News

  • March 29, 2022

    JCRC & Federation Statement Following Today's Terror Shooting Attack in Israel

    JCRC of Greater Washington

    The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington and the JCRC of Greater Washington condemn today’s deadly terror shooting attack in Israel—the most recent in a spate of vile attacks by those opposed to peace—and we are heartbroken by the loss of at least five Israeli lives. The continued incitement of violence has no justification, and we call upon all peace-loving individuals to join us in its condemnation.

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  • March 22, 2022

    JCRC & Federation Statement Following Today's Stabbing Attack

    JCRC of Greater Washington

    The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington and the JCRC of Greater Washington are horrified by today’s brutal terror attack in Beersheba, Israel, and heartbroken by the loss of at least four innocent Israeli lives. This follows several stabbing attempts in Israel over the past few weeks.

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  • January 31, 2022

    Funds Available for Security at Montgomery County Houses of Worship

    NBC-Washington-logo.jpg

    Montgomery County announced a series of grants to help pay for security at houses of worship. News4’s Derrick Ward reports.

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  • January 29, 2022

    Fairfax County adopts school calendar with more religious holidays

    The Washington Post

    Guila Franklin Siegel, associate director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington, pointed out that the vote for the new calendar took place on International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

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  • January 28, 2022

    Forty-two Jewish institutions to benefit from security grants

    Washington Jewish Week

    Ron Halber, executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington, said while Jews constitute about 2 percent of the U.S. population, about 60 percent of religious-based hate crimes target Jewish institutions and people. He also noted the increase in hate crimes targeting Asian Americans, Muslim Americans, African Americans and other groups in the last several years.

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  • January 28, 2022

    Fairfax County schools adopt equitable academic calendar with goal of more inclusion

    ABC7 WJLA

    Guila Franklin Siegel, Associate Director of the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) of Greater Washington, released the following statement.

    We are elated that the Fairfax County School Board has taken this landmark, long overdue step to advance equity for minority-faith students. Tonight’s vote is a game-changer; it will have an immediate, dramatic impact on FCPS’ Jewish students and employees, as well as those of other minority faiths, who for the first time will feel that they have been truly seen and heard. Importantly, it also remedies the system-wide confusion and hardships caused by the current “O” calendar, which both teachers and students found highly problematic, and gives Veteran’s Day the recognition it deserves. And it accomplishes all of this without disadvantaging hourly workers or diminishing quality instruction, recognizing the importance to staff of aligning FCPS’ calendar with those of neighboring jurisdictions.

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  • January 27, 2022

    JCRC Statement on Fairfax County School Board landmark vote for equitable calendar

    JCRC of Greater Washington

    Tonight the Fairfax County School Board for the first time adopted an academic calendar that includes closures on three days coinciding with widely observed minority-faith holidays, Yom Kippur, Eid-al-Fitr and Diwali, as well as a professional day on the first day of Rosh Hashanah.  It also includes scheduled professional days on Veteran’s Day and Orthodox Good Friday.  This brings Fairfax County into alignment with five neighboring schools districts across Northern Virginia that had already adopted more equitable, inclusive calendars.  

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  • January 27, 2022

    Important News: Montgomery County Jewish Institutions Awarded Operating Dollars for Security Needs

    JCRC of Greater Washington

    We are pleased to inform you that at a press conference today headlined by Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich, he announced that the county has awarded a total of $700,000 in security grants for faith based non-profit organizations.  In contrast to the federal and Maryland state security grants that are geared towards capital needs, this grant is focused on operating funds -that is resources to hire off-duty police officers to protect our houses of worship, day schools, and agencies.

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  • January 27, 2022

    County giving $700,000 to houses of worship to help with security

    Bethesda Magazine

    Ron Halber, executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington, said in an interview that other funding sources, like federal and state grants, are mostly used for capital projects. 

    Halber said that replacing a security system is helpful, but the number one deterrent to attacks leading to injuries or deaths at a house of worship is by having an off-duty police officer or some other security presence, at least on a part-time basis. 

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  • January 16, 2022

    Grateful for a safe resolution

    JCRC of Greater Washington

    The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington and the Jewish Community Relations Council are immensely grateful and relieved that the hostages held in Congregation Beth Israel are now free. We commend the bravery of the FBI, state, and local law enforcement who ensured this situation resolved safely.

    Our hearts and thoughts remain with the Colleyville Jewish community. We pray for the complete healing of all those involved in this deeply traumatic event.

    Federation and the JCRC remain committed to combating antisemitism and all forms of hatred everywhere in America.

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  • January 15, 2022

    JCRC/Federation statement on hostage situation at Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville, TX

    JCRC of Greater Washington

    Shabbat should be a time of peace and joy. But this Shabbat, the Jewish community of Colleyville, Texas was attacked by an assailant who took hostages at area synagogue Congregation Beth Israel.
     
    The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington and the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington stand with the Texas Jewish community as this frightening situation continues to unfold, and we pray for a swift and safe resolution. 

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  • December 21, 2021

    JEWISH COMMUNITY GROUPS MEET WITH DCPS LEADERSHIP AFTER REPORTS OF HOLOCAUST SIMULATION ACTIVITY AT WATKINS ELEMENTARY SCHOOL  

    JCRC of Greater Washington

    Joint JCRC, ADL and American Jewish Committee Statement on DCPS Holocaust Education Incident  

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  • November 11, 2021

    FCPS lags behind Arlington, Prince William, Loudoun in observing religious holidays

    Fairfax County Times

    Rabbi Abbi Sharofsky, who serves as JCRC’s director of Intergroup Relations and previously served on Governor Ralph Northam’s Task Force on Culturally Inclusive School Meals and Calendars, said that the O calendar “was not enough” and a “device that was created to try and fix a difficult situation, and all it did was create more confusion.” 

