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Calendar of Events
Calendar of Events

Please visit our calendar regularly to view and RSVP to the many wonderful programs from the JCRC

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Select this link to view Photos from previous years.

2016 - Present

Teens Remember The JCRC's 2018 Holocaust advocacy, educational and commemorative activities culminate in the community-wide commemorations in Maryland and Northern Virginia reflecting on "Hate Speech and the Holocaust."  Albums display photos from the Virginia commemoration, exhibits and teen program.  The JCRC also supported commemorations at Adas Israel and Sixth & I. 
The Final Candle of the Survivors

The JCRC's Holocaust commemorations in Maryland and Northern Virginia reflected upon "Displaced Persons - Struggles to Find a Home." Original youth and professional art, interpretative dance, and readings were featured  with ceremonial candle lightings and recitation of the Holocaust Mourners' Kaddish.  JCRC thanks more than 1,500 attendees, supporting organizations in Maryland, DC and Northern Virginia, as well as donors, interfaith partners, public officials and volunteers

 Attendees mingle before dinner

The JCRC’s Annual NoVA Legislative Reception at the JCC of Northern Virginia was a huge success, with over 125 legislative officials, Jewish agency leaders, and community members in attendance. We revealed our 2017 State Legislative Agenda, featuring church and state separation, voter access, and combating bias as key priorities for the upcoming General Assembly session. The highlight of the evening were table discussions, where participants sat with their representatives and discussed how we can work together to pursue our shared priorities in the Commonwealth.

Schmooze and Nosh Close to 170 representatives from our local Jewish agencies, community leaders, and elected officials joined the JCRC for our inaugural "Schmooze and Nosh" legislative breakfast. We highlighted our legislative agenda for 2017 and looked forward to continuing our partnership in working with our elected officials at the Federal, State, County, and Municipal level. Speakers included: Maryland Senator Ben Cardin, Maryland Lt. Governor Boyd Rutherford, Montgomery County Councilmember Roger Berliner, and Washington Post government and politics editor Debbi Wilgoren.
Talk Israel 2016

The JCRC and The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington had a great time hosting our 2nd annual Talk Israel conference for teens on Sunday, Nov. 20th. The one day conference was made possible by a generous donation from the Margo and Yoram Cohen Family. We welcomed nearly 90 college bound high school students for an amazing day of learning, conversation, and all things Israel.

