Shalom Chaverim (Dear Friends),
Sadly, the genie of anti-Semitism is back out of its bottle and continues to rear its ugliness all around us. This week, unfortunately, it hit all too close to home in the Tucson community.
Earlier this week a devastating act of anti-Semitism was discovered at the Chabad on River Road. An entry door was defaced with a swastika and an anti-Semitic slur. This comes just weeks after vandalism against Congregation Chaverim where a rock was thrown through a window in the front door of the synagogue. These horrendous anti-Semitic acts will not be tolerated and there is no place for hatred anywhere.
The Jewish Federation of Greater Phoenix stands with the Jewish community of Tucson amidst these despicable acts. In the words of my colleague in Tucson, Graham Hoffman, “The rapid rise of anti-Semitic vandalism, harassment, and violence, as reported by the Anti-Defamation League, across the U.S., is tragic and has no place in Southern Arizona or anywhere.”
Our community is stronger together. We will continue to proudly engage, unite, and combat anti-Semitism. Only together can we vanquish all forms of intolerance and hatred and advance critical community building efforts to repair our fractured world. Watch this short video below from the Greater Phoenix Board of Rabbis.
On a positive note, I had the privilege of participating virtually, along with Phoenix Federation and National JFNA Board member Rachel Hoffer, who also serves on the Board of JAFINA (Jewish Agency for Israel North America) in JFNA’s June Board meeting. A great deal of time was spent recognizing the many fine leaders whose terms have expired, and welcoming those who will be picking up the torch. The sign of any healthy not-for-profit Is one that takes term limits seriously and spends time deepening the bench to ensure dynamic new leadership is rising up. I witnessed that at this particular Board meeting.
In our own community here in the Valley, new leaders are stepping up to lead many initiatives with Federation, including Women IN Philanthropy and Ben-Gurion Society, and to lead one of our newest programs, Dignity Grows. We could not be more thrilled to see Shari Charous and Natalie Stern, both alumni from one of our Momentum experiences, take the helm and launch this program in a meaningful way. As of today more than 180 Dignity Grows tote bags, filled with personal hygiene items, have been delivered to Jewish Family and Children’s Service for distribution to those girls and women in need through three of their programs, Shelter Without Walls, Transition to Adulthood and Real World Job Development. We look forward to growing this program, through your support, and seeing more new leaders step up to help our Federation continue to make an impact in our community. To learn more about Dignity Grows click here. To donate to Dignity Grows, click here.
This week’s Torah portion is Korach (Korach is the name of the central character), in the Book of Numbers, the fourth in the five Books of Moses. In it, Korach and others rise up to challenge the leadership of Aaron the High Priest as well as his brother and leader, Moses. The insurrection is put down and fire consumes the charlatan leaders. All these thousands of years later the importance of our leaders, how we select them, how we rotate them, how we train them and how we develop the next leaders continues to be a priority for the health and well-being of our Jewish communities.
Light candles Friday evening at 7:20pm
Shabbat ends Saturday evening at 8:22pm
President & Chief Executive Officer
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