101st Annual Meeting and Special Projects - June 18, 2021

Monday night, the Jewish Federation held its 101st Annual Meeting. We had the opportunity to share our many successes and exciting new initiatives. Our campaign increased by over $300,000 (THANK YOU!), enabling us to allocate more funds both locally and overseas. We also announced the following:
  • Three-year investment in the new Eastside Jewish Commons.
  • We will soon share the rescheduled dates for our postponed Community Trip to Israel.
  • The Jewish Federation will be spearheading the most comprehensive socio-demographic community study in our history. To make the most of this study we will need YOU to participate. More details to come in the months ahead.
Please watch the annual meeting here (only 38 minutes) to learn more.
Over the next few weeks, both the Jewish Review and I will share more information about how your generous charitable dollars are impacting our community. Today, I take great pride in sharing our allocations that went overseas.
This year, due to the success of our campaign, we are able to allocate 15% more dollars overseas. Our overseas allocations are divided into two groups – collective support of the Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI) and the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) (with all Jewish Federations) and our overseas special projects (OSP).
Our OSP committee, chaired by Yafit Heyman, spends months researching and reviewing various proposals from Israeli non-profit organizations. All allocated funds in Israel are used for social services and none go over the “Green Line.”
I am excited by the diversity of our overseas special allocations:
ERAN provides mental health first-aid to all residents of Israel in emotional distress, on the telephone, mobile phone, and the Internet, free of charge, anonymously and confidentially. ERAN operates 13 branches across Israel, including 4 branches in North America (providing service during night hours in Israel). Last year, ERAN answered 365,528 calls, of which 1,000 were suicide attempts in progress (2-3 per day) and 11,076 calls with suicidal content (thoughts, intentions, and threats).
Nitzan identifies, assesses, and supports individuals with learning disabilities to graduate from school and later integrate fully into society. Nitzan provides remedial instruction, psychological treatment, and occupational therapy for all sectors of Israeli society and all socio-economic strata.
Neve Michaelour long-time partner, is a safe haven for over 280 children at-risk (ages 5-18) from broken homes who have suffered physical, emotional and/or sexual abuse. The program provides education, therapy (including a petting zoo) and a caring, family-like environment for these children.
Krembo Wings is Israel’s only all-inclusive youth movement for children with special needs, enabling children with severe psychological, motor, and cognitive disabilities to participate. Krembo Wings operates 78 branches throughout Israel with over 7,000 participants each week, aged 7-22 from all cultural, religious, and socio-economic backgrounds. The weekly social activities are carried out by dedicated able-bodied youth counselors.
Temech enables, empowers, and trains haredi (ultra-Orthodox) women in Israel to maximize their employment opportunities by creating access to professional skills, tools and platforms required to succeed in employment and entrepreneurship. Temech is helping to address the severe poverty among the ultra-Orthodox in Israel (58% of this community is at or below the poverty line).
Hasharon Sexual Assault Crisis Center provides 24-hour crisis intervention, confidential counseling, support groups, victim advocacy, community-wide education, and training programs to survivors of sexual violence and their non-offending acquaintances. 
Ofanim has nine “mobile labs” providing extracurricular enrichment in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) to children living in 56 peripheral communities in northern and southern Israel— Jewish and Arab, religious and secular, native-born and new immigrants.
Foundation for the Welfare of Holocaust Victims assists, in every way possible, those who survived the horrors of the Holocaust. Among its programs are home visits, medical emergency support, dental care, and the provision for eyeglasses.
Ma’avarim serves the entire Israeli trans community -- gender variant people and those questioning of all ages. The organization provides an employment assistance program to help trans people find and retain jobs aligned with their skills in a trans-friendly environment.
Beit Yossi provides a therapeutic home for severely underprivileged families in Ashdod to protect them from harm, safeguard their legal rights, and empower them toward a better future.
We should be very proud of our work in Israel!
Some quick announcements:
  • The Jewish Federation is proud to recognize the importance of the Juneteenth holiday. On June 19, 1865, Union Army's General Order No. 3 proclaimed the end of slavery in Texas. This announcement came almost two and a half years after President Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation, which outlawed slavery in all of the states in the Union. However, because there were relatively few Union troops in Texas, enforcement of the anti-slavery's statute was inconsistent in the state. As such, the announcement of the General Order No. 3 by Union General Gordon Granger served as a turning point for the newly emancipated in Texas. Yesterday, President Biden signed legislation officially enshrining June 19 as the national day to commemorate the end of slavery in the United States.
  • For many years, our Jewish community has marched at the Pride parade. This year, the parade was pre-recorded at the Portland International Raceway. There are two ways to watch the parade -- join us on Sunday at 11:00 a.m. for a community viewing party on Zoom or watch the premiere on the Pride Northwest YouTube channel at the same time.
  • Finally, after a series of four inconclusive elections over the last two years, Israel has a new government – one of the most diverse in its history (including the Ra’am Arab party and Shirley Pinto, Israel’s first hearing-impaired minister who was sworn in using sign language). Join us for an in-depth analysis by Times of Israel Editor David Horovitz on Israel’s new government – what we can expect and can it survive? This special webinar is on Monday, June 21 at 9:00 a.m. Register here.
Shabbat shalom and Happy Father’s Day.
Marc N. Blattner
President and CEO


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