by David Weiner
I feel there is no better philanthropic organization in the world that provides assistance and touches more lives than the Federation.
As a first generation American, my family was helped by many as they began their new life in America. I am reminded of this when I look at my father’s visa with a Nazi stamp and think of the millions of Jews who were denied a Jewish life and who perished because they were Jewish. I realize what a privilege it is for me and my family to be able to observe our faith and traditions, relatively free from persecution.
I also realize that we have a responsibility to each other. The Torah teaches that we can help others with g’milut chasadim, or performing acts of loving kindness. My involvement with the Jewish Federation of Greater Phoenix allows me to help my fellow Jews here in the Valley, in Israel and throughout the world.
The Federation serves as a resource to the community by maximizing the impact of the dollars raised and by supporting organizations that make a difference in our community every day. We enable change, promote innovation, provide emotional and financial support, connect Jews to their identity and help our fellow community members in times of joy, struggle and hardships.
Friends often ask me, “Isn’t it hard to ask others for money?” and I remind them it is not because I find great joy in knowing all the good things that the money raised will allow us to do.
As chair of the Federation’s 2016 Annual Campaign, I will share the stories of our diverse Jewish family, letting people know how their tzedekah dollars are making a difference. Our campaign dollars are assisting thousands in making aliyah to Israel, helping our community’s seniors live healthy, independent lives and connecting our young adults to their Judaism.
Our community’s needs are great and can only be achieved if we can connect with every person. I ask those who can help to please contact the Federation. There are so many ways one can make a difference for those less fortunate.
It takes a lot of volunteers to raise money. I hope you will be one of them so you also can share in telling the stories of joy as we make a difference.
As appeared in January’s Arizona Jewish Life Magazine. David is a member of Federation board and chairman of the Federation’s 2016 annual campaign.