Transformative Journeys

Guests were inspired by words of transformation and progress at Federation’s 2017 Annual Meeting and Graduation, which was held in the Rockland Jewish Community Campus Schwartz Family Social Hall on June 8.

While attendees enjoyed dinner, they heard from Rockland Federation president Lisa Green who spoke of the many ways that Federation transformed Jewish Rockland over the past year, through grants to our agencies. Green concluded by saying, “If all of us who donate to Federation found just one more person to get involved and make a gift, imagine what more we could do.”

At the event, CEO Gary Siepser spoke of transformations to come, and invited the Rockland community to join Federation on a Transformative Journey to Israel in October of 2018. Said Siepser, “Earlier this year, thirty representatives from local Jewish organizations traveled to Israel together and the outcome was amazing. We got a first-hand look at Jewish innovation and started creating a unified vision for Rockland’s Jewish future. Israel’s rich history of innovation is a vast source of inspiration.”

Graduates of the Florence Melton School of Adult Jewish Learning were recognized at the event, and graduates of Federation’s Leadership Development Institute were honored as well. Sybil Weingast, who spoke on behalf of the Melton graduates, had words of praise for the program which she called a “truly unique and outstanding learning experience.”

See photos from 2017 Annual Meeting and Graduation

Liraz Levi, Federation’s departing community shaliach (Israel Emissary), was recognized for his work in the Rockland community over the past two years. Liraz’s Rockland “moms,” Melinda Levin and Harriet Spevack, spoke of Liraz’s accomplishments and the many programs that he organized to share “his” Israel with our community. (Liraz’s third “mom,” Carol Blau, was in Israel at the time of the event.)

The keynote speaker at the Annual Meeting was Aryeh Green, author of the forthcoming book My Israel Trail, about hiking the 600-mile Israel National Trail and the search for peace in the Middle East. For Green the hike was “transformative from a number of different perspectives” and the backdrop that is the historic and lush Israel countryside gave the hike its impact. “Israel is the Jewish people’s homeland and our connection to it is amplified as we walk through the land of our ancestors,” said Green. He also endorsed the 2018 Rockland Journey to Israel. “When you visit Israel as a community, a diverse Jewish group, it will be truly transformative. Experiencing Israel together will be a real weaving, moving beyond elements that divide us.”

Federation’s next community event is our Campaign 2018 Launch on October 2 with the Co-Founder of SpaceIL, the Israeli organization that will launch Israel’s first spacecraft to the moon. Save the date!


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