Update on Antisemitic protests on

Virginia Campuses.

Dear Friends,

We prefer not to e-mail you on the holidays, and are deeply sorry we must do so today.

As we celebrate these last days of Passover, the holiday has been marked by an eruption of antisemitic protests on college campuses around the country – including here in Virginia at Virginia Tech, University of Mary Washington, George Mason and VCU.

These Anti-Israel and antisemitic protests break community norms and standards to a frightening degree, normalizing hateful rhetoric and intimidation of Jewish students and faculty. Indeed, all students – whether Jewish or not – are being impacted by attempts to block their passages to class and other activities and by disruptive tactics interfering with classes. Participants in the protest often celebrate terror, promote global intifada and honor terrorist leaders. This is unacceptable and is in violation of many University codes of conduct and a clear violation of civil rights and must stop immediately. 

We join our partners at the ADL (the Anti-Defamation League) in calling on Universities and colleges to enforce their own codes of conduct and campus policies to restore calm and ensure students can learn, study, participate in activities and celebrate commencement and the close of the semester as they deserve – in a safe, welcoming environment.

A core value that is shared by all Americans is the right to peacefully protest and express ideas, even if contrary to our own. That is unfortunately not what is happening today. As the school year draws to a close, and commencement activities begin, we encourage all High School, College and University campuses across the Commonwealth to take the steps below to make sure their campuses are safe and welcoming for all students.

  1. ensure their policies clearly prohibit such behavior, and if not, immediately add appropriate amendments to their code of conduct;
  2. adopt a zero tolerance policy with appropriate punishment for violators, including expulsion and referrals to law enforcement; 
  3. ensure that non-campus actors are excluded from all campus protest activity; and
  4. prevent protests from targeting known Jewish locations, student groups, and individuals, including Jewish facilities such as Hillel and Chabad centers, Jewish Greek life buildings, and other locations where Jews congregate together as a community. 
  5. enforce rules and ensure consequences for disruptive, unsanctioned protests.
  6. plan for the disruption of and protect upcoming commencement events


Federation, alongside our SCN Regional Security Advisor, have been preparing for these situations and remain in regular contact with Governor Youngkin, Attorney General Miyares, VCU administration and VCU police to ensure that Jewish and general students are kept safe.

We are grateful for the swift and coordinated action of VCU, State Troopers and our elected officials in acting to ensure the protest at VCU was dispersed and handled appropriately once it became clear that it was no longer peaceful.

We are also thankful for the clear message sent by Governor Youngkin and Attorney General Miyares, and the many Delegates and Senators from both parties who have stood proudly to proclaim that Antisemitism has no place in Virginia.

We remain in regular contact with our our partners at Hillel and Chabad on campus across the commonwealth to support Jewish students, our campus Professionals and all those who stand in solidarity. We are monitoring the situation closely and will keep you apprised of developments.

We encourage you to report any act of antisemitism on our Jewish Richmond incident reporting form.

Amy Nisenson, President

Daniel Staffenberg, CEO

Rob Slotnick, JCRC Chair

Debra Rodman, JCRC Director

Key Resources from our Partners


Jewish Community Federation of Richmond

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