JCPA Lunch Oct 16 Thanks to Krissy Roth and Tamara Gilden from the Jewish Council for Public Affairs for joining the JCRC of Greater Washington staff for lunch in our North Bethesda office on October 19th. It was great to catch up and strategize about policy priorities over falafel!
Governor Hogan at the Kotel The JCRC was proud to be a part of Maryland Governor Larry Hogan's economic development mission to Israel organized by the Maryland/Israel Development Center. During the trade mission, the governor met with numerous companies, academic institutions, American and Israeli dignitaries and visited several significant and religious sites, in an effort to strengthen ties and promote Maryland as a gateway for Israeli companies seeking to establish U.S. operations and bring new jobs to Maryland.
Maryland District 6 Congressional Forum The JCRC was proud to host a very lively and open discussion at the Maryland District 6 Congressional Forum. Thanks to candidates Amie Hoeber for Congress (R) and Congressman John K. Delaney (D) for coming out to speak in a Town Hall setting on some very important issues facing District 6 and the country as a whole.
Schlihim Staff members from the Israel Action Center met with the participants of The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington's Congregation Schlichim Program. The program welcomes 10 schlichim/Israeli emissaries to our community’s synagogues and schools. We discussed ways we can all work together especially in bringing Israel education and advocacy to the members of our synagogues and schools.
Unity Walk 2016
The JCRC was proud to be a part of the September 11th, 2016 Unity Walk who's theme was Know Your Neighbor. Beginning at Washington Hebrew Congregation more than 1000 people came together to visit houses of worship and community centers in a celebration of solidarity among faiths and cultures. Adat Shalom Reconstructionist Congregation, InterFaith Conference of Metropolitan Washington, Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom, Faith Community Working Group, Dar Al-Hijrah Islamic Center, Islamic Center of Washington, and United HINDU Association - UHA participated.
An Evening of Interfaith Dialogue On September 11th, the JCRC was pleased to cosponsor How to Maintain Discourse in a Contentious Time: An Evening of Interfaith Dialogue, a powerful evening where we learned that civility starts with us learning how to speak to our neighbors.
IEF Session 1 The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington and JCRC of Greater Washington began the 6th co-hort of the Margo and Yoram Cohen Family Israel Engagement Fellowship. In the fall of 2016, we partnered with Sha'are Shalom, Beth Emeth, and Beit Chavarim to welcome 18 college bound high school students in Northern Virginia to the program. These students particpiated in 7 weeks of training learning how to engage with and advocate for Israel on campus and beyond.
Flower Park Apartments Vigil "Hinei Ma Tov u'Ma Nayyim..." "How good it is for brothers and sisters to dwell together..." August 14th, Saint Camillus Catholic Church., with support from Interfaith Works, area congregations, and community agencies, organized a prayer vigil in support of our neighbors who are suffering from the impact of the recent fire at the Flower Park Apartments. Community speakers were heartfelt and emotional and expressed their mutual support in response to their sense of vulnerability and fear. 
Montgomery County Faith Leaders Did you know that in Montgomery County, faith leaders representing myriad communities have come together to work to support and offer pastoral care in difficult situations? On August 11th, Rabbi Steinlauf joined members of the MoCo ESCV’s to offer support at the Rolling Terrace Elementary School Family Reunification Center. To learn more, please follow this link.
On August 2nd Rabbi Steinlauf had the opportunity, along with other leaders in the Jewish Community, to welcome the Israeli, Palestinian and Israeli teens participating in the Global Institute. The program was Voices of Hope: an inspiring evening honoring thirty Palestinian, Israeli and American peacemakers as they complete a week-long leadership program in advocacy and social action. Learn more about Kids4Peace go to their website.
 Peacemakers As a participant of the Finn Church America and the Network for Religious and Traditional Peacemakers private Inter-religious Roundtable discussion with His Royal Eminence Sultan Muhammad Sa'adAbubakar III Sultan of Sokoto, we had an opportunity to hear Sultan Abubakar's perspective on the current situation in Nigeria and the efforts of Nigerian religious leadership and communities in advancing peace. It was very powerful to hear the challenges the nation's religious communities face and their commitment to building understanding.
Minds in Motion The JCRC of Greater Washington met with staff from the Richmond Ballet's Minds in Motion arts education program for children. Each year, Minds in Motion travels to Israel for a two-week residency teaching over 300 Jewish-Israeli and Arab-Israeli students cooperation and mutual respect through dance. We were so excited to learn about this inspiring and innovative program that brings children from different communities together. To learn more, view their website.
So Others Might Eat The week of July 18th, Rabbi Steinlauf went to visit So Others Might Eat to learn all they do for the poor and homeless of Washington, D.C. Each day, SOME is restoring hope and dignity one person at a time. Their site is To view photos of Rabbi Steinlauf's visit, please follow this link.
Montgomery County Public and Law Enforcement Joint Town Hall Montgomery County hosted two Public and Law Enforcement Joint Town Hall Meetings; The public was encouraged to join dialogue about the importance of a respectful and trusting relationship between police and the community. The meetings encouraged further dialogue about gun violence and worked towards the goal of a Montgomery County free of hostility, with enhanced safety for everyone in our community. This initiative is in response to recent events in St. Anthony, Minn. and Baton Rouge, La. and Dallas, Texas. These meetings have the full support of the Montgomery County Human Rights Commission, the Committee on Hate Violence, and the Black Minister's Conference.
Interfaith Learning Iftar The JCRC of Greater Washington was honored to cosponsor an Interfaith Learning Iftar: Opening Our Hearts to Peace and Triumph Over Fear, highlighting the interfaith response to the Syrian Refugee Crisis, with the Shoulder to Shoulder Campaign, Montgomery County Faith Community Working Group, Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, The Foundation For Ethnic Understanding-FFEU, and Haneefiya America. We enjoyed a meal with recently resettled refugees and discussed interfaith collaboration to welcome and support this community. 

