News

  • April 14, 2021

    When a colleague compared a mental health bill to the Holocaust, Shane Pendergrass interrupted him

    Washington Jewish Week

    The Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington in a statement called Cox’s comparison “unconscionable.”

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  • April 12, 2021

    Elie Wiesel’s voice, as spoken by his son

    Washington Jewish Week

    On Sunday, Wiesel spoke at the annual Yom HaShoah Commemoration, sponsored by the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington. During the livestream event, Wiesel was joined by Holocaust survivors and their families, who lit candles and said prayers.

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  • April 11, 2021

    Holocaust Remembrance Day: Survivors' grandchildren hold virtual ceremony

    The Jerusalem Post

    3GDC – a Washington-based organization representing 3Gs, the grandchildren of Holocaust survivors – hosted a virtual event for Holocaust Remembrance Day in partnership with the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington (JCRC) and the organization Sixth & I.

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  • April 8, 2021

    Jewish Community Outraged by Maryland State Delegate’s Offensive Remarks on Holocaust Remembrance Day

    JCRC of Greater Washington

    Washington, DC - April 8, 2021 - Executive Director of The Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) of Greater Washington, Ron Halber, today issued the following statement following offensive and hurtful remarks made by Maryland State Delegate Daniel Cox on Holocaust Remembrance Day when he attempted to compare a bill that would allow children to seek mental health treatment to the horrors of the Holocaust: 

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  • April 8, 2021

    GOP lawmaker marks Holocaust remembrance day by likening child mental health bill to Nazi laws

    The Times of Israel

    The Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington in a statement called the comparison “unconscionable.” “Delegate Cox’s words are an insult to the thousands of mental health providers throughout the State of Maryland and are part of a disturbing pattern of public officials using Holocaust and Nazi analogies for political ends,” the statement said. “The JCRC calls on the Maryland House of Delegates to condemn this offensive comparison and to hold Delegate Cox responsible for his reprehensible remarks on this sacred day.”

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  • April 8, 2021

    Holocaust Remembrance Day commemorates the 6 million lives lost

    WDVM

    The Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington says Anti-semitism is on a rise and while the Jewish community consists of less than 2 percent of the American population, over 60 percent of religious hate crimes are directed towards them. The Jewish community says that as time goes on and survivors pass, it’s even more important to hold their memories and experiences sacred for generations to come. Ron J. Halber, Executive Director, Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington said, “For a lot of survivors their greatest fear is that people will forget what they went through and on that day of sacred memory we are reassuring them that we won’t forget. We will make sure that it is remembered forever.” To stand in solidarity with the community, this Sunday is the annual virtual community-wide commemoration. For more information visit JCRC’s website.

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  • April 8, 2021

    Delegate Cox faces criticism over Holocaust comparison during mental health bill discussion

    WDVM

    Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington expressed their frustration with Cox saying he trivialized the Holocaust and showed his ignorance of history.

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  • April 8, 2021

    On Holocaust Remembrance Day, Lawmaker’s Comments Draw Fire

    Maryland Matters

    Ronald Halber, executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington, slammed the Republican lawmaker for his remarks. “To compare the experience of American children seeking mental health services to children who endured unspeakable suffering and torture in concentration camps and other hells created by the Nazi regime is unconscionable,” he said in a statement.

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  • April 8, 2021

    GOP lawmaker marks Holocaust remembrance day by likening child mental health bill to Nazi laws

    JTA

    The Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington in a statement called the comparison “unconscionable.” “Delegate Cox’s words are an insult to the thousands of mental health providers throughout the State of Maryland and are part of a disturbing pattern of public officials using Holocaust and Nazi analogies for political ends,” the statement said. “The JCRC calls on the Maryland House of Delegates to condemn this offensive comparison and to hold Delegate Cox responsible for his reprehensible remarks on this sacred day.”

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  • April 7, 2021

    Reckoning at the German International School

    Washington Jewish Week

    When my rabbi nominated me to be part of a peer-education program that connects Jewish and non-Jewish students across Greater Washington, combats anti-Semitism and educates teens about Judaism, I jumped at the chance. I couldn’t wait to meet new people and dialogue with my peers about my Jewish life, so I applied to the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) of Greater Washington’s Student to Student program.

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  • March 31, 2021

    Rosh Hashanah won’t be first school day in Montgomery County

    Washington Jewish Week

    “Attending the first day of school is important, especially for teachers and other staff in terms of meeting the children, meeting the parents and getting the lay of the land,” Siegel said. “And so [starting on the second day of Rosh Hashanah] would have really been a burden and a stress point for Jewish families and for Jewish staff.”

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  • March 24, 2021

    MCPS RECOMMENDS OUTDOOR GRADUATIONS AT HOME HIGH SCHOOL STADIUMS

    mymcm

    The Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington, based in North Bethesda, thanked the school board for its vote.

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  • March 22, 2021

    FCPS to recognize religious holidays — without a day off

    reston now

     In a joint statement, Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, Association of United Hindu and Jain Temples of Metropolitan Washington, Durga Temple of Virginia, Hindu American Foundation, Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington, McLean Islamic Center, Northern Virginia Hebrew Congregation, and Temple Rodef Shalom wrote that the school board’s attempt to divide religious groups backfired.

