Shalom Chaverim (Dear Friends),
After experiencing one of the more meaningful Yom Kippur services and special time with family, I was deeply saddened to learn of the tragic shooting in Las Vegas. Such senseless madness. I just can’t help but wonder, who could do such a thing? Why would they? It is truly the opposite of Tikun Olam, of understanding the power and importance of community. Therefore, to me, it is the definition of evil and the very worst of what humanity can be. The Yaytzer Harah, the evil inclination we discussed at services just the other day.
Of course, this comes in the wake of the earthquake in Mexico and the hurricanes that have wreaked havoc in Texas, Florida, the Caribbean and Puerto Rico. But it is in these most challenging moments that I have seen how our community comes together to help those who are suffering, in the case of the recent natural disasters, raising more than $20,000 for the victims of the hurricanes. I am proud to be part of a network of 151 Federations throughout North America, which has proven itself time and time again in responding to crises. Collectively, the Federation system has raised to date, $15.5 million. I am also proud of the work done right here in our Greater Phoenix community by our Strategic, School and Community Partners. I’ve seen time and again how we draw together, strengthen each other and live the ethos of Tzedakah.
Late last week, Jewish Community Foundation President & CEO Rich Kasper came into my office as I was meeting with Valley of the Sun JCC President & CEO Jay Jacobs. Rich was excited to share that he and his leadership had agreed to offer the Federation a $20,000 dollar-for-dollar match over the next two weeks for Hurricane relief. Upon hearing this exciting news, Jay added that he would promote this relief effort in his next CEO update. It is extremely gratifying to me to be a part of such a beautiful collaborative effort among our three organizations.
Though the effects of the hurricanes may no longer be making headlines, the need is still great. Families have lost everything. Communities need to rebuild. Vital services need to be restored. So if ever there was a time to make a difference, it is now. Through the Foundation’s generosity, every gift received by Federation now through midnight Oct. 18, will be doubled, up to $20,000-that’s a potential of an additional $40,000 from our community to help our brothers and sisters in need. No overhead will be taken from these contributions. We will deduct only credit card fees. I urge each one of us to make a gift now and receive the dollar-for-dollar match, thereby making a double mitzvah with double impact. Please give today at jewishphoenix.org/hurricanerelief.
Thank you in advance for your generosity.