It has been a challenging year for American Jewry.
We witnessed shootings and hate crimes, including the October massacre that rocked Pittsburgh’s Jewish community. We watched as families seeking asylum were separated from their children; and openly anti-Semitic political candidates vied for spots in Congress. Israel took a hard line on the Nation-State Bill, creating laws that chipped away at relations with their Arab citizens and the Diaspora. Our Jewish values of tikkun olam and welcoming the stranger were challenged many times over.
Yet out of the tragedies and challenges came many wonderful things: More than 3,000 people – of all faiths – came together in unity at Kehilath Israel Synagogue for the Pittsburgh Community Vigil. We had an equally strong outpouring at our local synagogues the following weekend for #ShowUpForShabbat. Our national Jewish partners, including Jewish Council for Public Affairs, AJC Global Jewish Advocacy, and HIAS, joined forces to help care for the children who were separated from their families at the U.S. border.
We in Kansas City, as part of Jewish Voices United, also did our own clothing and basic necessities drive, with tremendous community support. Our national Jewish community – including Jewish Federations of North America – came together in support of the #metoo movement, ensuring that Jewish communal workplaces are safe, tolerant and fair.
It is a special treat, as President and CEO of Jewish Federation of Greater Kansas City, to witness, and to give voice to many of these changes. I see our work at Jewish Federation as an opportunity to make good things happen in our world, through the power of the collective.
However, as the world changes, one things remains constant at Jewish Federation: our mission to sustain and enhance Jewish life at home and around the world. As the year draws to a close, there is still time to help. The services and benefits we provide remain critical to our Jewish community. Once again, I hope you will join me in 2018 to support Jewish Federation’s mission. It takes all of us to make this happen.
Each gift ensures that our most vulnerable live with dignity and hope. Each gift gives heritage to ensure our continuity and affirm the future of Jewish Kansas City. Each gift gives promise for a brighter day.
In addition to receiving tax benefits, all new and increased gifts will be matched, dollar-for-dollar, allowing you to double the impact of your gift to Jewish Federation. We are so close to reaching our 2018 goal: Please help us reach our goal of $5.45 million...our highest campaign goal in our 85-year history.
Wishing you a happy and healthy New Year.