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  • October 29, 2021

    Virginia’s education culture wars could decide its next governor

    Jewish Insider

    “My gut instinct is that the Jewish community continues to be solidly Democratic voters. That’s what every single poll has continued to show. I think it’s important to take that reality check,” said Franklin Siegel. “Having said that, I think that Jewish parents, in many respects, are no different than a lot of other suburban parents. And it seems that Youngkin has had a lot of success with using education as a wedge issue.”  

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  • October 26, 2021

    JCRC Says New FCPS “O” Calendar Does Not Remedy Accommodation Failures

    JCRC of Greater Washington

    Results of High Holiday survey highlight consequences of refusal to adopt equitable, inclusive calendar

    WASHINGTON DC- October 26, 2021 - The Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington (JCRC) yesterday wrote to the Fairfax County School Board to share the results of its informal survey of Jewish parents, teachers, and students who sought accommodations to observe the High Holidays last month.  

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  • October 26, 2021

    MoCo earmarks $700,000 for security of nonprofits

    Washington Jewish Week

    “There is no substitute for human eyes and intuition on the ground — you cannot replace the human element with [technology],” Halber said.

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  • October 21, 2021

    JCRC Outraged by Sunrise DC’s Antisemitic Statement

    JCRC of Greater Washington

    Agency condemns divisive action ahead of Freedom to Vote Rally in D.C.

    WASHINGTON DC—October 20, 2021 – The Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) of Greater Washington this evening issued the following statement in response to Sunrise DC’s declining a speaking slot at the Freedom to Vote rally this weekend, due to the participation of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA), the National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW), and the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism (RAC):

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  • October 1, 2021

    Jewish Community Outraged by Antisemitic Attack on Elected Official

    JCRC of Greater Washington

    Jewish Community Outraged by Antisemitic Attack
    on Elected Official
    JCRC Demands Response by Gubernatorial Candidates

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  • September 30, 2021

    Maryland county to fund security for nonprofits at risk of hate crimes

    The Jerusalem Post

    “Providing security to its citizens is the No. 1 responsibility of any local government, and I think our government here has been very, very responsible in acknowledging and understanding and appreciating what it is....They can’t just rely on federal dollars to deal with the security needs of the Jewish community and others,” Ronald Halber said.

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  • September 9, 2021

    Task Force Recommends Tools to Help Schools Adopt Culturally and Religiously Inclusive Holidays and Dietary Practices

    Commonwealth of Virginia

    "All students, educators, and families should feel a sense of belonging in their schools and institutions of higher education,” said task force member Rabbi Abbi Sharofsky. “Religious and ethnic minorities often feel isolated when choosing how to observe a holiday that falls on a school day, especially if the school does not acknowledge the observances important to their traditions. By proactively and intentionally creating an inclusive academic calendar, PK-12 schools and higher education institutions can foster belonging and equity for all students, and allow students to more fully lean into their religious and cultural identities."

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  • September 9, 2021

    Jewish Community Applauds Gov. Northam for Religious Sensitivity

    JCRC of Greater Washington

    Jewish Community Applauds Gov. Northam
    for Religious Sensitivity

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  • August 25, 2021

    Afghanistan dominates DC's attention, but MidEast eyes are on Bennett

    The Jerusalem Post

    “The Jewish community in the US is closely following the visit, as well. Ron Halber, executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington, told the Post that the American Jewish community “is open-minded and excited about getting to know Prime Minister Bennett, as we are every time there is a new Israeli prime minister.

    “Most American Jews feel a natural love and affiliation for Israel and want the prime minister to succeed, no matter what party he represents.

    “We are hopeful that President Biden and Prime Minister Bennett will enjoy a relationship of mutual respect and cooperation that will further the special bond between our two countries,” said Halber. “Most American Jews would like to see close coordination between our leaders in solving the COVID crisis and responding to the threat posed by Iran.”

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  • August 5, 2021

    Master teacher, community educator Avi West dies

    Washington Jewish Week

    “He benefitted so many people. He really was a master teacher,” said Ron Halber, executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington. “I think he was a prince of a man. He was a hero in so many ways.’

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  • August 4, 2021

    Daily Kickoff

    Jewish Insider

    🍦 Cold Response: Weeks after Ben & Jerry’s announced it would no longer sell its products in the West Bank, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced the state will not invest in or contract with its parent company, Unilever, unless the ice cream company reverses its decision within three months. The state of Maryland is also looking into whether the recent decision by Ben & Jerry’s to cease sales in the West Bank runs afoul of the 2016 executive order prohibiting state contracts with companies that support boycotts of Israel.

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  • August 4, 2021

    Groups urge Maryland to freeze relations with Ben & Jerry’s

    Washington Jewish Week

    “We’re glad that there will be a state review of any and all state contracts to determine if Ben & Jerry’s has any existing contracts with the state of Maryland,” said Ronald Halber, executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington. “We thank Gov. [Larry] Hogan and his administration for standing up to BDS, which is a nefarious and morally grey way of dealing with the Middle East conflict.” --- Halber said that what is needed is more investment in the West Bank, not divestment.
    “If you want people to believe in a two-state solution, you have to build them up, provide them with economic opportunities. It may make Ben and Jerry’s feel good but they have done nothing to contribute to peace; in fact, they have done just the opposite,” Halber said. “You think that not having Cherry Garcia ice cream in the West Bank is going to create lasting change? That’s ludicrous.”

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