By Daniel Staffenberg, CEO, Jewish Community Federation of Richmond
The Jewish Community Federation of Richmond is proud of its role in leading a strong Jewish Community in Greater Richmond and beyond by serving as a community voice, fighting Antisemitism, strengthening connections to Israel and World Jewry, and making investments in Jewish life, for today and the next generation.
This past year, Federation’s work, thanks to our thousands of generous supporters and volunteers, made a strong and meaningful impact throughout our community!
I thought I would share just a few of the highlights:
COMMUNITY CENTRAL SERVICES
Our Jewish Community Relations Committee leveraged the strength and heart of Greater Richmond’s diverse Jewish community to build meaningful relationships with elected officials, interfaith partners and played a key role in the passage of legislation that will strengthen the tools to fight Antisemitism and to champion a just, democratic, and pluralistic society.
Our Security Program, in partnership with Secure Community Network, trained hundreds of community members and worked with every agency and synagogue to strengthen their security resources, including obtaining over $3 million in Federal security grants since 2020.
JCFR convened professionals throughout the community for unique learning opportunities around grant making, philanthropy and measuring success. Additionally, we provided critical grants to Jewish educators allowing them to participate in national trainings, allowing us to strengthen the overall quality of Jewish education.
ISRAEL AND OVERSEAS
JCFR helped support a record 76,261 olim (immigrants) from 95 countries making Aliyah through our partners at the Jewish Agency for Israel, the highest number of olim in a single year since 1999.
Our Partnership2Gether program, which provides opportunities for all ages to engage with Israel continued to grow. Partnerships with Rudlin Torah Academy, the Weinstein JCC and each of our synagogues allowed our kids to discover Israel in deeply personal and lasting ways.
We provided critical background, learning opportunities and updates about Israel, including on the Judicial reform, peace process and geo-politics featuring prominent guest speakers.
INVESTMENTS IN JEWISH LIFE
We engaged in peer connections, networking and learning for Jewish Real Estate and Financial professionals through our highly successful Real Estate Speaker Series.
We increased our investment in PJ Library bringing Jewish moments to 500 subscribers locally. Additionally, we partnered with our community to bring Jewish experiences to life with hikes, book readings and special programs.
We provided scholarships, enabling children to go to Jewish overnight summer camp and teens to experience Israel.
I know you are likely thinking of so many other ways our Federation also made an impact, whether it be for seniors, Ukrainian refugees or through our Dignity Grows Program. The truth is every gift to our Federation makes a world of difference locally and around the globe.