In a ceremony at Richmond City Hall on Thursday, May 18, Mayor Levar Stoney declared May as Jewish American Heritage Month to recognize and celebrate the accomplishments that Jewish Americans have made in the U.S.
The initiative was a collaboration between the city, the Jewish Community Federation of Richmond and the Combat Antisemitism Movement and was aimed at educating the general public on Jewish American history.
“Today, Virginia has one of the fastest-growing Jewish populations in the country,” Stoney said. “My hope is that this trend continues as we continue to work hard to ensure Richmond is a welcoming and inviting city and home with the Jewish community.”
Federation CEO Daniel Staffenberg noted, “Jewish Americans have left an indelible mark on every facet of American life. Jews have a proud tradition of philanthropy and community service, and we strive to make a positive impact on the cities and communities we call home.”
The guest speaker was Ret. Navy Commander Dana Griffin, a member of Keneseth Beth Israel, who served on active duty for 26 years and is a member of Jewish War Veterans. He highlighted the important role that Jewish veterans have made for the U.S. in battles throughout American history.
Griffin said, “As we celebrate Jewish American Heritage Month, I ask each of you to recognize the achievements of Jewish people across all spectrums: the arts, military, science, medicine and law.”