What more can you do? Date with the State

by | Jan 9, 2015 | Other News

Wednesday, Feb. 4, Richmond

The annual Community Relations Council’s delegation to Richmond for Jewish Advocacy Day is always a great event, and this year, it is more imperative than ever to have a good community turnout.

Between the conflict with Hamas last summer and the global resurgence of anti-Semitism, this has been quite a challenging year for the Jewish world and for Tidewater’s Jewish community. It was incredibly meaningful to see the Jewish community come together in the summer to show solidarity for Israel. But many were left afterwards with a “What more can I do?” feeling.

One of the great strengths of our community is that so many people reading this article speak up against issues that negatively impact Israel or Jews locally and abroad. As such, you may want to consider this year joining the CRC to meet with local Senators and Delegates in Richmond at Jewish Advocacy Day.

While we may be speaking up against legislation that would be bad for our community, Date with the State allows us to be pro-active by building relationships with legislators so that we will have the friendships needed to counter the issues later.

Although the particular legislation that will be discussed on Jewish Advocacy Day is still being decided, some past issues will surely be worth raising again with state Delegates and Senators. For example, given the amount of anti-Semitic outbursts across the globe, the issue of prayer on the public stage (in schools and public meetings) will likely need to be explained. Jewish Americans need to be vocal about our constitutional right to have our public schools free from unnecessary laws that blur the separation of church and state. Support for our local agencies is always on the agenda and we expect this year will be no different. We will also likely discuss the importance of the continued need for support for the Virginia Israel Advisory Board (VIAB). Given the events unfolding in Israel and certain negative international/media responses, we need to ensure that VIAB does not lose funding in the future and continues to do the great work of bringing Israeli businesses to Virginia, therefore creating jobs and tax revenue for the state.

I have enjoyed attending past Date with the States. It is a great occasion to help make Virginia a more tolerant, healthy and prosperous place—not just for Jews, but for everyone. I would love to see the biggest Tidewater delegation ever attend the Richmond event this year. We need your support.

$36 helps defray the cost of bus transportation, kosher lunch and materials. A check mailed to UJFT, 5000 Corporate Woods Drive, Virginia Beach, VA, 23462, att: CRC—Date With the State, confirms a seat on the bus. For more information, or to reserve a seat by Jan. 28, visit www.JewishVA.org/CRCDateWithTheState.

The CRC’s Insiders’ Briefing on Wednesday, Jan. 28, will provide all registered attendees with detailed talking points and lobbying tips.. It takes place at the Sandler Family Campus at 6:30 pm. This pre-meeting is strongly suggested for anyone planning to attend Date With the State. To RSVP for this dinner meeting, email CRC@ujft.org.

by Brad Lerner