Disarm Hate

Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton and the D.C. Chief of Police Cathy L. Lanier raised the issue of local gun violence and gave us the chance to hear the voices of survivors. "In Washington, D.C. We don't have a local gun issue - we have a national gun issue." To view the photos from Disarm Hate, please follow this link.
Jewish Foundation for Group Homes - Vivian Bass Event
The JCRC was proud to celebrate and honor the Jewish Foundation for Group Homes' Vivian Bass upon her retirement from JFGH. Her leadership over the past 30 years has been amazing and our community has benefited greatly from it. To view the photos from this event, please follow this link.
MIDC - Maryland/Israel Development Center's Second Annual MIDC The JCRC of Greater Washington was proud to co-sponsor the MIDC - Maryland/Israel Development Center's second annual MIDC Day at the Embassy of Israel. It was an exclusive networking event with an interactive panel featuring Israel's senior diplomats to the U.S. discussing how they promote U.S.-Israel collaboration.
A Celebration of Sisterhood: Building Bridges Across Faiths Rabbi Batya Steinlauf, Rev. Dr. Rosetta Robinson, Director of Congregation and Community Emergency Support at Interfaith Works, and Maggie Siddiqi, Communications Mangager at the El-Hibri Foundation, facilitated a salon "A Celebration of Sisterhood: Building Bridges Across Faiths" at the Sojourners' Summit for Change. 
Annual Gala 2016 On Tuesday, June 14 the JCRC held their annual gala at Beth Sholom Congregation and Talmud Torah, Potomac. We would like to thank everyone who attended and supported the JCRC at our 2016 Annual Gala. Over 400 community members joined us as we honored Michael Flyer, Susan Turnbull and Warren Slavin. To view community tributes to our honorees, please follow this link. To view photos from the gala, please follow this link
Speakers and Clergy at the Gathering On Friday, June 10 the JCRC held a solidarity gathering at the Max Brenner Chocolates, Bethesda. Thank you to the more than 150 community members who joined us at Max Brenner Chocolates on Friday, June 10th. Together we showed our steadfast support for the people of Israel in the aftermath of the deadly terrorist attack that killed four Israelis at the Max Brenner Café in Tel Aviv on June 8th. Follow this link to view pictures from the gathering and this link to view videos.
Legacy of the Survivors On May 1, the JCRC hosted community-wide Holocaust Commemorations in Maryland and Virginia reflecting upon "Seeking Truth & Justice - 70 Years After Nuremberg."  Each observance included teen workshops, art and artifacts exhibits, B'nai B'rith's "Unto Every Person There Is A Name," community and youth choirs, original and ceremonial readings. Keynote speaker Peter Black, PhD, shared insights from his work at the Department of Justice's Office of Special Investigations (OSI) charged with prosecuting Nazi war criminals.  
2016-04-17-CBE Israel Forum-4303 compressed.jpg On April 17, our new Director of the Israel Action Center, Jennifer Raskas moderated a panel at Congregation Beth Emeth in Herndon, Virginia on Supporting Israel. The panelists were Yaron Gamburg, Director of Public Affairs at Embassy of Israel in Washington; Alan Ronkin, Director of the Washington Regional Office of the American Jewish Committee; and Matt Mayers, Chair of the DC Metro chapter of J Street.

On April 13th, the JCRC of Greater Washington and The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington celebrated the completion of our Israel Engagement Fellowship's 4th and 5th cohort at the Embassy of Israel in Washington, D.C. The Israel Engagement Fellowship welcomes 10th, 11th, and 12th graders from Maryland, Virginia, and DC to learn different ways they can explore Israel and ask tough questions in a safe space. View pictures of the 4th and 5th cohort including the graduation ceremony here.

Ben Dror Yemini presenting How to Fight BDS

On April 3 and 4, The JCRC, The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington, the The Jewish Community Center of Greater Washington, the Israel American Council, and the Israeli House Washington הבית הישראלי בוושינגטון were proud to host prominent Israeli journalist Ben-Dror Yemini, an international authority on combatting the anti-Israel BDS Movement for two programs.

Alexis Schwartz, Noa Meir, and Samantha Vinokor

Between March 20-22, 2016, JCRC of Greater Washington joined with more than 15,000 pro-Israel supporters at the AIPAC Policy Conference in Washington, DC.  The conference included demonstrations of breakthrough Israeli innovations, keynote speeches by American and Israeli leaders, and educational breakout sessions. Click here to view more photos from this exciting event!

 Opening Session

On Sunday, March 13th, the JCRC in partnership with the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington, hosted our inaugural Talk Israel conference for teens. This day-long event brought together high school students from across the DC area to learn about Israel and what to expect when they go to college in the next few years.

Noa Meir speaking

The JCRC’s Israel Action Center was a proud co-presenter of several of the films at the Washington Jewish Film Festival. The Director of the IAC, Noa Meir, spoke at several of the films: Mountain, Encirclementsand Partner with the Enemy.

