By Nancy B. Greer
President & CEO
On the evening of June 19, over 1,000 people came together online for Pride Shabbat. Over 1,000! The joyful music and heartfelt storytelling, the moving warmth of community, and the palpable sense of belonging will be long remembered by all who were there. It was a vivid demonstration of inclusivity that was as timely as it was powerful.
Pride Shabbat was just one example of the powerful impact your Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle made in this most challenging of years in helping our community pull together. The spirit of collaboration and mutual caring exemplified by Pride Shabbat represents how, with your generous support, we’ll carry out our work in the fiscal year that begins in just five days to ensure Jewish continuity.
I want to give you a sense of what we’ll be doing in the year ahead, but first, a big shout-out to YOU. All of our work is made possible by you. My colleagues and I remember—every single day—that our impact is your impact. Your generosity is the spark that energizes our work. When Federation advocacy helps strengthen laws against hate – you pass that legislation. When Jews overseas receive food, education, and healthcare in their time of need – you extend that helping hand. When people gather, connect, and immerse themselves in Jewish life at a Federation experience – you open that door. So thank you, from the bottom of my heart for your generosity of spirit.
As we look ahead, your support will continue to be crucial as we carry forward in that spirit of collaboration and mutual caring. You can count on your Federation to remain a central source of information to help Jewish Puget Sound deal with the ongoing challenges of the pandemic and address other critical community issues.
An example I want to highlight is the re-established Jewish Community Relations Council, which you will hear a lot about in a few weeks. Re-establishing a JCRC has been in the works for over a year, but the urgent need for the council was brought into sharp relief by recent events that spotlighted how far we must go to root out racism and all forms of bigotry. The council, operated and supported by the Federation, will convene, mobilize, educate, and advocate for our community. The council will strengthen relationships within and beyond Jewish Puget Sound. It will bring together the best minds in our Jewish landscape to address issues of vital concern.
The JCRC is a clear, powerful demonstration of the impact made possible by your support!
Keeping our community connected will remain a high priority. When the pandemic required canceling in-person gatherings, your Federation pivoted rapidly to create engaging, inspiring online experiences. Providing the first virtual Song and Story Times for our PJ Library families with young children. The UnSeder. Lag B’Omer. The Finding Our Voices series. And Pride Shabbat! Cooperative work with partnering organizations and a spark of innovation proved that building community online is not only possible but brings us together in exciting new ways. Over the next year, we will bring more such experiences to our community.
Our experiences together in the past year have reminded us that change is never-ending. Innovation and collaboration are musts to be effective in a dynamic world. Our upcoming strategic plan for the Federation, on which we will resume work as soon as we are able to do so effectively, will be an important tool for keeping the Federation on course for the future as a nimble organization, rooted in timeless Jewish values, that pivots as needed to meet changing community needs … as we have done since our founding in 1928. I like to say we’re a 92-year-old startup!
We have a lot to look forward to in the coming year. By continuing to invest in Federation, you can be a key partner in building a stronger, more vibrant Jewish community for today and tomorrow. Please renew your support today and if you are able, consider increasing your support. Thank you so much!