You Decide: Vote for Hampton Roads Jewish Hero!

Tue, 07/05/2011 - 9:53am

872 Voting officially opened for the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater’s Hampton Roads Jewish Hero contest following the announcement of the fourteen nominees at the UJFT Biennial meeting June 23rd. The contest is the first of its kind for the UJFT, where the public gets to vote and the winner receives a $500 grant for the charity of his or her choice.  The campaign celebrates those in our community who volunteer, celebrate selflessness, and embody service and outreach to the Jewish community. 

The contest is modeled after a similar contest run by the Jewish Federations of North America, and the winner will be announced at the Campaign kickoff September 14th. Voters are encouraged to return to the website to vote once a day, allowing them to see the latest news and updates available on this site.
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Do you know any college students?

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 9:37am

589 I’m really excited about our upcoming community event JUST FOR COLLEGE STUDENTS (rising freshmen through recent college graduates), Sababa Sunday.  This FREE program is taking place on Sunday, June 5th at 6:00pm at the Simon Family JCC.  Dinner will be provided and Nate Sacks and his band will offer fabulous entertainment. RSVP (sgurvitz@simonfamliyj.org) is a must!

Sababa (Hebrew slang for awesome, cool, it’s all good, etc.) Sunday is a program that began last year in a partnership effort between the Community Relations Council of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater and the Teen and Hillel Program of the Simon Family JCC.  The theme of Sababa Sunday is Israel Advocacy and the main goal is to educate and empower the students on ways to advocate and give them facts about Israel and resources to do so.   The underlying goal is to bring local college students together for some fun, reunite them with their friends, and remind them that their Jewish community is here for them.

We have a great partner in AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee) this year and they have helped guide us in our program lineup as well as put us in touch with three amazing AIPAC student activists from around the country.   Here’s a bit about the student activists and the breakout sessions they’ll be facilitating!

  • Anti-Israel Activity And Pro-Israel Advocacy On Campus led by Katina, a recent graduate from University of Texas and is looking forward to continuing her affiliation with AIPAC as she enters the workforce, after many years of high school and university involvement with the organization as a star activist.  Katina’s Pro-Israel activism began in High School when confronted with anti-Israel sentiment during a presentation she was included in.  After a tearful car ride home that night she realized that she lacked what was the most important word in the definition of an activist and that is empowerment.  Through AIPAC Katina has learned not just the importance of the American-Israel Relationship but how to engage in conversation about Israel and  walk away feeling like she’s made a difference.
  • How to Assess Challenges And Opportunities On Campus led by Dean, an Israeli living just outside of Baltimore, where he recently graduated from Jewish Day School.  Dean  was very involved with AIPAC, and was the head of the Committee for Israel Action (CIA). He has been involved in fundraising and lobbying, and is currently a fellow at AIPAC's Leadership Development department in their national office. Dean is currently deciding whether he’ll attend Brandeis University for his freshman year in the fall or postpone and enjoy a gap year program working for AIPAC in Israel.
  • Why Christians Support Israel And Why They’re Involved With Pro-Israel Campus Activity led by Sarah, a student at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia.  Sarah is the president of Liberty University’s Stand With Israel Club, an international affairs-oriented club centered on strengthening the unique relationship between America and Israel through student involvement in the political process. The club features debates, distinguished guest speakers, petitions, and opportunities to lobby and was the recipient of the 2011 Liberty University Student Government Association "Club of the Year" Award.  Sarah was recently honored as the Campus Activist of the Year at AIPAC’s Policy Conference for her program bringing 3,000 students to learn about the importance of support for Israel.


We all understand that today's college students will be tomorrow's leaders. And, we know that  it is imperative we help educate and energize students by introducing them to pro-Israel facts and resources today. By empowering the next generation of advocates, we guarantee the future of Israel and the Tidewater Jewish community.

I hope that you’ll encourage your kids to come to Sababa Sunday and will consider encouraging your friends in the Tidewater Jewish community that have rising college freshmen through recent college graduates to have their kids attend as well. 

