For a long time, Jewish Federations were known almost exclusively as fundraising organizations. In fact, Federations’ fundraising prowess is the butt of several jokes to include the infamous punchline, “Don’t worry, they’ll find us. We haven’t made our UJA pledge yet this year.” The full text of the joke is available upon request.
Since my first day on the job, I have been repeating the words of retired, long-time Boston Federation executive director Barry Shrage, who said, “Federation’s mission is not to fundraise. We fundraise to fulfill our mission.” And then I go on to use this space every week to boast the many ways that we further Federation’s mission.
We respond to emergencies locally, domestically, and around the world with relief from COVID, food insecurities, fires, tornadoes, tsunamis, hurricanes, etc.
In Israel, we settle Ethiopian Jewry, support pluralistic dialogue and grassroots peace initiatives. We build relationships with friends in Eshkol.
We teach about Israel and the Holocaust and support Jewish education. We dialogue with our interfaith community. We notify school districts when the first day of school falls on Rosh Hashana. We liaise with law enforcement to address security concerns. We work to make sure that our Jewish community continues to expand to let everyone feel that there is room in it for them. We help our institutional partners with trainings and leadership development. We maintain the community calendar.
We partner with Harold Grinspoon Foundation to bring PJ Library, Life & Legacy, and the new Havurah Initiative to our community. We fulfill the wishes of past donors by maintaining the funds they created before they died. We fund scholarships, collaborations, and many other programs and services throughout our community.
There’s more. There’s a lot more, but I try to keep this weekly article short. Please visit our website to see the breadth of all that we do.
This brings me to the second part of Barry’s statement, “We fundraise to fulfill our mission.” We cannot do any of these things without your support. While I do not generally use this space to fundraise, this weekend is Super Sunday, our largest phone-a-thon of the year. If you get a call on Sunday, please answer it. If you would rather make a gift privately, please visit our website. You are always welcome to call me directly: (518) 783-7800 X226. I thank you.
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