Virginia Jewish Advocacy Day 2023: The day in Richmond is over, but action is still needed.

by | Feb 23, 2023 | Trending News

Almost 50 early morning risers boarded a bus to Richmond for Virginia’s annual Jewish Advocacy Day on Wednesday, Feb. 8. Organized by the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater, the delegation joined nearly 200 citizen activists from the United Jewish Community of the Virginia Peninsula, Jewish Community Federation of Richmond, and the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington to meet with delegates and senators and hear from Governor Glenn Youngkin, Lieutenant Governor Winsome Earle-Sears, and Attorney General Jason Miyares.

Once in Richmond, Tidewater’s delegation split into teams led by Herm Shelanski, JCRC chair, Barbara Dudley, JCRC vice chair, Kirk Levy, JCRC legislative chair, and several JCRC Steering Committee members, Andy Fox, Brad Lerner, and Ron Kaufman. With a record number of first-time participants, the teams met with senators, delegates, and legislative staff members from 22 offices representing the Hampton Roads region in advocating for issues of importance to Jewish life in the Commonwealth.

The 2023 General Assembly session has seen four pieces of legislation of significant importance to the Jewish community:

• Proclaiming every May as Jewish American Heritage Month which celebrates Jewish culture and history in Virginia,

• Ensuring Jews are protected through hate crimes law,

• Statewide adoption of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance working definition of antisemitism, and

• Fighting the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement, as recommended by the Governor’s Commission to Combat Antisemitism.

Reflecting on the meetings with legislators, Herm Shelanski says, “Our trip to the state capitol reinforced the effectiveness and necessity of personal participation. This trip was another powerful step in the fight against antisemitism.”

JCRC requests that community members urge delegates and senators to continue fighting hate in the Commonwealth and to say thank you to those that have taken a stand against hate.

To take action or to learn more about the JCRC, contact Joel Bond, director, Jewish Community Relations Council at United Jewish Federation of Tidewater, at or 757-965-6129.

-Joel Bond