By Nancy B. Greer
President & CEO
On Sunday evening, as the sun drops below the horizon, we will turn the page on a new year. The High Holidays are a time to pause, look back on the year that is coming to a close and imagine what might be possible in the year ahead.
Moments to reflect and re-imagine are necessary. Taking time to look back is a temporary escape from the day-to-day minutiae of our busy world that enables us to gain perspective. Re-imagining is an opportunity to take stock of what works and what doesn’t as we strive toward those goals that get us out of bed in the morning.
For my colleagues and me at the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle, our overarching goal is Jewish continuity – connecting people to community in ways that are authentic and meaningful.
Thinking about the past year, I’m proud of the many ways that Federation’s work made an impact, thanks to the support of generous people like you who are deeply committed to perpetuating and strengthening Jewish life. The outcomes of our legislative advocacy, the Community Convening Initiative, the Community Trip to Israel, the LIFE & LEGACY™ endowment building program—just to name a few of the year’s accomplishments—are testament to our collective dedication to Jewish causes and Jewish values, hard work, and a consistent focus on getting results.
There is always more to do, however, especially for a community as diverse and dynamic as Jewish Puget Sound is. Looking ahead, 5779 will be an eventful, exciting year. We’ll launch initiatives that connect our community in fresh, imaginative ways. Next month, we will open applications for Honeymoon Israel, a one-of-a-kind program engaging committed young couples in Jewish life through immersive trips to Israel. Our Seattle NowGen Giving Circle will be an opportunity for young adults to develop leadership skills through impactful philanthropy.
The year 5779 also will be one for tried and true initiatives. We will recruit for the 2019 Seattle cohort of the Wexner Heritage Program, a two-year deep dive into Jewish history and thought that the Federation and Samis Foundation offer to community leaders ready to expand their vision. We will increase our investments in children’s formative Jewish experiences and Israel programming. Pop-Up Shabbat and holiday celebrations will continue to create Jewish community at the neighborhood level. SAFE Washington, a Mark Bloome initiative, will continue making security resources available to Jewish agencies across our state. Our advocacy team will be busy in Olympia. All of these programs and more are elements of our mission to serve as a community voice, strengthen connections to Israel and World Jewry, and make investments in Jewish life, for today and tomorrow.
I want to close by recognizing the importance of relationships. No one person or organization can achieve alone for community what we can achieve together − collaboratively. Jewish Puget Sound is only as strong as the relationships that serve as its foundation. These connections are what make life sweet and in the year ahead, we will keep a strong focus on building and strengthening relationships as together, we work to create a vibrant, thriving community.
Thank you for your ongoing support! L’Shanah Tovah to you and to all of your loved ones!