Section Jewish Communities: 24JEWISH ALERTS large selection videos and feeds in each section

Coming to America: Stories of Immigration from Richmond’s Jewish Community


Clips from a panel discussion at the Weinstein JCC in Richmond, Virginia on Sunday, February 16, 2014.

We celebrated Richmond’s Jewish community’s immigration history over the last century and discussed how those immigration stories are both similar to and different from today’s immigrants to Richmond.

Community leader and businessman, Mark Sisisky, son of the late Congressman Norman Sisisky, was the event’s moderator. Roben Farzad, Jay Ipson and Janet Meyers shared their family immigration stories, as will Guatemalan immigrant to Richmond, Felipe Marroquin (bios below). We also got a sneak peek at a forthcoming documentary about Richmond’s Soviet Jewish immigrant community, “Draw Back the Curtain,” which has been created by students at the University of Richmond Hillel and Jewish Family Services.

Host Committee:
Rabbi Gary Creditor, Temple Beth El

Rabbi Andrew Goodman, Director of Jewish Life and Campus Rabbi at University of Richmond

Marco A. Grimaldo, CEO & President of Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy

Abby Levine, Jewish Social Justice Roundtable

Debbie Linick, Director for DC and Northern Virginia, JCRC of Greater Washington

Rabbi Ben Romer, Congregation Or Ami

Alan Ronkin, American Jewish Committee

Susan Sisisky, Community Volunteer



Roben Farzad is a Bloomberg Businessweek contributor and an immigrant from Iran. He has written for The New York Times, Boston Globe, and The Wall Street Journal and appears on NPR, CNBC, PBS, CNN, and BBC News. A graduate of Princeton University and Harvard Business School, Farzad began his career at Goldman Sachs.

Jay M. Ipson is a Litvak-American Holocaust survivor and co-founder of the Virginia Holocaust Museum in Richmond, Virginia. The Ipp family arrived in the United States on June 12, 1947. His father found work cleaning bathrooms in a gas station. His mother Edna worked as a seamstress in Thalhimer’s department store. To make their integration into American society easier, they decided to change their family name to Ipson.

In 2012, Felipe Marroquin’s wife of more than twenty years was deported, leaving him and his daughters shattered. His family valued education, performed volunteer work in their community and at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Richmond, and honored the country they call home. He did everything in his power to save his wife from deportation, paying thousands in legal fees, rallied support of their community and church, yet nothing could save his family from the brutal deportation.

Janet Slipow Meyers is a first generation native Richmonder who will share her family’s immigration story as well as the story of her husband’s family, who founded the Heilig-Meyers furniture company. Meyers is a lifelong educator and an active member of the local chapter of Hadassah and the Jewish Women’s Club.

A Torah guide to conflict resolution – Ephraim Mirvis at Limmud Conference 2013



The Torah offers us lots of guidance for day to day living, but what does it say about managing conflict? In this session, Ephraim Mirvis, Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth, explores different models for handling challenging relationships.

Marriage equality in Jewish communities – a panel discussion at Limmud Conference 2013


Same-sex marriage won major victories this year in both the UK and USA. How has it affected Jewish communities? What happens when rabbis and their congregants disagree? An interdenominational panel of leading rabbis consider this and other issues: with Laura Janner-Klausner, Zvi Solomons and David Wolpe, chaired by Benjamin Crowne.

Schindler Factory for Sale as Czechs Ponder Ruined Jewish Refuge

Tomas Kraus, the director of the Czech Federation of Jewish Communities, calls the museum a “fantastic idea.” His group doesn’t have enough money 
Irish-Jewish community has evolved to be part of the social fabric
Irish Times
By the mid-18th century, the Dublin Jewish community was immersed in the commercial life of the city, and had abandoned Crane Lane. It worshipped in temporary locations around the north inner city. However, the Irish Naturalisation Act of 1783 excluded 
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Irish-Jewish community has evolved to be part of the social fabric – Irish Times
World Jewish Congress
Adelaide Road synagogue in Dublin. Photo: Paddy Whelan Jews arrived in Ireland during the reign of William the Conqueror. Henry III made his viceroy the custodian of Jews in Ireland; his successor, Edward I, rescinded this protection, banishing the 
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Hungarian rabbi finds 103 stolen Torah scrolls in Russia
A Hungarian rabbi said on Tuesday he had uncovered 103 Torah scrolls stolen from Hungarian Jews during World War Two and stashed in a Russian library, adding he planned to restore and return them to the Jewish community. Slomo Koves, chief rabbi of 
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Liberman calls on Israel to contribute $365m. for Jewish education abroad
Jerusalem Post
He said that it was time for Diaspora leadership to “concentrate on the challenges facing your own communities, especially those emanating from the dangerous trends in theJewish community demonstrated in the recent survey.” Liberman said that the 
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Hungarian rabbi finds 103 stolen Torah scrolls, probably taken during Holocaust
Jerusalem Post
BUDAPEST – A Hungarian rabbi said on Tuesday he had uncovered 103 Torah scrolls stolen from Hungarian Jews during World War Two and stashed in a Russian library, adding he planned to restore and return them to the Jewish community. Slomo Koves 
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Beit Shemesh Agency Tackles Sexual Abuse One Case at a Time
The Jewish Press
The First International Congress for Child Protection Organizations in the Jewish Community takes place from March 3-5 at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Sponsored by Haruv and Magen LeYeladim U’Lemishpachot, the conference will draw 
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Liberman: American Jews face ‘demographic catastrophe’
The Times of Israel
It cannot be, it should not be, that a Jewish child will not be able to receive a good Jewish education because of financial reasons. This should be unacceptable to all of us who care for the Jewish future.” The situation is similar in various Jewish 
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Rabbi Finds 103 Torah Scrolls Stolen from Jews in Hungary
The Jewish Press
The Nazi death machine exterminated more than half a million Jews from Hungary, virtually destroying most Jewish communities outside of Budapest. It was previously known that Russia had stored more than 100 religious texts, some of them more than 500 
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Rabbi Slams Hungarian Politicians for ‘Using Jews‘ to Gain Votes
Arutz Sheva
Hungary’s Jewish community is still reeling from Friday’s political rally by the openly anti-Semitic Jobbik party in a former synagogue, according to Chief Rabbi Baruch Oberlander – and the fault lies with the city’s mayor. “Unfortunately [the city of 
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