The Jewish Federations of North America sent more than 400 activists from more than 65 communities to Washington, D.C., last week, where they met on Capitol Hill with more than 140 congressional offices.
Among their goals were to push for measures to counter the global rise in Jew-hatred, urging passage of the Antisemitism Awareness Act; increased funding for Israel’s military in the wake of the Oct. 7 terrorist attacks by Hamas; and a boost to a program that provides security grants to faith-based nonprofits.
The Antisemitism Awareness Act would require the U.S. Department of Education to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism.
Eric Fingerhut, JFNA’s president and CEO, addressed those gathered on Jan. 31: “We stand here in the Capitol of the freest, safest, most powerful open, inclusive democracy in the history of the world.“ He stated that historians would write that “the Jewish people came to the Capitol of the greatest democracy in the history of the world and stood up for the renewed Jewish sovereign state.”
Michael Herzog, Israel’s ambassador to the United States, addressed the activists as well, saying “you have no idea how important your support is. The people of Israel know it; they appreciate it. And I’m here on their behalf to say… thank you.”