This has been a very solemn week as the world remembers all those lost during the Holocaust. This Shabbat is a time for us to not only remember those who have perished, but to celebrate the strong and vibrant Jewish global community that stands united to insure the continuity of the Jewish people. Yesterday, the students of our three Day Schools gathered to not only honor the memory of those who perished, but to learn how the past can inform our vision for a bright future.
Our vision centers around one word. A simple word that binds us together and is the fuel that keeps us going. That word is HOPE!
The word hope has an enduring quality that provokes a sense of optimism and continuity. It is also a word that has been used by many to describe the new face of the Federation.
Hope that we see in the eyes of women who now proudly wear their Pearl necklace as members of the Pearl Society, the newest philanthropic group for women, founded by young women right here in Greater Hartford and now gaining national attention.
Hope that we see in those who bring food, support and caring to those Holocaust survivors who we are blessed to have in our community.
Hope that we witness when we are building bridges with our nonJewish neighbors during interfaith Seders.
Hope in knowing that we have had a significant positive impact on the lives of fellow Jews in the Ukraine, in Greece, in France, in Israel and in 70 countries worldwide through the humanitarian aid we have sponsored. Hope is knowing that our goal of raising $40 million dollars in endowment funds through the Aim Chai Community Endowment is within reach.
It is time to advance new, innovative and bold ideas. As a Federation community, we are developing a comprehensive approach to the cultivation, training and on going support for new leaders who will be equipped to move our community forward into the future, including:
- Ensuring that Jewish education is available and accessible to all.
- Preparing our children not only for their Bar and Bat Mitzvahs, but to have the skills they need to become active, informed participants in our Jewish community.
- Engaging in meaningful productive conversations about Israel on college campuses, with the media, and in our business networks and synagogues.
Hope is not something we can take for granted nor is it something we can live without. Hope is the driving force that will ensure not only the continuity of our Jewish community, but is the force that demands we reach beyond our expectations.
President & CEO