2015-12-23 / Columns

Feb. 27 Yad b’Yad event will celebrate the Jewish leaders of tomorrow

Federation President

My theme throughout my two-year term as Federation president is: “We are Building our Future.” One of the most important pathways to our future is through the Jewish Federation’s Young Adult Division (YAD). For those starting their personal journeys, YAD is a connection to their Jewish roots as they navigate their first apartments, their first jobs, and their first relationships away from home. For those who have taken the next steps into marriage and parenthood, it’s a connection to Jewish values as they create homes, develop traditions, and balance work with all of life’s challenges.

And yet, YAD is even bigger than this. YAD members are the rising leaders of our South Jersey Jewish community. It’s a movement to improve the world around us. Each YAD member brings his/her own experiences, perspectives, and passions to the organization, working to make a difference. And together, they have a stronger voice. YAD impacts our community through volunteering, leadership development, and fundraising. Many of our Jewish Federation leaders began their volunteer careers in YAD, moving on to head other agencies and departments— wherever their strengths and interests took them. They are truly our future.

Last year, YAD held its first Yad b’Yad Honoring & Celebration event to recognize young volunteer leaders (ages 25-45) throughout our entire South Jersey Jewish community—from Cherry Hill to Mullica Hill. All in all, YAD recognized 24 young leaders! This year’s event on Feb. 27 will honor leaders from many of the same organizations and a few new ones: The Israeli Chabad Center and Raquela Hadassah.

“Yad b’Yad unifies our entire Jewish community to honor the volunteers who tirelessly create it. Our chairs, Rabbi Larry Sernovitz and Becky Sernovitz from Temple Emanuel and Drs. Elon and Neely Elisha from Sons of Israel, show us all how important it is for our entire Jewish community to come together as one people every chance we get. Our unified community support of volunteerism strengthens us all,” said Haleh Rabizadeh, YAD director.

The Yad b’Yad Honoring & Celebration event promises to be a wonderful evening and an amazing opportunity to see so many people who make a real and lasting impact on our community gathered together for one purpose. We’ll be announcing the names of this year’s honorees in the coming weeks here in the Voice, on our website, social media, and more. Please join us in congratulating them, and save the date for Feb. 27, 2016! We hope you’ll join us in honoring our young volunteer leaders in person, as they lead us into the future.

As we ring in 2016 next week, I want to wish you all a happy, healthy and meaningful new year! . jfedpres@jfedsnj.org

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