From the Desk of the Federation Executive Director: With gratitude 6/4/21

In preparation for the Federation annual meeting on June 16, I’ve spent time reflecting on the past year and creating a vision for the year to come. (For information about how to attend the meeting, see the article on page 1.) The pandemic brought with it unprecedented challenges, but it also brought out the best in our community. 

In response to the crises we faced, community members gave compassionately to our Annual Campaign and to Jewish Family Service. These dollars helped us to sustain our local Jewish institutions and support our struggling neighbors in their time of need. Every donation counts, no matter how big or small. 
The Federation sponsored two outdoor drive-in events and eight communitywide Zoom events in the past year. We gathered to celebrate Chanukah and Shavuot, to pray together, to watch and discuss films, to listen to Ambassador Michael Oren discuss his book of short stories, to commemorate Yom Hashoah and to tour a Ruth Bader Ginsburg exhibit. Virtual programming enabled us to reach Jewish community members both far and near. It was uplifting to spend time with the many who joined our events during this time of isolation.

It is impossible to predict what the new year will bring. Will we meet in person or continue to hold events virtually? My best guess is we will be doing some of both. In the coming year, we intend to engage young families through targeted programming. Our upcoming event, Tot Shabbat in the Park on June 11, is intended to do just that. (For more information on the Tot Shabbat program, see the article on page 1.) Our annual Campaign will kickoff on August 29 with a viewing of the film “Fiddler: A Miracle of Miracles.” Everyone on the Film Fest Committee agreed this is a joyous film that will be loved by all. We hope to once again gather on the Sunday between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur at the Temple Israel Cemetery to remember Holocaust victims at the Get Together Club Holocaust Memorial. 

Whatever comes our way, Federation will be sure to act with chesed and put the needs of our community and its organizations at the forefront of all we do. From the staff and board of the Jewish Federation, I extend my warmest wishes to all of you for a happy and healthy summer.