Today is April 24, 2017 -

From the CEO

HIAS – update

Posted on April 21, 2017

Back in February, I wrote about the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS), one of the many organizations supported by our Federation dollars.  “HIAS works around the world to protect refugees who have been forced to flee their homelands because of who they are, including ethnic, religious, and sexual minorities.  For more than 130 years, HIAS Continue Reading »

What I’m Reading

Posted on April 21, 2017

A list of current articles Rob is reading

Without fanfare

Posted on April 19, 2017

“My degree is in accounting.” This is my standard response when I’m asked a question in a field that I know little about, like medicine, engineering, education, or psychology.    Nevertheless, accounting is actually a useful, if not underappreciated, degree.  Most think of us as only tax preparers.  I like to think of us as storytellers, Continue Reading »

Universal Judaism

Posted on April 10, 2017

“Plans for Sukkot second-day lunch?” “How is your family celebrating Yom Ha’atzmaut this year?” “Which of the Mitzvah Day activities are you signed up for?” Depending on your Jewish circle, each of these questions could be answered either matter-of-factly or with a totally blank stare.  The fact is that we are an incredibly diverse people, Continue Reading »

Get Involved!

Posted on March 24, 2017

We all have interests, but we do not all have the same interests. Fortunately, as you can see from the long list below, our local Jewish community offers a wide variety of programs, allowing all of us to find some way of connecting to the Jewish community.  In an effort to diversify our programming, Federation Continue Reading »

What’s in it for Federation?

Posted on March 20, 2017

You know that I am a huge fan of the Harold Grinspoon Foundation (HGF).  They are the founders and primary funders of the PJ Library program, and we have collaborated with them for several years on this initiative.  Furthermore, many in our community are beneficiaries of their generosity through their JCamp180 initiative.  Last night we Continue Reading »

Challenging times

Posted on March 10, 2017

These are challenging times.  People are concerned and looking to Federation for leadership and education, both within the Jewish community and for the community at large. Bomb threats, cemetery destruction, and desecration with swastikas are becoming commonplace.  Over the last few weeks, Shelly and I have met with representatives of the FBI and the NYS Continue Reading »

Living-room coffee

Posted on March 3, 2017

Yossi Klein Halevi told my colleagues and me during our visit to the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem that Israeli Jews and American Jews do not understand each other.  We are not speaking the same language.  We are not grasping each other’s issues or concerns.  He was looking to Federation executive directors for help. I Continue Reading »

Outside our comfort zones

Posted on February 27, 2017

When traveling, I like to enjoy new experiences outside of my comfort zone.  Specifically, when in Israel, I like to attend services in synagogues as unlike my own as possible.  Our Jerusalem scholar-in-residence, Rabbi Sam Shor, adds to my philosophy by educationally using these new experiences to break down stereotypes and promote religious pluralism and Continue Reading »

Greetings from Israel

Posted on February 10, 2017

The executive directors of our city-size Jewish Federations gather annually to learn from each other and bond with each other.  This year’s conference is in Israel and our objective is to deepen our understanding of complex Israeli issues and trends of strategic importance to American Jews including: religious pluralism, social cohesion, minority integration, and Arab-Jewish Continue Reading »

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