Today is March 18, 2018 -
We learned from Federation’s 2010 demographic study that while a few individuals may, the community-at-large does not know or understand what Federation does beyond fundraise.
So, while I have been sharing Federation-sponsored events and activities on a program-by-program basis, over the next several weeks, I’m going to package up what we do by department to give you a better understanding of the scope and depth of our activities.
I start this week with our Partnership 2Gether program, staffed by Marci Galinkin as our Partnership Coordinator and under the guidance and direction of our lay-chair, Randy Shapiro. In partnership with the Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI), we have been connected with the Eshkol Region of Israel for eight years. During this time, we have played an instrumental role in financially supporting the region with gifts to help establish a young adult center and support the regional music school program. To date, our largest gift has been to help construct a reinforced wing to their resilience center, so that people receiving trauma counseling are not in danger during sessions.
Our steering committee regularly video-conferences with our Israeli counterparts to collaborate on joint projects and programming. Most recently, we have been working on the “living bridge” aspect of our partnership, whereby we have enjoyed several people exchanges between our communities, including ~120 members of our community visiting Eshkol and 25 folks from Eshkol visiting us. Our delegates included participants in Federation’s November 2013 Mission, Gates of Heaven’s February 2014 trip, and about six different family trips. We are delighted to setup a visit to Eshkol for anyone visiting Israel. Please do not hesitate to contact me.
In 2014, we enjoyed our Partnership’s first teen-exchange, when we sent 29 of our teens for a week in February and they sent 17 of their teens for a week in December. (Fortunately, their teens are not here this week. A wind chill of -20° F really does not translate well into any language spoken in the Middle East desert, and may have ended the Partnership.)
Finally, in conjunction with Partnership 2Gether, for the last three years we have enjoyed bringing a shaliach (emissary) from Israel to live among us, bringing Israeli education and culture to our community. Our current shaliach, Maor Rosenberg, has been very active in our Jewish Community Centers, on our college campuses, with our teens, and with our young adults. If you are interested in speaking a little Hebrew, discussing Israel, inviting Maor to a gathering to infuse a little “Israel,” please let us know.