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Hot Topics: Solitary Confinement in Virginia's Prisons

Monday, December 2, 2019 4 Kislev 5780

7:30 PM - 9:00 PM3330 Grove Ave.

Co-Sponsored by Temple Beth-El & Interfaith Action for Human Rights

Hosted by Rabbi Michael Knopf • Moderated by Rabbi Charles Feinberg 


Kimberly Jenkins-Snodgrass is a tireless advocate for justice, civil and human rights. Because of her family’s personal struggle to see justice served, she has traveled the country fighting wrongful incarceration. When Ms. Jenkins-Snodgrass experienced the injustice of the system firsthand with her son’s wrongful incarceration, her faith in the system was lost. However, her story is one that far too many American families experience and it has strengthened her resolve to work for equality. She is a partnering consultant at Mothers (Fathers) for the Advancement of Social Systems (MASS) Inc., co-author of  Delayed But Not Denied 2 and author of  U Can’t Have Him.

David Smith  is an alumnus of Mary Washington College with a B.A. in Religion and Concordia Seminary-St. Louis where he earned a Master of Divinity. He served in pastoral ministry for 6 years. In 2013 he was arrested and subsequently spent over 16 months in solitary confinement in Norfolk, Virginia. He currently works for Allianz in Richmond, volunteers with former prisoners to equip them to thrive, and advocates for change in the Virginia prison and jail system.



Vishal Agraharkar  joined the ACLU of Virginia as a Senior Staff Attorney in March 2018. He advocates on a broad range of issues to advance civil rights and civil liberties, through impact litigation, non-litigation advocacy, and educating individuals and communities across the Commonwealth. Before joining the ACLU of Virginia, Vishal was the Cochran Fellow at Neufeld Scheck & Brustin, LLP, in New York City, where he practiced wrongful conviction civil rights litigation. Prior to that he served as Counsel at the Brennan Center for Justice, where he focused on voting rights and elections. He also served as a law clerk to the Hon. Helene N. White of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. Vishal received his B.A. in Political Science from Williams College, and his J.D. from Columbia Law School.

Moderator: Rabbi Charles Feinberg

Rabbi Feinberg was a congregational rabbi for 42 years. He served and led congregations in Wisconsin, New York, British Columbia, and Washington, DC. Rabbi Feinberg has served as the chairperson of the Social Action Committee of the Rabbinical Assembly. He has also been co-chairperson of T'ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights.  Throughout his career, Rabbi Feinberg has advocated for Central American Refugees, the poor and the homeless, for interfaith dialogue and cooperation, and for respecting the human rights of both Palestinians and Israelis. Rabbi Feinberg recently began his fourth year as Executive Director of Interfaith Action for Human Righs.


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Thu, May 28 2020 5 Sivan 5780