2016-06-22 / Columns

We are here to encourage community collaboration

FEDERATION 411
JENNIFER DUBROW WEISS
Jewish Federation CEO

The strength of a people. The power of community. We live and breathe these words each and every day here at the Jewish Federation of Southern New Jersey. And it’s truly amazing to see this in action, both as the CEO of the Jewish Federation and as a community member.

We are blessed to have a community that works hand-in-hand with one another—one that understands the power of collaboration and shows a desire to work together for the greater good. The Jewish Federation hosted two events earlier this month that showcase the power of that collaboration. The first annual Educator Awards for Jewish Education in South Jersey and our Community Shark Tank LIVE.

The Educator Awards honored 23 individuals from 14 different synagogues, day schools, and Jewish organizations for their dedication to providing our children with a Jewish education. It was a packed house that evening—so packed that we even had to bring out more tables and seating for our guests! What strikes me about these types of events is the spirit of coming together that permeates the room. To have 14 synagogues, day schools, and Jewish organizations represented in one room is at the very core of what the Jewish Federation family strives to do each and every day: Connect our community Jewishly.

Just a few days later, we had our Community Shark Tank LIVE event where 10 teams presented their projects for new and innovative programming to our “Sharks.” The teams themselves were collaboration between our Federation family of agencies, synagogues, and community organizations and groups. It was overwhelming to see the strength and power of our community coming together to address the needs identified in our 2013 Jewish POP Study. Our Community Shark Tank teams were comprised of 46 individuals representing 29 different organizations and groups. Amazing! And on top of that, we had over 200 people come out to cheer on our teams, support their family and friends, and learn more about new, collaborative programming on the horizon.

The Jewish Federation will continue to encourage collaboration throughout our South Jersey Jewish community as we move forward into the future. We believe that collaboration is what strengthens us as a people… and as a community. And this is of the utmost importance to us. No one agency, organization, or synagogue can do it all. But working together, we can. We can provide for those in need. We can cultivate Jewish identity. We can advocate against hatred and bigotry. We can create a rich, cultural experience right here in South Jersey, and connect people to Jewish communities in Israel and elsewhere around the world. We can educate our children Jewishly.

jweiss@jfedsnj.org

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