JCRC Responds to Statement by Loudoun County Board of Supervisors Vice-Chair Juli Briskman

JCRC Statement

The following is a statement from JCRC of Greater Washington Executive Director Ron Halber and Director of Virginia Government and Community Relations Vicki Fishman in response to the statement from Loudoun County Board of Supervisors Vice-Chair Juli Briskman.

“We join people of good conscience across the world in mourning the recent deaths of seven members of World Central Kitchen, whose mission to feed the hungry resonates deeply with the Jewish community. They embody the principle of tikkun olam, or repairing the world, that is central to Jewish teaching.

It is deeply unsettling that Supervisor Briskman is using such a tragedy as an opportunity to make unfounded and inaccurate statements about Israel and the ongoing conflict in Gaza. Unlike Israel — whose leaders have publicly admitted their mistake, openly mourned the World Central Kitchen workers who lost their lives, and immediately removed multiple top-level military officers responsible for  incident — Hamas has shown absolutely no regard for innocent human life. Indeed, Hamas continues to celebrate their murder of 1,200 people on October 7, continues to hold more than 130 people hostage, continues to hide behind innocent Palestinian civilians, and continues to fire rockets indiscriminately toward Israeli families. Yet Hamas’ barbarism merits only a quick aside in a statement that pins the blame on a nation trying to protect its people.

We further question why Supervisor Briskman has decided to wade into foreign affairs when her focus should instead be the health and well-being of her constituents at home. More than 40% of the Jewish population in the DMV resides in Northern Virginia. Yet we do not recall Supervisor Briskman releasing a statement joining her constituents in mourning after Hamas’s barbaric attack on October 7. We do not recall Supervisor Briskman expressing any interest in learning about persistent antisemitism that has affected Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS) over the past several years. We do not recall Supervisor Briskman appearing or participating at the post- October 7 town hall with LCPS Superintendent Dr. Aaron Spence on November 30th at Congregation Sha’are Shalom that focused exclusively on school-based antisemitism.  

We support elected officials at all levels who are using this moment to protect people abroad or here at home. Supervisor Briskman’s statement accomplishes neither objective. Rather than using her position to score political points, we urge her to use it to make a difference.”