IMG_2579 compressed.jpg

On February 28, it was a full house at the 6th Annual Community Education Day on Arab Citizens of Israel as part of the Washington Jewish Film Festival, sponsored by the Greater Washington Forum on Israeli Arab Issues (GWFIA) and the Washington DCJCC, lead support provided by The Naomi and Nehemiah Cohen Foundation and The Lois and Richard England Family Foundation.

 Noa Meir and Malcolm Hoenlein compressed.jpg On February 17, Noa Meir, Director of the Israel Action Center, attended a conference at Haifa University, in Israel. The conference, "Stripes, Stars and Magen David," was sponsered by the Ruderman Family Foundation and addressed the 100 years of Jewish-American involvement in the Yishuv and the State of Israel. Israeli and American professors discussed aspects of American Jewry's contribution to the Zionist project, and the ongoing cooperation between the Israeli and American Jewish communities. The conference was followed by an evening dinner with the Conference of Presidents, including a panel discussion about the challenges ahead and the importance of investing in the next generation.Click here to view more pictures from the conference.
Ambassador Dennis Ross and Ron Halber

On February 9, 2016 the JCRC welcomed Ambassador Dennis Ross to discuss his recent book, Doomed to Succeed: The U.S.-Israel Relationship from Truman to Obama. We were joined by more than 225 community members at Congregation B'nai Tzedek. Ambassador Ross engaged the audience with stories from his book, chatted about his experiences serving in different administrations, discussed the future of U.S.-Israel relations, and signed books.Click here to view the full video of the event on the JCRC GW Youtube Page.


Remembering Yitzhak Rabin at DCJCC From November 5th thru 9th, the JCRC welcomed our 3rd Annual Scholar in Residence, Member of Knesset Ayelet Nahmias-Verbin. Over the course of her 4 days in the Greater Washington area we had 14 programs visiting 3 synagogues, 3 universities, 2 churches, 1 think tank, 1 high school, and more. She spoke with hundreds of community members in DC, Maryland, and Virginia.
 JCPA Chicago Meeting 2015

The JCRC GW's Rabbi Batya Steinlauf and Noa Meir represented us at the the Jewish Council for Public Affairs(JCPA) national meetings in Chicago on June 28-30. While there, Noa participated in a panel about Israel Advocacy speaking about spoke about the successful Israel Engagement Fellowship (IEF) program for teens run by the The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington and JCRC. Rabbi Steinlauf participated in an Interfaith Partners for Peace reunion at the meetings! Participants in the mission came to describe how the journey to the Holy Land developed relationships, changed perspectives, and how they addressed the subject when they returned home.

 Interfaith Prayer Vigil

On June 24, the JCRC GW's Rabbi Batya Steinlauf represented us at the community interfaith service in solidarity with Charleston, South Carolina. We remember the victims of the senseless violence at Emanuel AME Church & the nine who lost their lives: Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, Reverend Clementa Pinckney, Cynthia Hurd, Tywanza Sanders, Myra Thompson, Ethel Lee Lance, Daniel L. Simmons, Rev. Depayne Middleton, and Susie Jackson. May their memories be for a blessing. 

MIDC Cooperation Between Israel and the U.S. Networking Event 

On June 23rd, the JCRC co-sponsored a very successful event with the Maryland Israel Development Center at the Embassy of Israel. 130 people came to hear about the incredible cooperation between the US & Israel. Among the attendees were MoCo State Senator Cheryl C. Kagan, and representing County Exec Ike Leggett for County Executive - Lilly Qi.

Program Closeup On June 17th, the JCRC hosted our 2015 Annual Gala at Beth Sholom Congregation and Talmud Torah in Potomac, MD. We welcomed 500 members and supporters from our community, elected officials, and our 2014 honorees. Congratulations to the JCRC's 2014 Award winners:
Ron Glancz, Breslau-Goldman Award Honoree 
Bobbi and Larry Shulman, Community Leadership Award Honorees
Rabbi Jack Luxemburg, Distinguished Service Award Honoree
Thank you to the Greater Washington Community for your continued support!
Community Forum Honoring Religious Diversity 

The Community Forum Honoring Religious Diversity in Montgomery County on June 10, culminated lengthy collaboration between the Education Committee of the FaithCommunity Working Group and the Superintendent’s Office and Board of Education. The result was historic as In excess of 100 MCPS officials, faith leaders, principals, teachers, parents and students received the draft Guidelines for Respecting Religious Diversity.

