By Nancy B. Greer
President & CEO
This past Sunday morning, a group of community members will get together for the Beit Café Book Club, a special Sunday morning gathering to celebrate Hebrew Book Week with an energetic conversation about award-winning author A.B. Yehoshua’s poignant novel, The Tunnel.
Today’s get-together is another exciting Jewish experience in what has been a busy year of Jewish experiences and programs that your Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle brought to our community through your generous support. Look at what took place in just the month of June: Pride Shabbat. The concluding retreat of the Courageous Leadership Initiative. A full-page ad in The Seattle Times and other actions to fight escalating antisemitism. A timely and thought-provoking Cardozo Society educational event. Not to mention the wonderful sight of children returning to reopened Jewish camps and teens headed for life-changing journeys to Israel with the aid of Federation scholarships.
All this and much else was made possible by you. Thank you, for all that you do to make Jewish life richer, more welcoming, and more vibrant.
As we approach the start of our new fiscal year on July 1, I’ve been reflecting on the past 12 months, a period unlike any other in recent memory. I am encouraged by how well that, together, we learned by doing and found ways to build community over screens and sometimes spotty Wi-Fi signals. “You’re on mute” became the catchphrase of our time. All kidding aside, what we saw collectively was that there is a real hunger for connection, for “doing Jewish” together.
That is why your Federation, with your generous support, has many exciting Jewish experiences in the works for the coming year, meeting people where they are in a “hybrid” model of both online and in-person gatherings. Through this model, people can create community in their own way and on their own terms. You can look forward to more engaging PJ Library gatherings for young families, more opportunities for young couples to explore the richness of Jewish life, and more programs to prepare tomorrow’s Jewish Puget Sound leaders, to name a few. Applying another learning from last year, we will continue making it a point to collaborate with partner organizations because we can do more together for community than we can do alone.
Speaking of collaboration, the newly formed Jewish Community Relations Council has brought together over 30 organizations from across our community’s spectrum for the important work of building relationships, within and beyond our community, that will be critical for advancing our priorities in coming years.
One of the Federation’s organizational priorities is fighting antisemitism. In the coming year, your Federation will be fully engaged in this crucial undertaking in collaboration with other community organizations. We will convene communal leaders to build solidarity and develop long-term strategies for countering the threat. Through advocacy, we will raise our collective voice, engage allies, and work for public policies that strengthen the battle against hatred. Through SAFE Washington, we will look after community security with real-time communications and preparedness.
Your Federation, with your support, serves community in so many other ways as well. Connecting us to Israel, our Jewish homeland, and helping Jews in need around the world. Supporting small but mighty Jewish organizations and spurring innovation locally through Special Initiatives Fund grants. Securing a vibrant future through stewardship of the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Seattle.
It’s all about Kehilla/Areivut, our cherished value of taking care of community. Together, with your generous support, we can build on what we have accomplished in the past 12 months and do even more to make Jewish Puget Sound a magnet for Jewish life. Please renew your support of your Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle today. And if you have already done so, thank you so much for your dedication and your generosity.