During April we celebrate Passover, Yom Hazikaron and Yom Ha’atzmaut. While these are very different holidays, they are connected. They remind us of the persecution Jews have faced for millennia, they tell the story of the Jews surviving and thriving by coming together as a community, and they celebrate the vibrancy of Jewish life.
Today, Jews all over the world still can relate to – and still are experiencing – these connections. One only need recall the recent war against Hamas in Israel, widespread anti-Semitism in Europe and on U.S. college campuses, the atrocities committed by ISIS and other terrorist groups worldwide, the deplorable conditions in Ukraine, and Iran’s nuclear threat to Israel and the free world.
The Jewish Federation of Greater Phoenix provides advocacy, funds and support for Jews around the world in good times and bad. We serve those in need, help build vibrant Jewish communities and enrich Jewish life.
The federation campaign funds these important initiatives. Through the support of our local Jewish community, the federation was able to help our international partners, the Joint Distribution Committee and the Jewish Agency for Israel, in providing emergency services to Jews in Ukraine and to provide counseling and emergency services to southern Israelis during the war this past summer. This past February, I was blessed to visit some of the family programs that are helping to create a thriving Jewish community in Berlin – programs made possible by your support of the federation.
Through a strong federation, we can build community in so many other ways. In the Valley, we provide core funding to local Jewish organizations and schools. The federation played a critical role in making it possible for Pardes Jewish Day School to move onto the Ina Levine Jewish Community Campus, an enormous benefit for the school, campus and community. The federation also assisted in transitioning leadership at Hillel and in supporting its new executive director, Debbie Yunker Kale. This new leadership has expanded Hillel’s reach and impact.
So as you observe Passover, remember on Yom Hazikaron and celebrate on Yom Ha’atzmaut, please help sustain and build vibrant Jewish communities, support Israel and take care of Jews in need here and throughout the world through a generous gift to your federation campaign.
For information about the federation’s annual campaign, its goals and past allocations, please visit jewishphoenix.org/about-us/community-funding and make your contribution at jewishphoenix.org/donate. Give Today. Create Tomorrow.
Stuart Wachs is president and CEO of the Jewish Community Association of Greater Phoenix, parent organization of the Jewish Federation of Greater Phoenix.