I am just a MOTHER!

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 1:59pm

Posted in: Stop the Sirens

1692 I am not a politician nor am I a military person. I am neither a spokeswoman nor am I one who leads.

I am just a MOTHER!

I am the mother of Roy (14) and Tia (12) who happen to be in Israel for the summer. Yes, Israel! The same place you read about in the newspaper or hear about on the news. That small country in the Middle East which has been under fire for the last 10 days. (Photo caption below*) Read more »

Reflections on Two Journeys

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 1:36pm

Posted in: Holocaust Commission, Stop the Sirens

By Mickey Held


The Holocaust Commission of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater was invited to present its innovative original program, What We Carry, at the 9th International Conference on Holocaust Education at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem, July 7 – 10, 2014. This blog is part of a series, written by those who represented What We Carry, the Holocaust Commission, and the Tidewater community (and beyond) at Yad Vashem, and whose visit to Israel coincided with the start of Operation Protective Edge.

At Yad Vashem, Janice Engel, Elena Barr Baum, Deb Segaloff, Mickey Held.

As a member of the Holocaust Commission for 20 years, I have been privileged to witness the impact we have made on our community with our many programs.  As I escorted survivors to share their stories, I became transfixed by their journeys and inspired by their courage. We became family, and my life was enriched by their friendship. As my friends shared the horrors and lessons of the Holocaust, I was fortunate to see the changes their stories made in people’s lives. Read more »

Life Goes On

Wed, 07/09/2014 - 4:02pm

Posted in: Stop the Sirens

1682 By Liz Dovrat

Liz Dovrat is an American-Israeli living with her Israeli-born husband Lior in Kibbutz Yiftach, a kibbutz in the northern tip of Israel on the border with Lebanon.  Currently she works as an English teacher at the local college, Tel Hai Academic College.   Liz spent most of her childhood summers in Virginia Beach, where her parents, Noel and Barbara Dudley now reside. - See more here.

What is life like in Israel right now with on-going rocket-fire from Gaza and the start of Operation Protective Edge?   Depends where you are.  For the majority of Israel, the daily pattern of life continues as usual– dropping the kids off at day camp, fighting traffic, spending the day at the office, and coming home.   That's what Israel has done before and will continue to do. For example, my husband's 95-year-old grandmother still went on her morning walk in Tel Aviv, despite the missiles and sirens from the night before. As she said, she's survived multiple wars before, so there's no reason to change her schedule for this one.
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United in Mourning

Tue, 07/01/2014 - 10:09am

1671 Two weeks ago, three teenage Israeli boys, Eyal Yifrach, Gilad Shaar and Naftali Fraenkal were kidnapped as they were on their way home from their yeshiva near Hebron.

We, in the Tidewater Jewish community, joined with others around the world hoping and praying for the safe return of these boys to their parents. On Monday, we learned about the discovery of the three bodies of Eyal, Gilad and Naftali.

As parents, we cannot even begin to imagine what these families must be feeling, to lose their children in such a horrific way. 

At times like this, our community's reactions range from grief to disbelief, and our hearts go out to the parents, families, friends and communities where these boys lived. We all would like to help in some way, and right now one small gesture is to express solidarity with these families, and one big gesture for the future is be strong advocates for Israel.
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Mazel Tov to Amanda Gladstone, Stein Family College Scholarship Recipient

Thu, 06/26/2014 - 10:14am

Posted in: Tidewater Jewish Foundation

1667 Amanda Gladstone does not know what the term “free time” means. As one of only two Jewish students attending Hickory High School in Chesapeake, she got involved with BBYO to be more connected with her Judaism. And this involvement did not simply entail going to meetings every week. Amanda has immersed herself in BBYO since ninth grade, where she has held multiple leadership positions over the years, participated in numerous committees and coordinated conventions. In 2013 she was awarded the Gold Star of Deborah, which is the highest honor bestowed by the organization.

“BBYO has meant everything to me and been very impactful on my life. It sparked my interest in leadership and the nonprofit world,” said Amanda.
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We all stood at Sinai - Shavuot 2014

Tue, 06/03/2014 - 2:30pm

1664 As we prepare to observe Shavuot -- the Jewish festival celebrating the giving of the Torah to the Jews at Mount Sinai -- the saying "We all stood at Sinai" comes to mind.