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  • March 20, 2021

    Fairfax school calendar recognizes religious holidays, but kids won’t have off

    InsideNoVA

    “We are deeply disappointed,” said the group’s associate director Guila Franklin Siegel. “The stunning lack of cultural competency and the lack of empathy for the experience of minority faiths we have seen throughout this process make clear that a great deal of education remains necessary.”

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  • March 19, 2021

    Fairfax County schools to recognize additional religious days but won’t give students day off

    FOX 5 Washington DC

    Parents of students who are Hindu, Muslim and Jewish and leaders of several religious communities in Fairfax County argued for the School Board to give them the same privileges of closing their schools for observance of their holy days as they would for days like Christmas.

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  • March 19, 2021

    Fairfax declines to add four Jewish, Muslim and Hindu holidays to calendar

    The Washington Post

    On Friday, the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington wrote a letter to the Jewish community in the D.C. area calling Fairfax’s calendar decision “deeply disappointing.” “We hoped that meaningful progress was finally within reach after years of struggling with [Fairfax] over unfair treatment of Jewish students forced to miss school on our holidays, endure inappropriate Christmas-related activities, and bear the brunt of increasing incidents of anti-Semitism,” the letter reads. The leaders of the council vowed in the letter that they will continue petitioning Fairfax until it adopts a calendar that is “inclusive, equitable [and] accommodates the needs of minority faith communities.”

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  • March 19, 2021

    Fairfax Co. school calendar recognizes religious holidays but kids won’t have off

    WTOP News

    The decision not to give students off for Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Eid and Diwali — holidays recognized by members of the Jewish, Muslim and Hindu communities — did not please the Jewish Community Relation Council of Greater Washington.

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  • March 19, 2021

    Virginia’s largest school system votes down inclusion of non-Christian holidays

    Forward

    “We are very disappointed and pained by the school board’s decision last night,” Guila Franklin Siegel, the associate director of the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) of Greater Washington said in an interview on Friday.

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  • March 19, 2021

    Fairfax school board votes no to closing on High Holidays

    Washington Jewish Week

    The school board’s decision to deny all four requested closures on days coinciding with Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Diwali, and Eid was a slap in the face to Fairfax County’s Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, and Sikh communities,” a JCRC statement read. “There is no way to sugar-coat the disrespectful, dismissive, and ill-informed approach that too many school board members adopted towards our interfaith coalition throughout this process.”

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  • March 19, 2021

    Fairfax County recognizes additional religious days in academic calendar

    WDVM

    Guila Franklin-Siegel, associate director of the Jewish Community Relations Council, said, “The impacted communities are feeling pained and upset, and frustrated, but also resolved because we know this fight is far from over and we will not stop advocating.”

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  • March 19, 2021

    FCPS School Calendar Vote: A letter from the JCRC

    JCRC of Greater Washington

    Dear Friends:  

    As Shabbat nears, we want to take a moment to reflect on last night’s deeply disappointing vote by the Fairfax County School Board. Like so many of you, we hoped that meaningful progress was finally within reach, after years of struggling with FCPS over unfair treatment of Jewish students  forced to miss school on our holidays, endure inappropriate Christmas-related activities, and bear the brunt of increasing incidents of antisemitism.   

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  • March 18, 2021

    Letter to Montgomery County Board of Education on Proposed 2021-2022 Calendar Options

    JCRC of Greater Washington

    To:    Hon. Brenda Wolff and Members of The Montgomery County Board of Education 

    cc:    Dr. Jack Smith
             Dr. Monifa McKnight 
             Mr. Troy Boddy


    Dear President Wolff and fellow Board of Education members:

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  • March 18, 2021

    Fairfax County parents and interfaith communities demand school closures for major religious holidays

    FOX 5 Washington DC

     

    Palle, along with the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington (JCRC) and other interfaith coalition partners, argue that the current calendar does not accurately represent the diversity that Fairfax County has. ... "The school system has already by its own admission, failed at implementing and consistently enforcing these regulations and we have no reason to believe that would change," said Guila Franklin Siegel, Associate Director at JCRC. Siegel said that at least 1,000 Fairfax County residents have also emailed their school-board representatives demanding a calendar change. She noted that the Jewish population in northern Virginia, which includes Fairfax, had swelled by 80 percent between 2003 and 2017, and said that Hindu and Muslim populations in the district have "dramatically increased" as well."

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  • March 18, 2021

    Fairfax County Public School's academic calendar under fire for not 'pursuing equity'

    ABC7 WJLA

    Guila Franklin Siegel, the Associate Director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington says the county is far more diverse than it has ever been, “Fairfax county remains a hold out in terms of adjusting its school calendar to reflect that diversity.” ... Franklin Siegel says, “This message that is being received in the community is that Fairfax County is lagging behind and is not committed to truly pursuing equity for all of its residents.”

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  • March 8, 2021

    In Virginia, an interfaith coalition fights to get non-Christian holidays on school calendars

    Forward

     

    Guila Franklin Siegel, the associate director of the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) of Greater Washington, said that at least 1,000 Fairfax County residents have also emailed their school-board representatives demanding a calendar change. ... “The JCRC has for years been receiving complaints from parents, rabbis, and students about consistent failures in the Fairfax county public schools’ ability to successfully implement and enforce guidelines for religious accommodations,” Siegel said. “It’s something we deal with every year, and it’s a source of tremendous frustration and stress for Jewish students.”

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