"How beautiful is your tent, O Tidewater"

Wed, 10/12/2011 - 8:07am


825 You have made the bold and brilliant statement that people matter more than anything; that creating an embracing, welcoming community creates an effective community; that making people count is more important than counting people.
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Statehood Move Violates Palestinian Peace Pledges

Wed, 09/14/2011 - 3:14pm


 Resolutions 242 and 338 are not diplomatic boilerplate. They became the cornerstones of the U.S.-mediated Egyptian-Israeli and Jordanian-Israeli peace treaties, as well as the 1993 Israeli-Palestinian Declaration of Principles.

 U.N. recognition outside 242 and 338 would reward PA leaders for not negotiating “a just and lasting peace” with Israel and would diminish the world body’s own standing since Security Council resolutions are meant to be authoritative.

 The PA is not “frustrated with stalled negotiations with Israel.” It spurned their resumption during Israel’s 10-month freeze on settlement construction, returning under U.S. pressure only as time ran out and with non-negotiable demands. 

 * PA leaders insist on a West Bank and Gaza Strip “Palestine” based on Israel’s “1967 borders.” But Israel had no pre-1967 borders with those territories.
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When Worlds Collide Great Conversations Can Begin!

Tue, 09/06/2011 - 9:23am

The 1980’s were my “wonder years.” During these years I graduated from high school and college; declared independence from my Mom and Dad; and began to determine my life’s course. In 1984, ten days after graduating from high school, I walked through Vickery Gate at the US Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, NY. The days and years to come would see me donning a uniform, mustering morning, noon, and night, and ultimately going “down to the sea in ships to ply my trade in the mighty waters” (Psalm 107).
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JCC Maccabi Games: Building Jewish Pride Through Sports

Mon, 08/15/2011 - 9:24am

It’s 6 am Tuesday morning in Tel Chai, Israel.   My alarm goes off and BANG! Rebecca Bickford and I are out the door for another action-packed day at the JCC Maccabi Games and ArtsFest.

On this day, our 10 teens from the Virginia Beach delegation are being pulled in 10 very different directions. Rebecca and I split up the schedule. I will go to the swim meet at 10 am, then a tennis match at 11am, come back to Har Va Guy (the central location) for an ArtsFest workshop, then back to the tennis center for another match at 2pm, then take the bus to Amir Field for a 4pm soccer match, and finally meet the rest of the delegation for evening activities.
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Hineni! Graduates Travel on Tom Hofheimer Young Leadership Mission to Israel

Fri, 07/22/2011 - 10:59am

Two years of leadership training culminated in June 22nd  when fifteen young adults embarked on a week-long mission to Israel.  For seven days graduates of the Hineni! Institute for Leadership Development Program, sponsored by the Simon Family Foundation of the Tidewater Jewish Foundation, travelled throughout Israel, learning about her history, politics, social and security issues, and experiencing first-hand how Federation campaign dollars support Jews in need.
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Shalom and L’hitraot from Lonny Sarfan

Fri, 07/22/2011 - 10:44am

Wow and phew!  These are the first two thoughts that spring from my mind as I reach the end of my two year term as President of the Federation.  While time may have flown, I hope that in some small way I have helped our community continue to soar, becoming one of the leaders in the nation for its size in promoting a healthy and vibrant Tidewater Jewish community.
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Charting the Course at the Federation and Building Community Together

Wed, 07/06/2011 - 11:12am

It has been another challenging year for our campaign, but we set about our work to raise support for our community in the spirit of optimism, a strong dedication to ensuring our community’s future and in the belief that, as Jews, we are all responsible for one another.  During this year, as we campaigned we took steps to create a new future through the development of a new Strategic Plan that will set us on a course for the next five years.
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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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