As I write this e-mail, I am preparing to travel to Israel with many community leaders, including our incredible Chair Julie Platt, JFNA Outgoing Chair Richard Sandler, and several of my colleagues. We will join with hundreds of leaders and professionals from Jewish communities around the world as we attend The Jewish Federations of North America’s General Assembly (GA). This annual conference offers the unique opportunity to learn about, discuss, and tackle some of the challenges facing our Jewish world today. This year’s theme is “We Need to Talk.” If I was penning the theme, I would have written, “We Need to Talk and We Need to Listen.”
We need to talk to each other about the challenges we face as Jews in the Diaspora and Israel. And we need to listen and learn from each other. It has become easier to criticize and harder to exchange thoughts, feelings, and ideas. My hope is that this year’s GA helps our leaders everywhere truly talk and listen. Our Federation is committed to that pursuit.
I will also be meeting with our partners in Israel to review our deeply impactful work. Together, we have helped and supported thousands suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. We have collaborated in building a program that enables young people living in Israel’s poorest neighborhoods to get the skills they need to succeed, while creating strong, supportive communities.
We are able to do this life-changing work because of you. We are committed to tackling our greatest challenges to make our Jewish world stronger and more open — both of which require talking and listening.
I look forward to writing more when I return.
President & CEO