2016-09-28 / Voice at the Shore

Success is only possible with your help

FEDERATION AT THE SHORE
STEVEN SCHERZER
President Jewish Federation of Atlantic & Cape May Counties

On Thursday, September 15, our Jewish Federation, along with our sister federations in Vineland and South Jersey, was honored with the Organizational ACTION Award by the Diocese of Camden and Catholic Charities during the memorable and uplifting annual Justice for All Awards Dinner. It was an extraordinary and historic honor.

In preparation for the evening’s festivities, Kirk and I spent a good deal of time with our counterparts at the Diocese discussing the similar challenges now confronting our communities, and sharing our visions for the future. It is remarkable to me just how closely our missions align, and how our counterparts in the Catholic community look at their challenges and opportunities in a similar fashion.

We all acknowledged that, as religious life in America has been receding, and as options for giving have mushroomed, donors (especially younger donors) are less likely to make charitable contributions to traditional communal fundraising appeals. At the same time, the needs in our communities – our young, our elderly, our sick – continue to increase, especially here in Atlantic and Cape May counties.

At Jewish Federation, our organizational structure was created decades ago to keep our community strong. We are set up to identify community needs, come up with appropriate responses to those needs, and fairly distribute funds for the best possible results. Yet now, economic and demographic changes—in South Jersey and throughout America—threaten to weaken the very structure created to keep our community strong.

As we begin our annual campaign this year, set up to meet the ever-increasing needs in our community, we ask that you bear in mind that campaign is a partnership between you, our donors, and Jewish Federation. It is our most important partnership, one we share with the agencies, programs, and services that will benefit in 2017 from your campaign support.

In our Jewish community, as in the Catholic community and other faith communities, we can do more, and can be more effective, when we come together as a community to take care of each other and others that need our help. We are stronger when we look at the big picture, pool our resources, and cooperate to provide services for those in need and to make our community a better place.

In order to be there to provide what’s needed, we need everyone’s help – including yours. We call upon you, so that we can respond when our community calls upon us. s

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