Shalom Chaverim (Dear Friends),
As we conclude another busy week that included the AIPAC dinner and Limmud AZ, for which I instructed a class, I would like to share two programs focused on Jewish women.
First, our JWRP collaborative partnership with the Valley of the Sun JCC held a meeting with the mission returnees focusing on Federation and what it means to our community. They gathered to receive the wisdom of Vicki Agron who has been working with Jewish non-profits around the world for over 40 years. Following her with a few words of my own was humbling. Both Vicki and I are quite impressed with this group of women who are passionate, smart, successful and integral to our Jewish community’s present and future.
The next day, Vicki was joined by world-class chefs and entrepreneurs, Michael Solomonov and Steven Cook, to address 75 of our Federation’s most philanthropic women, the Lions of Judah. These women have made a $5,000 minimum annual commitment to the Federation campaign in her name and many of them have gone further, endowing their gifts beyond their lifetimes.
I am proud to share that the event raised nearly $425,000 — more than twice the amount raised in each of the past three years — representing a 13 percent gift-for-gift increase! I was humbled and honored to be in the company of these incredible women who lead by example.
This week’s Torah portion is Tetzaveh (Command) in Exodus. Aaron receives instructions on how he and his sons are to become high priests to serve G-d.
I have to say in all my time, I’ve seen very few people “command” a room with as much passion as Vicki. It is inspiring to acknowledge the work of our own community’s “priestesses,” be they JWRP mission alumni, Lions of Judah, leaders among our Jewish organizations and congregations, or those who represent Jews in need of assistance in Israel and around world. May they serve as a Neir Tamid, an everlasting flame, as our Torah portion requires, for ourselves… for our children… for our community… forever.
Chief Executive Officer
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