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Annual campaign underway

Hundreds gathered at Temple Chai in Phoenix in February to kick-off the Jewish Federation of Greater Phoenix 2015 Annual Campaign. The campaign raises money to enrich lives through Jewish values, innovation and stewardship and to ensure the long-term viability of the Jewish community in Greater Phoenix, Israel and 70 countries throughout the world.

“As campaign chairs for 2015, we are excited to share the highly meaningful ways in which the Jewish Federation of Greater Phoenix is continuing to expand its role in building community,” said Esther Schon.

“We are also proud of the initiatives the Federation is leading for Israel advocacy in Phoenix, the younger Jewish generation through Now Gen and the Federation’s continued focus on the unmet needs of our growing senior population,” added Don Schon.

Don, Esther and Stuart
2015 Annual Campaign Co-chairs Don and Esther Schon celebrate the campaign’s kick-off with President and CEO Stuart Wachs

The campaign kick-off held on Feb. 26 featured Gil Tamary, Washington’s bureau chief for Israel’s channel 10 news. He discussed the tenacity of the Jewish community and how the Federation here, in Israel and throughout the world, helps preserve that community, not just through funds, but also through innovation and infrastructure.

“What struck me about Gil’s message is the ingenuity of the Jewish people, especially in Israel where they took the “it-can’t-be-done” attitude as a challenge and created one of the most innovative defense systems in the world, the Iron Dome, which saved thousands of lives during the war last summer,” said Stuart Wachs, president and CEO of the Federation.

Other featured speakers were Jonny Basha, active in several Jewish community organizations; Jared Hirschl, senior at ASU and president of Sun Devils for Israel; Rachel Hoffer, co-chair of the Federation’s major gift and Now Gen initiatives; and Barry Markson, attorney, broadcaster and community leader. Each shared meaningful ways in which the Federation touched their lives and the lives of the Jewish community.

The 2015 campaign has set a goal to raise $3.5 million which will fund programs that provide core services to help those in need and to build vibrant Jewish communities in the Valley of the Sun, in Israel and in 70 nations throughout the world.

“As Gil mentioned, the campaign is about more than the funds, it is about creating the infrastructure to respond quickly in crisis, as we did to raise funds for those affected by the war in Southern Israel last summer, and expanding the good that is being done in our community, often through programs that people have never even heard of, but whose work is vital to the community,” said Wachs. “Collectively, as a North American Federation movement, we raise over $3 billion annually to preserve our Jewish way of life worldwide. Through the Federation, your gift combines with others, filling the bucket until it overflows to transform lives now and in the future, and those who give early magnify their gifts by building the momentum and moving the campaign forward.”

Information about the Jewish Federation of Greater Phoenix 2015 Annual Campaign, its goals and past allocations, can be found here. Contributions can be made at

Gil and Stuart
Keynote speaker Gil Tamary, Washington bureau chief for Israel’s Channel 10 news, and Federation President and CEO Stuart Wachs
Barry, Micah and Steven
Board members Barry Markson and Steven Schwarz with Rabbi Micah Caplan (center)
Jared and Jennifer
ASU Senior and President of Sun Devils for Israel Jared Hirschl with Jennifer Jalowiec