 Yair Lapid 2

Israel Action Center Director, Noa Meir attended ACCESS AJC's Global Forum. There were several interesting speakers, including Deputy Secretary of State,Tony Blinken, MK Yair Lapid - יאיר לפיד, Senator Bob Menendez, Ambassador of Israel to Great Britian, Daniel Taub, Senior VP and Koret Distinguished Fellow at Shalem College. Dr. Daniel Gordis, and a debate between Ari Shavit & Caroline Glick titled "Two-State Solution or Two-State Illusion?"

Jewish Evangelical Dialogue 

On June 2nd, Rabbi Batya Steinlauf attended a conference on Jewish Evangelical DialogueRabbi Steve Gutow, President of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, David Neff, and Jim Wallis, of Sojourners were panels. One of Rabbi Steinlauf's favorite quotes from the conference was from Chris Seiple of the Institute for Global Engagement. "It takes the best of faith to defeat the worst of religion."

Israel@67 On Sunday, May 31st, staff and volunteers from the Israel Action Center participated in the Israel@67 Festivals in Maryland and Northern Virginia and the Blue and White BBQ in Washington, DC. We enjoyed celebrating Israel's 67th year of Independence and meet so many community members.
 Interfaith Collaboration at the Islamic Society of Organizations

On May 31st, Rabbi Batya Steinlauf spoke on Interfaith Collaboration at the Islamic Society of Organizations. America's National Interfaith and Government Forum.Prominent interfaith leaders and high-level government officials convened with ISNA leadership and various Muslim and community leaders from across the DC, Maryland, and Virginia area to discuss how we, as faith leaders and elected-public officials, can strengthen our mutual trust through inter-religious partnerships and civic engagement.

Annual Meeting 2015 On Thursday, May 28th, the JCRC held our 2015 Annual Meeting. We installed new board members and welcomed keynote speaker, Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD). Senator Cardin, the Ranking Member on the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations discussed American Leadership in the Middle East, described the support he has and continues to have for Israel, and welcomed questions from our community members.
President Barack Obama Speech at Adas Israel Several JCRC staff members and members of the Greater Washington Community attended a speech by President Barack Obama in celebration of Jewish American Heritage Month at Adas Israel Congregation in Washington, DC. on May 22nd. In his speech, President Obama reaffirmed his commitment to Israel's security.
 Nostra Aetate: Celebrating Fifty Years of the Catholic Church's On May 21st Rabbi Batya Steinlauf had the pleasure of representing the JCRC GW at a luncheon to honor His Eminenece, Cardinal Kurt Koch, for Nostra Aetate from the International Jewish Committee on Interreligious Consultations. And on May 20th, Rabbi Batya Steinlauf attended a program on Nostra Aetate: Celebrating Fifty Years of the Catholic Church's Dialogue with Jews and Muslims.
Turmoil in the Middle East Program at Magen David The Israel Action Center co-sponsoredTurmoil in the Middle East: The Impact of Instability in Yemen on the Future of Arab-Israeli Relations on May 20th with Magen David Sephardic Congregation. Sigurd Neubauer, a Washington Middle East Analyst, discussed the profound change of rhetoric in the Middle East, the common security threats and resentment towards current US policy, and even ended on an optimistic note, saying that “as the turmoil in the Middle East moves forward, we are going to see more potential alliances between Israel and some of its Arab neighbors.”
 Yom Yerushalayim 5/7/15 5 On May 17th, Noa Meir, our Director of the Israel Action Center spoke at The Dennis and Phillip Ratner Museum in front of the NVHC Reston Sisterhood about Yom Yerushalayim. Noa gave some reflections about Jerusalem and shared her personal connection to Israel's eternal capital as a 10th generation Jerusalemite.
Post Election Briefing On Wednesday May 6th, Director of the Israel Action Center, Noa Meir, and Community Shlicha, Pnina Agenyahu visited the JCCNV/Greater Gainesville Active Adults group to discuss the 2015 Israeli election campaigns, pre-election polling, the results, coalition building and their implications. Thank you to Sheila Budoff and the JCC NV for arranging for this program.
11174929_753967211391573_9119938119745019073_n (1).jpg On April 30th, the JCRC’s Israel Action Center co-presented the movie A Borrowed Identity (aka Dancing Arabs). Director of the Israel Action Center, Noa Meir moderated a post-screening panel between AU Global Scholar Daniel Munayer, a Palestinian-Israeli Christian who grew up in Jerusalem, and Maram Masawri, a post-doctoral fellow at the Free University of Berlin who was head of the Early Childhood Education Department at Al Qasemi College of Education in Israel.
Interfaith Partners for Peace 

