Shalom Chaverim (Dear Friends),
This week marks almost the fourth month since COVID-19 turned our lives upside down. We certainly have spent a great deal of time discussing the many changes this pandemic has caused in our lives, and many of those changes are scary and unwelcome. But, as the old saying goes, “necessity is the mother of invention.” Through the use of Zoom, which we now utilize for Board meetings, we are also communicating more often with our major donors. We are having regular meetings with our Ben Gurion Society members, young people who are making an annual contribution of $1,000 of more. We have six different cohorts of young leaders meeting on Zoom with their mentor as part of NowGen’s Leadership Advancement Series. We have learned to adjust, adapt and do business in new and different ways.
The Jewish Federations of North America has created an innovative new program for Jewish college students or grads between the ages of 20-25. Even with all the disruption that has been caused by COVID-19, this demographic now has an awesome opportunity to participate in an online leadership development experience to expand their careers, their networks and most importantly their ability to affect positive change in their community and in the world. The first core curriculum session began with over 500 Fellows participating. 13 of these participants are from Phoenix, with another dozen or so expected to participate in the second session next month. The opening topic offering was – Who am I in times of change and crisis: A Jewish leaders journey to self. It is so exciting that there are nearly 550 Changemakers participating in this new program over the next few weeks, and an additional 500+ Changemakers will be welcomed to Session #2 on August 3.
The next open-access Changemakers gathering will take place on Friday, July 17 at 11:30am EDT – Changemakers Global Shabbat Celebration. We look forward to a summer of leadership, learning, community-building and change.
This week’s Torah portion is Pinchas (the name of a person), in the book of Numbers. Pinchas is the grandson of Aaron and he is granted the priesthood. It is in this chapter that Moses empowers Joshua to succeed him and lead the people into the land of Israel. It is comforting to me to know that while living during this challenging and difficult time of change, we have 13 young representatives from Phoenix participating in the inaugural Changemakers program with another dozen participating in phase two. We have 16 Phoenicians in their 30’s and 40’s on JFNA’s Young Leadership Cabinet and we have taken almost 100 young people on missions to Israel and Cuba in the past three years. They are taking up the mantle of Jewish leadership in our community and I am very bullish about our Jewish future.
Light candles on Friday at 7:22pm. Shabbat ends on Saturday at 8:22pm.
Wishing you all a Shabbat Shalom.
President & Chief Executive Officer
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