Shabbat Shalom Chaverim (Friends),
This past week, the members of our Federation Board of Directors unanimously adopted a new mission statement:
Strengthening Jewish life and identity while providing for Jews in need in Greater Phoenix, Israel and worldwide
I am excited that our messaging and work now can center around this mission. Augmenting this work are our three core areas of impact:
- Engaging the next generation
- Enriching senior lives
- Supporting Israel & Jewish communities worldwide
Together, with the generosity of our community and the strength of our Strategic, Community, School and Israel & Overseas partners, we will live and breathe this mission for the good of our community and for Jews throughout the world.
It is my intention, when and where applicable, in these weekly messages to you, to spotlight a partner. They are the heart and soul of Federation’s passion. They are the hands that do the work on the frontlines, wherever help is needed. It is an honor and privilege to serve them.
Several years ago, some families served by Gesher Disability Resources, formerly the Council For Jews With Special Needs, asked if there could be a service where they could celebrate being Jewish without feeling uncomfortable when their loved ones spoke or walked around during the service. A partnership was formed with Congregation Beth Israel and Simchat Shabbat was created. Simchat means “joy” and it perfectly describes this service for individuals with special needs, their families and friends. I invite you to come experience the joy and celebrate with these remarkable members of our community. The next service is at noon on Saturday, June 17, at Temple Emanuel in Tempe, Gesher’s summer partner.
As I reflect on this week’s Torah portion of Bamidbar (in the desert), where a census of the people is conducted, it gives my heart great simcha to know that in Greater Phoenix, every member of the Jewish community counts!