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The Power of Our Collective

Three weeks ago, I bumped into two flight attendants at Los Angeles International Airport. They said I looked familiar for some reason and later admitted they thought I was a celebrity at first! Don’t laugh! We quickly realized the real reason I looked familiar was because I had been on three recent flights to New York with them. As the President and CEO of our Federation, I travel quite a bit in order to collaborate with great leaders and professionals across the country and the world to share experiences, discuss strategy, and tackle some of our most pressing shared challenges.

I remain deeply optimistic about our future because our Federation is strong and because we are a part of a movement that has played a significant leadership role in the greatest events in modern Jewish history — from the establishment of the State of Israel to the dramatic rescue of Soviet Jews and Ethiopian Jews, and beyond. We are one of 147 Federations spread across North America committed to honoring our past and building a vibrant future for Jews of all backgrounds and ethnicities. We work together and share ideas, we support one another in times of need and times of triumph, and we are part of a network that acts like a family.

The power of our collective is not just historic. It is forward-thinking and responsive to the needs of our community today. After the horrific shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, we all came together in support and solidarity. We helped raise millions of dollars and brought together hundreds of thousands of Jews of all affiliations in synagogues across the Jewish world for a National Solidarity Shabbat.

After the fires that devastated parts of the San Fernando and Conejo Valleys and Malibu — which impacted thousands, destroyed three of our beloved summer camps, and damaged one of our day schools and a number of synagogues — Jewish Federations and funders across the United States and Canada responded with financial and moral support.

We speak a lot about the “Power of Community.” Whether it’s Federation colleagues in the U.S., our partners in Israel, or supporters like you, the power of our community reaches across this country and around the world. It is the work we do together in partnership locally and globally. When we come together, you are the ones who really make me feel like a celebrity because I am as proud as ever to be a part of this incredibly strong, passionate, and supportive community.

Our Federation family truly extends across the city and the globe. Thank you for the essential role you play in this process.

Shabbat Shalom,

Jay Sanderson
President & CEO

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