For us, at the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater, those words are powerful reminders of the interconnectedness of the Jewish people -- past, present and future.
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TJF celebrates 30th anniversary, Simon Family Legacy Society And retirement of its President & CEO

Tue, 05/20/2014 - 11:36am

Posted in: Tidewater Jewish Foundation, Special Events

1657 On April 24th, the Tidewater Jewish Foundation celebrated its 30th anniversary, acknowledged the members of the Simon Family Legacy Society and honored Philip Rovner on his retirement from the Foundation after 18 years of service.

Approximately 150 people were in attendance. The program included a welcome by the Foundation’s Chair, Ron Kramer, a brief history of the Foundation by Hal Sacks (TJF’s Executive Director Emeritus), and remarks by Kim Simon Fink on behalf of the Simon family.

“We are an effective, efficient machine. We give so that we can sustain, we increase our giving so we can build and grow,” said Fink. “It gives me great pride that the legacy continues.”

Philip Rovner was then honored by Miles Leon, Chairman of the UJFT, and Harry Graber, Executive Vice President of the UJFT. Rovner was presented a cherry tree, planted on Campus, by Randy Parrish, CFO of the Foundation, on behalf of TJF’s staff.

“Like this tree, this organization is very healthy, its roots are very firmly in the soil, and I fully expect that Philip’s work will generate great things and continue to grow in the future,” said Parrish.

Rovner concluded the program with his remarks about his mentors and inspiration over his 18 years of service. “This evening we are celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Tidewater Jewish Foundation.  I’ve been so very honored, humbled and fortunate to have been its President and CEO. You have heard and viewed some of the history of the Foundation from others tonight. What I wish to share with you is a sense of community and commitment that most every one of our donors has expressed as to why they have left their names and their financial resources to this marvelous venture, as testimony to the future of our Jewish community.”

The Foundation would like to thank everyone who celebrated with them on April 24th. If you would like to make a donation in honor of Philip Rovner’s retirement, please contact Shelby Tudor at 757-965-6105 or studor@ujft.org.

Click here to view all photos.

Honoring Those Who Preserve Freedom

Fri, 04/25/2014 - 7:47am

Posted in: Community Relations Council

On the weekend of May 3-4, 2014, Temple Israel will be paying tribute to those who defend the freedom of America and Israel.

It’s become a cliché to say that freedom isn’t free.  But the truth should never be a cliché.  Most people who have grown up in the United States take their freedom for granted.  They think freedom is the norm.  In the course of history, it has been the rare exception.  Today, every American enjoys freedom and opportunity unparalleled in the history of the world only because freedom was won, and has been preserved and protected, by the United States military.  American Jews should be especially thankful.  In our long and often somber history, we have never had a home in the lands of the Diaspora as open to Jewish life and practice as the United States. Giving thanks for our blessings is a basic tenet of Judaism.  With the high concentration of military bases and facilities in the area, a congregation in Hampton Roads has a unique opportunity to show the thankfulness and respect for our military that all Americans should feel. 
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Share-itage your Heritage!

Thu, 04/24/2014 - 9:50am

Posted in: Shalom Tidewater

1636 May is Jewish American Heritage Month!

Since 2006, Jewish communities across the nation have celebrated our shared heritage and history through gatherings, book clubs, movie nights, festivals, and more. Museums, national organizations, and even the White House have joined in to honor Jewish contributions to the United States of America.

This year, in honor of the 100th anniversary of The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, the theme of Jewish American Heritage Month (JAHM) is "American Jews and Tikkun Olam: Healing the World."

Our Tidewater Jewish community is rich with history both regionally and on an individual basis. Let's take the time to celebrate our community heritage and contributions to our country!
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FAQ: Jewish Tidewater 101

Tue, 04/08/2014 - 1:31pm

Posted in: Shalom Tidewater

1605 Relocating to a new state or city can be a daunting task; and whether you’re moving alone or with your entire family, the preliminary work of researching your new town can prove overwhelming. Shalom Tidewater offers numerous free services to help alleviate some of the stress of starting over in a new place.

Over the past three years, we have worked with dozens of new community members and we have complied a list of some of the more frequently asked questions about the Tidewater/Hampton Roads area and living Jewishly.
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