Another year in the books. Jewish Dallas is bigger and better because of a year of progress, from increasing security funds for Jewish organizations to celebrating 75 years of Israeli independence. Here, you can rewind and review the top ten milestones from 5783.
Neighborhood Patrol Program
We coordinated with police to enhance security for our synagogues and neighborhoods on Shabbat. The Expanded Neighborhood Patrol, a program authorized by the Dallas Police Department, has helped at least six Jewish organizations hire off-duty police officers to patrol their areas.
Alongside other Jewish Federations, we advocated for more state funding for the Nonprofit Security Grant Program. Our efforts were successful, yielding an extra $2 million, which raised available nonprofit security funds in Texas from $10 million to $12 million. With these extra dollars, our Jewish nonprofits can apply for reimbursement for new cameras, fencing, and other security measures that mitigate antisemitic attacks.
Water, camera, hat — check. More than 30 teens spent three weeks connecting with their roots through Dallas Israel Teen Tour, an immersive Israel trip operated in partnership with RootOne and BBYO Passport. Their days were packed with activities, from camel rides to archaeological digs to sandboarding matches.
We threw a Yom Ha'atzmaut celebration for Israel, marking 75 miraculous years of independence. Every pocket of our Jewish community gathered at Aaron Family Jewish Community Center of Dallas for an all-day birthday party, featuring a performance by Israeli singer Itay Levi, family crafts, an obstacle course, and more.
Shaping Young Minds
PJ Library Dallas provided free books to over 1,500 families, helping them explore Jewish culture and values. The newest: A "Get Together" program encouraging families to build connections with new friends.
We partnered with JewBelong, a nonprofit that fights antisemitism through witty marketing, on the national #EndJewHate campaign. Together, we sponsored three billboards in Dallas to challenge and educate passersby. You might have seen this bright pink show-stopper, which says, “Can a billboard end antisemitism? No. But you can.”
Approximately 350 people of diverse faiths gathered for the “9th Annual Interfaith Seder.” Led by our clerical friends at Congregation Beth Torah and Friendship-West Baptist Church, they ignited conversations that linked the story of Passover with modern-day challenges.
White House Gathering of Community Leaders
The White House invited Igor Alterman, our president and CEO, to participate in “Building a Better America,” a series that brings leaders together for an open dialogue on strengthening communities. Igor told facilitators his three priorities were: 1) increase funding for national security grants that protect Jewish spaces from antisemitic threats, 2) expand Holocaust survivor assistance and other social services to reach more Dallas residents in need, and 3) support global efforts to recognize Israeli sovereignty.
Dallas Adopts Definition of Antisemitism
Dallas City Hall, led by Mayor Eric Johnson, adopted the internationally recognized definition of antisemitism, defined by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance. When addressing antisemitic acts, public agencies will reference the following definition: “Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions, and religious facilities.”
Community Security Trainings
No matter how quickly first responders drive, bystanders will always be first on the scene. Our Department of Community Security offered a series of free trainings, including “Run-Hide-Fight” and “Stop the Bleed,” to give Dallas residents the knowledge and skills to take action during life-threatening situations.