2016-11-23 / Columns

Being thankful for the impact that Federation and its agencies has

Federation President

Although Thanksgiving is not a Jewish holiday, it incorporates many Jewish values and is a holiday that many American Jews celebrate all the same. It’s a time to gather with friends and family, and an opportunity to reflect on what we have to be thankful for in our lives. Something we should all be thankful for and proud of in our Jewish community is our Jewish Federation and agencies.

The impact that Federation has on the lives around us is incredible—and lasting. We hear stories of that impact each and every day—touching and connecting one generation to the next. A parent reaching out to Federation for help with their child; and a child reaching out to Federation on behalf of a parent. Federation impacts our Jewish community with cultural, social, and recreational programming— and support services for just about every need imaginable.

The recently widowed young mother is thankful for the food, the financial assistance, and the grief counseling we provided during her time of need. The family of the young adult with special needs is thankful for the help in landing a new job and onsite training with an experienced job coach. The senior who lives alone is thankful for the life-long learning classes that motivate him or her to leave the house and maintain the connection to friends and community. The teen who is struggling with his Jewish identity is thankful for the opportunity to go to Israel and to strengthen that bond.

We can all be grateful that Federation is there when—and where—it is needed. Federation is there when a Jewish early childhood education is a priority but the tuition can’t be afforded; when an aging parent needs inhome care to help them age in place with dignity; to help pass on the lessons of the Holocaust from one generation to the next; and to help transition a teen with special needs who has graduated high school and is eager to enter the next phase of his or her life. Federation support to our overseas agencies keeps Israel strong and thriving. And, that’s just a small part of what the Jewish Federation does each and every day.

We should all be thankful for the generosity and support of our Jewish community that ensures that our programs and services thrive from year to year, and for the volunteers who truly impact lives each and every day with the gift of their compassion and their time. Personally, I am thankful for all of the lay leaders who fundraise, plan, and provide oversight for the Jewish Federation and its agencies.

I have much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving. I hope that you feel the same way and hope that you have a meaningful Thanksgiving with your family and friends.


Return to top