I’m really excited about this event and know that the students attending will not only have a fun evening but will walk out knowing a bit more about Israel and feeling empowered to make a difference in their Pro-Israel advocacy efforts going forward.

- Robin Mancoll
Community Relations Council Director

A Great Partnership – Virginia and Israel

Tue, 05/10/2011 - 9:28am

552 Since 1996, the Virginia Israel Advisory Board (VIAB) has served as the bridge and facilitator for Israeli companies who want to establish and/or expand their business in the USA and locate in Virginia.  As an engine for Virginia job growth, the VIAB has advised the Governor on ways to improve economic and cultural links between the Commonwealth and the State of Israel, with a focus on the areas of commerce and trade, art and education, and general government.  Over the past decade, VIAB has added approximately 1,395 new jobs to Virginia’s workforce through partnerships with Israeli businesses.  This represents an astounding 594% return on investment to the Commonwealth, the only state in the U.S. with such a partnership.  

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Kosher Hogs

Fri, 04/29/2011 - 9:28am

534 What would prompt otherwise sane men to pull off such a “meshugener” [crazy] idea as flying from their homes in Melbourne, Australia to the United States for an extended weekend? That is what a few of the Jewish motorcycle riders that are card-carrying members of “Yidden on Wheels” [YOWIES] have planned. Read more »

Remember the Holocaust and Remember Yom Hashoah this Sunday, May 1, 2011

Wed, 04/27/2011 - 10:30am

69 This year Yom Hashoah will be commemorated on May 1 at Ohef Sholom Temple.  In honor of Holocaust Remembrance Day, the local Holocaust Commission has been preparing a very meaningful program that will honor Holocaust survivors and righteous gentiles as well as pay homage to the 6 million Jews who perished during this horrific time in history. 
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He wasn’t exactly Colin Firth. But then, who is?

Wed, 04/06/2011 - 11:07am

492 Those who know me know this: I am not a “gusher.” I don’t giggle or stammer or go weak in the knees over every pretty face I see… In fact, at 45 years old, I can count on one hand the number of “crushes” I’ve had in my life – alright, maybe one hand and a couple of fingers  (if you include my romantic notions  about “Ponch and John” of the 1970’s TV show “CHiPs”). But today, the count rests at three:  my darling husband (of course); actor Colin Firth, and Dr. Rick Hodes of the JDC. Read more »

Thoughts on the Annual Campaign

Tue, 03/29/2011 - 11:40am

67 The United Jewish Federation of Tidewater Campaign takes up a greater portion of the year than it did ten or twenty years ago, primarily due to a decrease in the numbers of volunteer solicitors. Still, while we bemoan the effects of assimilation and economic times, there is still a core of concern in our Jewish Community that allows us to achieve an Annual Campaign in excess of $4 million dollars.
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Don't Miss Seeing Hannah Rosenthal at the Sandler Family Campus

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 1:13pm

485 Hannah Rosenthal, the State Department’s Special Envoy to monitor and combat anti-Semitism, will make a rare appearance on the Sandler Family Campus March 28th at 7:30 p.m., speaking  on “Combating Anti-Semitism: Thinking Globally and Acting Locally.” Read more »

Behind the Scenes at A Night to Honor Israel

Tue, 03/08/2011 - 11:47am

465 We must do more with less. Recent economic conditions have made this the catch phrase of charitable institutions worldwide. It rings true for the UJFT as well. Read more »

Telling Children Why They Must Remember Is Our Mission

Thu, 03/03/2011 - 10:57am

432 When the last living witnesses to the atrocities of the Holocaust are gone, who will tell the stories? Unless we tell our children, no one will, and history could easily repeat itself, as it has so many times throughout history.

Anne Frank’s famous diary told her story after she perished, and Through the Eyes of a Friend, a dramatic presentation brought to our community each year by the Holocaust Commission, is opening the pages of that diary up in a new way for over 3000 Hampton Roads students this year. Read more »

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