Federation Notes: Living our values. Changing the world.


This month, we celebrate the giving of the Torah and we recommit ourselves to living a life of Jewish values, ethics and stewardship. As we focus on how to live “Jewishly” for ourselves and our families, we can also make a huge impact on our community. It is through values that community is developed.

At the federation, we have been very focused on our core values and the behaviors that drive them. Our core values guide us in what we do:

Tzedakah & Tikkun Olam – Treat every interaction as if it can change the world.

Respectance – Respect and accept through kindness and inclusivity.

Leadership – Inspire positive influence through example leading to action.

Embrace Change – Drive and foster change.

Community – Commit to the communities we serve mentally, physically and spiritually.

Because in Judaism what really matters are not our intentions, but our actions, as part of our organizational culture we created our 29 fundamentals. These “behaviors” help guide our actions every day. Each week we all focus on one fundamental through conversations, quizzes and daily interactions. Some examples of these fundamentals include Assume Positive Intent, Honor Commitments, Deliver Extraordinary Experiences, Practice Blameless Problem Solving and Think Team First.

It is through striving to live these behaviors and values that we will excel in enriching the lives of the communities we serve. While there may be times that individually or collectively we stumble, we continue to strive in the right direction.

If we all truly focus not just on the values we hold dear, but on our actual behaviors, think of the positive impact we can all make for each other and, ultimately, for our world. Let’s catch each other doing good and support and coach each other when we stumble. I invite you to recommit yourself to helping Jews in need and creating and sustaining vibrant Jewish communities here, in Israel and throughout the world.

Stuart Wachs is president and CEO of the Jewish Federation of Greater Phoenix.

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