At the end of April and beginning of may, Rabbi Batya Steinlauf participated on an Interfaith Partners for Peace mission to IsraelInterfaith Partners for Peace is a network of pairings of rabbis and non-Jewish clergy in locations across the country committed to peace and reconciliation and two thriving states for Israelis and Palestinians, as well as true interfaith dialogue without tearing down the narratives of either group. 

Yom HaZikaron Service 1.jpg The JCRC of Greater Washington and The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington conducted a ceremony commemorating Yom Hazikaron and Yom Ha’atzmaut, attended by staff, Jewish Women's Renaissance Project, Camp Moshe, and members of the Washington-Baltimore Rabbinical Assembly on April 22nd. The ceremony captured the emotional and unique atmosphere of these two special days in Israel, and provided a peek at Israeli ceremonies, including prayers, lighting the remembrance candle to honor all the heroes and heroines who gave their life for the State of Israel, reading texts, somber songs and the difficult but joyful transition to Yom Ha’atzmautClick here to learn more about the holidays.
The Fourth Candle of the Survivors

The JCRC partnered with the Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia and co-hosts Congregation Beth Emeth and the Northern Virginia Hebrew Congregation for the 2015 Northern Virginia Holocaust Observance. More than 150 students participated in a teen program on, "The Other Dr. Seusss: Reinterpreting the WWII Political Cartoons of Theodor 'Seuss' Geissel."  You may also view the 2015 supporting agencies and synagogues, educational programs

The Candle Lighting
More than 400 Holocaust survivors, dignitaries, elected officials, rabbis and interfaith clergy, and community members participated in the JCRC's 2015 Maryland Holocaust Commemoration at Congregation Har Shalom. The commemoration featured a keynote address on "Anti-Semitism Then and Now" by the AJC's Rabbi Andrew Baker; a Memorial to the Lost Communities by rabbinic leaders; the community choir led by Hazzan Ozur Bass; and the multi-generational candle lighting. You may also view the 2015 supporting agencies and synagogues, educational programs.
 2015 Montgomery County Advocacy Day

On April 15, the JCRC held our 10th annual Montgomery County Advocacy Day at the Montgomery County Council. This year we were thrilled to welcome more than 60 participants who joined us as we advocated on a wide variety of issues vital to the community. We are grateful for the support and cooperation from County Executive Isiah (Ike) Leggett and the entire Montgomery County Council.

Media and Israel lecture 2.jpg On March 30th and April 2nd, IAC Director, Noa Meir was invited to speak about Israel in the Media in two classes titled “Literature, Mass Media and Schooling” taught by Dr. Melissa Landa at University of Maryland. Noa gave an interactive presentation about the miss portrayal of Israel in the international media. The students expressed much interest and were surprised to learn how badly Israel is depicted in the press in US and Europe.
 Holocaust Remembrance Proclamation

Montgomery County Council President George Leventhal presented the JCRC with a Holocaust Remembrance Proclamation recognizing our commemoration on April 12 at Congregation Har Shalom. The full County Council joined in solidarity at this occasion and many will be with us on April 12th as well.

10152418_732719243516370_5696511257637589268_n.jpg In the fall of 2015, The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington and the Israel Action Center at the JCRC welcomed 15 10th, 11th, and 12th graders from all Jewish denominations from Maryland and DC to our 3rd Israel Engagement Fellowship. This program was designed to engage our community's youth with Israel and Israel Advocacy. The Jewish Federation and the Israel Action Center at the JCRC are committed to the continuity of Israel engagement with all members of our community, regardless of age or affiliation. Thank you to generous donors Margo and Yoram Cohen for funding this program. Click here to learn more about the Israel Engagemnet Fellowship.
National Hunger Seder On March 26th, Rabbi Batya Steinlauf was privileged to attend the Jewish Council for Public Affairs/MAZON National Hunger Seder to draw attention to childhood hunger. The distinguished participants included William Daroff - Public Profile from Jewish Federations of North America, Josh Protas from MAZON, Vivianne Bass CEO of Jewish Foundation for Group Homes and JWI board member, as well as many members of Congress, head of nonprofits and government agencies combating hunger, and a group of students from Jewish Primary Day School of the Nation's Capital.

