With the Jewish New Year nearly upon us, we are excited to let you know all that has been achieved and all that is happening – all made possible through the generosity of our donors, dedicated volunteers and committed professional staff. We are excited by our momentum and have several new initiatives and programs to share with you.
We recognize for our community to continue to flourish, we need a constant stream of new leaders who can inspire and commit themselves to our community as board members, advocates and worker bees. To that end, we launched our Yesod Leadership program in February. This effort was a Valleywide initiative drawing from our community’s temples and synagogues and Jewish agencies. I was privileged to facilitate an 8-week course of study that includes several guest teachers – such as community Rabbis and volunteer business leaders. Our first cohort completed study in May, and we look forward to seeing them engaged and shaping the direction of our community.
National & International Representation
Our Federation is proud to have 11 lay leaders representing our community on a national and international level. We have seven people on JFNA’s National Young Leadership Cabinet. Additionally, our Campaign Chair Julee Shahon is a member of the National Women’s Philanthropy Board, NowGen Board Advisor Rachel Hoffer serves as our liaison to the Jewish Agency for Israel and Federation Board Co-Chair David Weiner is on the Board of Governors of the Jewish Agency for Israel. All are committing time away from their work and families, and paying their own travel expenses, to make a difference in our community and beyond.
Our Federation was approached by the Harold Grinspoon Foundation to provide PJ Library for our community. PJ Library Phoenix is funded by Federation and programmed in partnership with the Valley of the Sun Jewish Community Center. Each month, young children receive a free, age-appropriate book about Jewish holidays and values, such as being kind and repairing the world. PJ Library also provides monthly story times and networking events for families.
Thanks to $213,000 raised for a new senior initiative, Federation has received a $100,000 challenge grant from the Molly Blank Foundation. Combined, these funds will further develop and expand services for our community’s seniors, including the creation of a centralized online resource of services and programs to help seniors age in place with Jewish dignity. Special thanks to Don and Esther Schon for their tireless and passionate leadership, shepherding this effort for more than five years.
On the Horizon
In keeping with Federation’s core impact area of enriching senior lives, a senior residential community on the Ina Levine Jewish Community Campus is being explored. A group of lay leaders led by Morrie Aaron conducted nearly two years of research on the best use of the vacant site on the southeast corner of the campus. Careful consideration of the neighborhood and the needs of the community led the group to decide that an onsite senior residential facility could be a great option.
These are just some of the many ways Federation impacts our community. I encourage you to please engage with Federation and to share these exciting developments with your friends and family. Our community has so much to offer, and we welcome your participation!
Marty Haberer is CEO of the Jewish Federation of Greater Phoenix.