Campus Protests, Israel Aid Package, Yom HaShoah

It’s Friday, and like so many in our community, I have been closely watching the alarming pro-Palestinian protests that erupted on way too many college campuses this past week, including in the Greater Washington area.

I have been and will continue to stay in touch with the local Hillel directors throughout the region — grantees of the Federation — to ensure they are safe and secure.

I have two children on a college campus, so I am particularly tuned into the challenges our young people are facing these days. Please send me a quick note if you have kids or family members on college campuses and what they are experiencing, plus what is happening at your alma maters.

While peaceful protests are a critical part of American democracy, Federation condemns any protests that threaten or cause harm to others, and especially those that are antisemitic.

Take a quick look below for a few additional updates in this week’s It’s Friday.

Shabbat Shalom,
Gil Preuss, CEO
The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington



  • GW Rally Against Campus Antisemitism. With George Washington University emerging

    A strong showing at GWU to rally against campus antisemitism on May 2nd.

    as the epicenter of the protests in the DC area, I was proud to see the overwhelming response from students and allies rallying in support of Jewish students and against rising antisemitism on college campuses.

  • Federation’s Support of Hillels. Federation grants over $250,000 to the 11 local Hillels across DC, MD, and VA, helping more than 16,500 students connect to Jewish life. This support is more crucial than ever, as Hillel professionals and leaders help their students through this trying time. Many are staying open late and offering more intensive support as finals ramp up, but protests continue.


  • Critical Funding for Israel. Last week, an important bill was signed into law, thanks to the support of President Biden and the bipartisan leadership of the United States Congress, that included critical assistance of for Israel as part of a larger national security emergency package. Federation commends the U.S. for its continued commitment to keeping Israel safe.
  • Nonprofit Security Grant Program. Included in the bill was $400M for the Nonprofit Security Grant Program, which provides support for security enhancements and activities to nonprofits at high risk of attack. Federation, through our JShield security division, assists local Jewish organizations in preparing their applications each grant cycle. Learn more here.
  • Antisemitism Awareness Act. On Wednesday, the House passed a bill with bipartisan support that would mandate that the Education Department adopt the broad definition of antisemitism used by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA), an intergovernmental group, to enforce anti-discrimination laws. The bill now moves to the Senate, where we will be keeping a close eye on its progress.


  • Dedication to our Community. Congratulations to Sid Moskowitz, who received the Lee

    Sid Moskowitz receiving the Lee G. Rubenstein Outstanding Leadership Award at the EDCJCC on May 2nd.

    G. Rubenstein Outstanding Leadership Award from Federation partner Edlavitch DCJCC, for his tireless commitment to Jewish Greater Washington. It was wonderful to see our community come together in joy on this special night and celebrate such a committed and passionate leader and mensch.


  • A Day of Remembrance. At a time of increased antisemitism across the country, this Sunday evening marks Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day. This is a moment to commemorate those killed and to honor the survivors, and to remember our crucial responsibility to continue confronting and combating antisemitism. I hope you will join me at one of the events happening on May 5th, which include Federation partner JCRC’s virtual annual Holocaust commemoration. More here.