The IAC co-sponsored a screening of Beneath The Helmet: From High School to the Homefront on March 24th at the JCC NV. The screening of this movie about IDF soldiers was followed by a panel, with Noa Meir, Dana Kalishov, and Yakir Daniel, who shared their personal stories and perspectives from their IDF service. The IAC co-sponsored a 2nd screening on April 21st, at the JCC Washington, DC as part of the Washington Jewish Film Festival's year round programming.


On March 23rd and April 20th, the IAC co-sponsored a screening of the documentary film, Crossing the Line 2: The New Face of Anti-Semitism on CampusThe film reveals the rise of anti-Israel activity and anti-Semitic rhetoric on North American university campuses, and demonstrates when reasonable criticism of Israel ‘Crosses the Line’ into anti-Semitism. At both screenings, film director, Shoshana Palatnik, spoke with the crowd after the screening explaining why she made the movie and answered audience questions. 


Noa Meir, Director, Israel Action Center, and Pnina Agenyahu, Community Shaliach, JFGW, presented at an informative JCRC and JFGW lunch and learn session on the 2015 Israeli Elections on March 17th, Israel's election day. They also gave post-elections briefings to different groups in our Greater Washington community on March 18th & 19th. They met with Conservative Rabbis at Congregation Beth El, Bethesda, Maryland and with Hillel International professionals, discussing the election campaigns, the results and their implications.

Election Night 2015 Real Time Analysis

More than 100 community members joined the JCRC and The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington on March 17th for our Election Night Real Time Analysis, as we celebrated Israel’s democracy on the day of its 2015 elections. We offered a peek into the Israeli parties and campaigns with Noa Meir and Pnina Agenyahu, followed by an analysis of the initial results by Neri Zilber, Journalist and Researcher on Middle East politics and culture, Visiting Scholar at the Washington Institute. For more information about the elections, please visit the Israel Action Center's 2015 Israeli Election Information page.

 Town Hall Meeting

Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett's Faith Community Working Group, co-chaired by JCRC's Rabbi Batya Steinlauf, in partnership with Montgomery County Police, hosted a town hall meeting on community policing on Monday, March 16. MCPS Chief Tom Manger spoke with members of the community, discussed how the department handles concerns that include racial profiling, preventing violent extremism, protecting youth from online predators, and responding to mental illness and hate and violence in our community, the resources MCPS offers to our youth, and answered questions from the community.

Good Deeds Day 2015 On March 15th, 2015 members of the JCRC staff and board participated in various programs throughout Maryland, DC, and Virginia as part of the community wide Good Deeds Day program sponsored by The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington. The Israel Action Center partnered with The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington, the Israeli House, the Embassy of Israel, and youth movements to bring together 8th through 12th graders from the Greater Washington Jewish community and local Israeli teens to make Shema pillowcases for IDF soldiers.
 Governor Larry Hogan at 2015 Annapolis Advocacy Day

On March 10th, the Jewish Community Relations Council partnered with the Baltimore Jewish Council for our 2015 Annapolis Advocacy Day. Hundreds of our community members joined us to meet with elected officials including Governor Larry Hogan, Lt. Governor Boyd Rutherford, Attorney General Brian Frosh, and many state senators and representatives. We successfully advocated on a wide range of issues.

Noa Meir, Israel Action Center Director On March 9th, more than 50 members of our community joined us for the Aleph-Bet of Israel's 2015 Elections. Noa Meir, Director of the Israel Action Center, and The Jewish Federation's Community Shlicha, Pnina Agenyahu delivered a presentation on the ins and outs of Israel's 2015 elections complete with descriptions of the political process, key parties, leading candidates, and the issues facing Israeli voters. We were hosted by Temple Shalom in Chevy Chase and Rabbi Michael Feshbach provided opening remarks.
 2015 Washington Jewish Film Festival Panel Discussion Throughout the last half of February, the JCRC partnered with the Washington Jewish Film Festival to screen several movies about Israel. Noa Meir also participated in multiple panel discussions on various topics related to the movies.

