Federation: you might say we are always on call. In just three generations we helped build a nation and free a million Soviet Jews. We saved ancient communities and brought them to Israel, and in Rockland we helped create an infrastructure through a JCC, RJFS and Hillel, to support a vibrant community. We have much to be proud of, but in this ever-changing world, we will certainly have our work cut out for us in the years ahead.
On a local level, I am pleased to report many worthwhile accomplishments. We set many lofty goals when our 2014 fiscal year started. We committed to increasing our campaign by 20%. Through the superhuman efforts of my co-president Andrea Weinberger, as well as Bob Silverman, Diane Sloyer, many dedicated board members and our wonderful donors, we successfully achieved our goal.
Thanks to your continued generosity we were able to increase each and every organizational allocation above last year’s levels. These grants support services provided to seniors, Holocaust Survivors, special needs students, Birthright Israel, teen leadership programs, and Rockland Jewish Academy (the only pluralistic day school in the county), to name but a few. In total we distributed in excess of $300,000 in one year to fund local programs.
The Rockland Jewish Initiative (RJI), administered by Federation, is providing new member grants that help facilitate synagogue membership and involvement. In addition, the Synagogue Leadership Council provides ongoing workshops for clergy and leaders of Rockland synagogues.
Federation’s PJ Library supports families in their Jewish journey by sending Jewish-content books and music on a monthly basis to children ages six months to five years. Rockland’s PJ Library also serves as an entry point for new and unaffiliated families through regular outreach programs.
Our newest initiative is a grant to the Board of Rabbis. They will work collaboratively and with the support of Federation leadership, to plan county-wide programming that will reach out to communities throughout the region and highlight the positive appeal of Rockland. Stay tuned for exciting news as this initiative develops.
Our community Shlicha, funded by Federation, is a valued resource embraced by our community’s synagogues and Jewish organizations. We look forward to Timna’s return for another year of education, goodwill, and Ahavat Yisrael.
Our Federation is committed to a fundraising initiative to insure the long term financial health of the Rockland Jewish Community Campus. The campus is not just a building; it is the central address for Jewish communal life in Rockland County. Reducing the campus debt is a vital compelling need.
As Operation Protective Edge continues, our thoughts and emotions are inextricably linked with our brothers and sisters in Israel. Terror will never deter our commitment. In less than one month, our Federation raised in excess of $110,000 for the Israel Emergency Campaign and we are partnering with JFNA to provide humanitarian support to the people of Israel during this time of conflict. As I write this, six members of our Rockland community are participating in a solidarity mission with many others from Federations across North America. I have never been more proud of our Federation!
By donating to Federation, you are making a difference. By volunteering your time, you are making a difference. You are saving lives, building community, and helping to insure that Rockland County will be a strong, compassionate, and pluralistic Jewish community for many generations to come.
May the coming year be filled with peace, health, and prosperity.
— Rob Grosser
Jewish Federation of Rockland County
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