News

  • November 7, 2020

    The JCRC & The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington Congratulate President-Elect Joe Biden and Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris

    JCRC of Greater Washington

    The Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington and The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington congratulate President-elect Joe Biden on his victory in the 2020 presidential election. American citizens came out in record numbers to participate in our democracy and their voices have been heard and counted. We further congratulate Vice President-elect Kamala Harris on her historic victory as the first woman, black person, and person of South Asian descent to be elected to the office of Vice President.

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  • October 29, 2020

    Rabin’s legacy was complex and nuanced

    Washington Jewish Week

    “This week, Jewish communities around the world will light candles, lay flowers and hold ceremonies in Rabin’s memory. But there is more we can and must do to preserve the legacy of this great Zionist leader. We can teach our young people to live up to the complex and nuanced values and ideals that he held. By embracing Israel education and engagement with authenticity and nuance, we have the opportunity to inspire future generations to follow in Rabin’s footsteps...”

    By Alexis Schwartz, Director of the Israel Action Center at the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington.

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  • October 21, 2020

    Environmental Policy

    JCRC of Greater Washington

    The Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington (JCRC) has a long history of advocacy for policies that protect the environment and mitigate past practices that have harmed and degraded it. The policies set forth in this Environmental Policy Paper are adopted by the Board of the JCRC and supersede prior policy papers issued by JCRC. 
     
    A Link to Jewish Text 
     
    As a Jewish community organization, we are inspired by the teachings drawn from our sacred texts about the environment and our responsibility to protect it. For example: 

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  • October 13, 2020

    The JCRC Statement on Threat to VA Governor Northam

    JCRC of Greater Washington

    Washington DC – Executive Director of The Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) of Greater Washington Ron Halber and JCRC President Ronald A. Paul, MD today issued the following statement:

    The JCRC is alarmed that conspirators who this week plotted to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer also discussed Virginia Governor Ralph Northam as a potential target. Violence or violent threats targeting elected leaders are abhorrent in a civilized society and threaten the foundation of our democratic system.

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  • October 7, 2020 / 19 Tishrei, 5781

    Shemini Atzeret & Simchat Torah 5781

    Two Minutes of Torah with Rabbi Abbi Sharofsky

    On Yom Kippur, we came together virtually or in carefully limited groups and recited some of the most difficult prayers in Jewish liturgy. We asked for forgiveness, we searched our souls, and recalled those we lost. Yizkor, the service of remembrance, is a central feature of the Yom Kippur service. The memories of loved ones, of old friends, of public figures, sat with us as we prayed throughout that solemn day.

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  • October 2, 2020 / 14 Tishrei, 5781

    Sukkot 5781

    Two Minutes of Torah with Rabbi Abbi Sharofsky

    Sukkot is known as “zman simchateinu,” a time of our joy. Historically, we are celebrating the fall harvest and the biblical Israelites’ journey through the desert wilderness. We intentionally build fragile structures; for eight days we eat and even sleep within them, knowing it could be beautiful and sunny one day, cold and windy another.  

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  • September 23, 2020 / 5 Tishrei 5781

    Parashat Ha’azinu – Shabbat Shuvah

    Two Minutes of Torah with Rabbi Abbi Sharofsky

    The ten days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are some of the most complicated days of the Jewish year. It is a time of standing between the joy and sweetness of welcoming the new year and the solemnity of Yom Kippur, a day of judgement. During this time, many Jews reflect on the past year and engage in the work of teshuva – repentance and recalibration with others, with God, and with oneself. This year, this meaningful work is happening in the shadow of a monumental event, the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

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  • September 18, 2020 / 29 Elul 5780

    Rosh Hashanah 5781

    Two Minutes of Torah with Rabbi Abbi Sharofsky

     For many people, Rosh Hashanah always seems to arrive before we are quite ready for it.  This year, the feeling of being caught off guard is even more acute, because everything we typically associate with Rosh Hashanah is somehow different.

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  • September 17, 2020

    The Jewish Community of the Nation's Capital Dismayed at Lack of Holocaust Awareness

    JCRC of Greater Washington

    Washington DC—September 17, 2020 – The Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) of Greater Washington is shocked and dismayed at the U.S. Millennial Holocaust Knowledge and Awareness Survey put out by The Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany. The report reveals appallingly low levels of Holocaust awareness and understanding among American millennials and members of Generation Z in our region.

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  • September 15, 2020

    The Jewish community of Greater Washington welcomes today’s signing of the Abraham Accords

    JCRC of Greater Washington

    Washington DC—September 15, 2020 – The Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) of Greater Washington and The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington join Jewish communities around the world in welcoming today’s historic signing of a peace accord between Israel, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain. The two Arab countries finalized the normalization of relations and establishment of full diplomatic relations with Israel at a White House ceremony.

