped off a year where our community came together through numerous opportunities to combat antisemitism, including a workshop in partnership with Old Dominion University’s Institute for Jewish Studies and Interfaith Understanding: Unpacking Antisemitism- An Action Based Workshop; and the Global Campaign of Unity “Let There Be Light” during the annual Kristallnacht commemoration; among other learning and advocacy events with local, national, and international partners.

Our ability to both shine a light through these initiatives, and share our light throughout the year is thanks to our strong, supportive, and generous community.

What a vibrant and participatory community we have, as you will see in the “Year in Review” which begins on page 6. What a generous community we have, which is demonstrated continuously through the strength of our Annual Campaign, other initiatives to build financial resources, and the desire and commitment of all of you to secure both the present and future of our Jewish communal organizations, activities, and way of life that we value, locally and globally. Through your commitment, you help to ensure our future as a Jewish people and as a strong and vibrant Jewish community.

As 2021 draws to a close, I want to thank each of you as important members of this Jewish community for all you do to share your light every day.


Betty Ann Levin

Executive Vice President/CEO

United Jewish Federation of Tidewater/Simon Family JCC