By Nancy B. Greer
President & CEO
Since the founding days of the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle, supporting Israel and strengthening our Jewish community’s connections with Israelis and Jews across the globe have been top priorities. Today, 90 years after opening our doors, we build on that legacy. Knowing that the centrality of Israel to the Jewish experience and for the continuity of Jewish life is as important in today’s world as it’s ever been, the Federation over the next year will move forward with impactful, time-tested programs to engage and support Israel and World Jewry, and launch exciting new initiatives.
This year, we continue to give unrestricted grants sustaining the vital work of our long-time international partners, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) and the Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI). Both organizations rely on Federations like ours to carry out an impressively broad range of humanitarian, education, immigrant assistance, and Jewish identity programs. In addition, our Israel and Overseas Committee carefully evaluated a wide range of submitted proposals to select those that would best complement our overarching goals to close social gaps in Israel and ensure a renaissance of Jewish life across the Diaspora. The top priorities of the committee included funding programs that are youth- or young adult-oriented and programs that provide opportunities for people-to-people collaboration. Check out a description of our allocations here.
Another way the Federation’s international partnerships directly benefit our community is our collaboration with JAFI to bring Israeli emissaries to work in local congregations, camps, and schools. Shinshinim, who are here for 10 months, and Summer Shlichim, who work at the Stroum Jewish Community Center’s day camp for three months, bring Israeli life and culture alive for people of all ages through the power of face-to-face relationships. We’re pleased to welcome our newest Shinshinim – Noam Rinat and Zohar Roditi – who are arriving in town this month! I also want to give a shout-out to the J for partnering with Federation and the Jewish Agency in bringing three Shlichim – Noy Asis, Shir Kedem, and Taly Pachornik – to our region this summer.
Lastly, this year, we will begin a renewed focus on local Israel education. On October 24, we are bringing to our community what promises to be an intellectually rich and elevating debate between J.J. Goldberg and Jonathan S. Tobin – entitled “Left vs. Right: A Debate Modeling Civil Discourse on Israel.” Click here to register. Goldberg is Editor-at-Large of The Forward, and Tobin is Editor-In-Chief of JNS (Jewish News Syndicate). Their debate, which will take place at the Stroum Jewish Community Center, is sure to be a lively exchange between two well-informed commentators. The event will answer some questions and raise many more – as any good Jewish debate should!
By supporting human services and Jewish identity programs in Israel and around the world, providing opportunities to create people-to-people connections, and sponsoring community-building educational events like the Goldberg-Tobin debate, the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle is deepening our local bonds with Israel and World Jewry. These initiatives, along with our global investments, will continue to ensure a bright future for our local and global Jewish community.