Back to School 2021

As families in Greater Washington pack backpacks and lunchboxes once again, the JCRC wishes all of our students a meaningful, safe and healthy year of learning. 

The transition to full-time in-person learning will be a significant transition, and our agency, led by Director of Education Programs and Services Sara Winkelman, is here to help make it a positive one. We advocate for Jewish students, families, and staff and ensure that our classrooms and schools are inclusive and welcoming to all students.
The JCRC champions a more inclusive, welcoming environment for students of all identities and backgrounds in our region’s schools and leads the fight to address and combat antisemitism. We help schools ensure Jewish life, history, and the Holocaust are appropriately included in classroom curricula and advise state committees, taskforces, and school boards throughout our region about minority accommodations.

We are pleased to provide resources on our educational resource hub to support you throughout the academic year: 

  • A Jewish holiday calendar that can be shared with teachers and administrators to explain absences or advocate for religious accommodation and sensitivity in scheduling exams and school events.  
  • Check out the results of our advocacy efforts throughout the region as well as links to the various school districts’ academic calendars and relevant closures on Jewish holidays.
  • An online form seeking input about whether Fairfax County’s new system of designated “O” days, on which there should not be exams or other significant events scheduled, will improve the experiences of Jewish students in FCPS. 
  • Religious absence policies protecting Jewish students who miss school on religious holidays in school districts in Maryland, Virginia, and D.C.  
  • Anti-bullying policies for all counties in our region. 
  • Guidance on how to report an antisemitic incident if your child is the target of hatred in person or online.
  • The JCRC’s Holocaust Survivors Speakers Bureau, a program that brings survivors to share their experiences during the Shoah with thousands of students and teachers each year. 
  • Student to Student, the JCRC’s signature peer-education program that trains Jewish teens to speak to non-Jewish peers about their lives as Jews and facilitates speaking engagement at area schools. 

As you embark on another year of learning, please reach out to Education Director Sara Winkelman when you need assistance. We are here to support you and your child’s educational experience in public or private schools in our region.