Shalom Chaverim (Dear Friends),
It boggles my mind that it’s already time for MEGA 2019. Since coming to the Valley in 2015, I have been privileged to hear from Zach Braff, Ehud Barak, David Gregory and now, from a childhood icon, Henry Winkler. I did not realize that his parents, like mine, escaped growing unrest in Berlin, and that his beloved uncle who should have left with them stayed one night too long. It is sure to be an amazing keynote.
I am also proud, at MEGA, to be recognizing the amazing efforts of those who support our Federation and our community: Julee Landau Shahon with the well-deserved Medal of Honor, Morrie Aaron with the Harold & Jean Grossman Award, Danielle Breslow Gross with the Lee Amada Young Leadership Award and Benjamin Ellis with the Sy Clark Young Leadership Award. We are also presenting the Belle Latchman Community Service Award to Gesher Disability Resources for their Special Needs Community Model Seder.
My thanks to Sonia Breslow and Danielle Breslow Gross for co-chairing this event.
This week’s Torah portion is Vayakhel (Assembled) in Exodus. In it, the Israelites donate the materials required by G-d to build the Mishkan, His portable dwelling. They donated in such abundance that Moses had to ask them to stop giving! As someone who has been in Jewish philanthropy for more than 30 years, this gets my attention. It is our obligation and willingness to take care of each other that gives us strength and helps us persevere as a people all these millennia later.
Indeed, I have seen this generosity personally. We closed a record number of gifts at our recent Lions luncheon and this past week, despite heavy rain and unusually cold weather, 100 or so of our most generous donors attended a campaign event and increased their giving by 19 percent! I am also excited that registration for MEGA has exceeded 400 people. So, it seems, that our Jewish community is following in the footsteps of those who came before us and I for one am very proud to be a part of it all.
Shabbat Shalom, and if you haven’t yet done so, please register for MEGA by March 1 at jewishphoenix.org/mega2019. I hope to see you there.
President & Chief Executive Officer
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