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  • September 2, 2020 / 13 Elul 5780

    Parashat Ki Tavo

    Two Minutes of Torah with Rabbi Abbi Sharofsky

    In this week’s Torah portion Ki Tavo, a reminder that our society is not only experiencing the physical and emotional traumas of a pandemic – we are experiencing spiritual trauma – and we must address it.

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  • August 19, 2020 / 29 Av 5780

    Parashat Shoftim

    Two Minutes of Torah with Rabbi Abbi Sharofsky

    In this week’s Torah portion, Shoftim, centers justice as a foundational precept for the Israelite nation, a platform that will carry them into peoplehood.

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  • August 12, 2020 / 22 Av 5780

    Parashat Re’eh

    Two Minutes of Torah with Rabbi Abbi Sharofsky

    In this week’s Torah portion, Re’eh, includes instructions for how we should treat people in our communities, whether they are within our immediate networks or beyond. 

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  • August 5, 2020 / 15 Av 5780

    Parashat Eikev

    Two Minutes of Torah with Rabbi Abbi Sharofsky

    This week’s Torah portion Eikev, emphasizes that having enough food to eat should not be taken for granted. The Israelites are commanded, once they had enough to eat, to thank God for the food.

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  • July 29, 2020 / 8 Av 5780

    Parashat Vaetchanan -Shabbat Nachamu

    Two Minutes of Torah with Rabbi Abbi Sharofsky

    This week’s Torah portion and haftarah (additional reading from the Prophets) demonstrates the necessity of comfort at difficult times.

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  • July 22, 2020 / Rosh Hodesh Av 5780

    Parashat Devarim

    Two Minutes of Torah with Rabbi Abbi Sharofsky

    Today marks beginning of the month of Av, a pivotal point in the Jewish calendar. Lewis’ death adds another layer of sadness as we enter the month of Av and a period of mourning leading to Tisha B’Av, the saddest day in the Jewish year. It is a space for recalling many losses and painful moments in Jewish history while acknowledging that even in the most difficult times, there is a place for hope.

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  • July 15, 2020 / 23 Tammuz 5780

    Parashat Matot-Masei

    Two Minutes of Torah with Rabbi Abbi Sharofsky

    This week’s Torah portion is Guest Commentary by Rabbi Evan Krame, President, Washington Board of Rabbis

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  • July 8, 2020 / 16 Tammuz 5780

    Parshat Pinchas

    Two Minutes of Torah with Rabbi Abbi Sharofsky

    One of the most cringe-worthy moments in the life of a company or organization is when a person says, “This is how we’ve always done it.” Perhaps a new employee or board member suggested a strategy on improving workflow or productivity. Or wanted to try a new approach to an ongoing issue. Or questioned the structure of leadership – only to be met with “This is how we’ve always done it.” Ideas and potential for growth are stopped before they even had a chance to start.

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  • July 1, 2020 / 9 Tammuz 5780

    Parashat Hukkat-Balak 

    Two Minutes of Torah with Rabbi Abbi Sharofsky

    This week’s Torah portion, Hukkat-Balak, includes the story of Balaam, a person sent by Balak,an enemy of Israel, to curse the Israelites.

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  • July 1, 2020 / 9 Tammuz 5780

    Parashat Hukkat-Balak 

    Two Minutes of Torah with Rabbi Abbi Sharofsky

    This week’s Torah portion, Hukkat-Balak, includes the story of Balaam, a person sent by Balak,an enemy of Israel, to curse the Israelites.

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  • June 24, 2020 / 2 Tammuz 5780

    Parashat Korach

    Two Minutes of Torah with Rabbi Abbi Sharofsky

    This week’s Torah portion, Korach, focuses on the Israelites struggling with changing leadership dynamics and the difficulties of moving from the past into the future. This is an ongoing struggle for the Israelites, as seen in previous Torah portions. Our country is experiencing similar challenges – coming to terms with a tumultuous history and learning how to create a more just and equitable society. In difficult times, many people turn to prayer, asking God for strength and healing, as Moses does time and time again.

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  • June 17, 2020 / 25 Sivan 5780

    Parashat Sh’lach

    Two Minutes of Torah with Rabbi Abbi Sharofsky

    This week’s Torah portion, Sh’lach, details the reactions of the group of Israelites who were sent to scout the land beyond the desert which would be known as Israel.

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  • June 15, 2020

    Police brutality and racism are problems. Where should our energies go to address them?

    Washington Jewish Week

    From organizational leaders to private individuals, members of the Washington-area Jewish community are condemning the death of George Floyd and police brutality against people of color.

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  • June 10, 2020 / Shavuot 5780

    Parashat Beha’alotekha

    Two Minutes of Torah with Rabbi Abbi Sharofsky

    This week’s Torah portion, Beha’alotekha, is filled with insights and narratives about the Israelites as they travelled in the wilderness.

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  • June 10, 2020

    Don't Protest: Engage and listen to black people

    Washington Jewish Week

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