Together with members of the Greater Washington Forum on Israeli Arab Issues, the IAC co-sponsored the Fifth Annual Community Education on Israeli Arab Issues on February 22nd.The day began with a keynote address by Dr. Dalia Fadila, President of Al-Qasemi College of Engineering and Science, followed by a panel discussion with Dr. Fadila, Dan Arbell, Scholar-in-Residence, Center for Israel Studies at American University, and Safa Garb, JDC Division Director, Arab Society and Infrastructure, and moderated by Rabbi Sid Schwarz, Co-chair of the Greater Washington Forum on Israeli Arab Issues. After the keynote address, attendees screened the DC premiere of Dancing Arabs by filmmaker Eran Riklis. The screening was followed by a reception and World Cafe-style discussion. Click here to learn more about the Greater Washington Forum on Israeli Arab Issues.

1606962_714373712017590_1801885670588785913_n.jpg Alexis Schwartz, Associate Director at the JCRC's Israel Action Center, attended a briefing on February 19th for American Jewish organizations on ways the government of France is working to combat anti-Semitism hosted by French Ambassador Gérard Araud. France's Interior Minister, Bernard Cazenueve, who was in Washington, DC for the White House's summit on extremism, addressed the organizations' representatives.

More than 150 community members attended a screening of Precious Life at the JCC Greater Washington on February 8th. After the screening, film maker Shlomi Eldar addressed the crowd. The film was nominated for an Oscar in 2011 and tells the story of an Israeli pediatrician and a Palestinian mother on a quest to get treatment for her baby, who suffers from an incurable genetic disease. Each must face their most profound biases as they inch towards a possible friendship in an impossible reality.

 Tour of America's Islamic Heritage Museum On February 7th, Rabbi Batya Steinlauf had a facinating tour of America’s Islamic Heritage Museum in Washington, D.C. along with the Daughters of Abraham interfaith book group. On the tour the group learned about about the longstanding, rich history of the American Muslim community. 
NoVA Participants On February 4th, 45 members of the Northern Virginia Jewish community traveled to Richmond to join more than 100 members of the statewide Jewish community for Virginia Jewish Advocacy Day. Governor McAuliffe, Lt. Governor Northam, and Attorney General Herring welcomed the group before local participants met with 25 legislators on topics including religious freedom, the Virginia Israel Advisory Board, combating bias, voter access, and Medicaid expansion.
2015 Virginia Insider's Briefing 

On January 29th, the 2015 Insiders’ briefing at the Northern Virginia JCC provided an opportunity for Advocacy Day participants to gain an in-depth understanding of the issues which they were soon to discuss with their legislators in Richmond. Topics included voter access, religious freedom, the Virginia Israel Advisory Board (VIAB), and immigration reform.


Director of Israel Action Center, Noa Meir, spoke at the Jewish Educators Assembly National Convention at the University of Maryland on January 28th. The convention dealt with new opportunities and new ways to engage with Israel, focusing on Jewish schools' engagement with Israel and all if its complexities.

 Ron Halber and Alan share a laugh

More than 500 community members joined together on Thursday, January 22, at Temple Beth Ami, to share our good wishes with Judy and Alan Gross, as we welcomed Alan home after 5 years of unjust incarceration in Cuba. We couldn't have asked for a better reason to celebrate, or a nicer community response.

MEF Dennis Ross

On January 21st, the IAC welcomed Ambassador Dennis Ross for our Middle East Forum: Iran's Nuclear Program: Actions Speak Louder than Words. Ambassador Ross addressed to more than 200 community members about the threat Iran poses to the U.S., Israel, and their relationship. He said, "The Iranians have to believe the price is going to go up. If We don't convince them that they need this deal more than we need it then there won't be a deal...I think Iran wants to dominate the region. I think we face a radical Islamist threat from both Shia and Sunni. Our mistake is to focus on ISIS alone. I don't distinguish between the radical Islamists in terms of their goals and views."

 Solidarity Event

On January 13th, more than 500 people attended a solidarity event at Adas Israel Synagogue to give tribute to the people of France and its Jewish community after the terrorist attack in a Kosher grocery store.. Remarks were offered by, Denis McDonough, White House Chief of Staff, Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Julieta Valls Noyes, Deputy Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs in the US Department of State, His Excellency Gerard Araud, Ambassador of France to the US who said: "On the first line of democracy are journalists and Jews... I want to say all my apologies, we failed, the French authorities, we could have, we should have prevented the attack."