Well, Labor Day has passed. That means school is in session, no more wearing white shoes, and in many people’s minds, the summer is over. It also means we are “off and running” with an exciting year ahead for our Jewish community and your Jewish Federation.
This year, the Jewish Federation, under the leadership of our Campaign Chair, Lauren Goldstein, is embarking on a new campaign plan. We call it – 100 Days of Impact. It is our (stretch) goal to close our annual campaign within 100 days (FYI -- the Montreal Jewish Federation raises $50+ million in just six weeks). And, with your support, we can make it happen.
By concluding our campaign earlier, we are able to work smarter with our partner agencies, more effectively allocate funds, and reduce fundraising costs. The 100 days begin on September 14.
I try not to talk much about the annual campaign in these weekly remarks. I know that many people think the Jewish Federation is “all about the money.” That is not the case. I am proud to say we are the leading fundraising organization in our Jewish community. I am even more proud about what these philanthropic dollars do. Over the next 14 weeks I will be sharing with you personal stories from community members about how your contribution to the Jewish Federation has impacted their lives. Plus, you can relate it to your own “Jewish journey.”
Federation is not just raising money – we are building a Jewish community and enhancing Jewish life for the future. Our commitment to our community’s campaign is how we do this -- collectively.
Our campaign can only be successful with your support. Please respond when contacted. Please consider increasing your prior year's commitment by 10% so we can maximize a matching challenge grant up to $120,000. Please consider making a new gift if you have never given before, which will also be matched. But most of all, I want you to feel positive about what the Federation does, understand the importance of the annual campaign and, most importantly, be proud of your own personal contribution.
As I mentioned earlier, the 100 Days of Impact begins on Sunday, September 14 at Super Sunday from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Mittleman Jewish Community Center. JOIN US! Yes, this is scheduled earlier than normal to jumpstart our campaign so come out and help make an impact on Jewish Portland.
I am pleased to present the Jewish Federation of Greater Portland’s 2013-2014 Annual Report and donor honor roll. I encourage you to read about our successes from the past year, as well as find information about the impact your contributions are making on our community.
The Jewish holidays are quickly approaching. The Jewish Federation is pleased to provide this resource for you to learn more about High Holiday services and happenings throughout our community.
On Sunday, Portland will have five women participate in the International Lion of Judah Conference in New York City. This is a gathering of women from around the world who contribute $5,000 or more to their community’s Federation annual campaign. We are pleased to announce that Portland’s own Rita Philip will be presented with the Kipnis-Wilson/Friedland Award (named after the founders of the Lion of Judah program) for her longstanding service to our Jewish community. Mazel tov, Rita, and may all of the women participating have a meaningful conference.
As some of you may know a professional basketball team from Israel will be playing the Portland Trail Blazers for a pre-season game. Maccabi Haifa will be playing at the Moda Center on Friday, October 17 at 7:00 p.m. to round out Portland’s seven-game preseason schedule. Maccabi Haifa was the 2012-13 Israeli Basketball Super League champions and runner-up to (eventual EuroLeague Champion) Maccabi Tel Aviv last season. We understand the game is on Shabbat, but for those interested in supporting Maccabi Haifa and the Trail Blazers, please contact the box office at 1-844-RIP-CITY or click here.
Attention all 18-26 year olds – whether you have traveled to Israel or not – registration for the winter series of Birthright Israel trips opens on September 9. Over 400,000 young Jewish adults from around the world have participated on this exciting 10-day experience. Make the most out of this opportunity. And, with the new guidelines, people who have been to Israel before are also eligible.
Reminder...Applications are due on September 10 for the inaugural class of the Rosenfeld Leadership Development Program. We are seeking young adults ages 25-40 who are interested in developing their own leadership skills and strengthening our Jewish community for the future. Do not miss out on this incredible opportunity and apply today.
Finally, mark your calendar for Saturday night, October 25 for “a roaring great time” featuring 1920s inspired bands, live entertainment, and whimsical surprises! The Annual Campaign Gala, open to our entire Jewish community, will be a celebratory event, co-chaired by Susan and Barry Menashe and Ronnie and David Malka. We are delighted that Portland’s own Dan Fields, Executive Creative Director of Walt Disney Imagineering, is helping plan the festivities. “A little party never hurt nobody.”
Whew. There is already a lot going on. I am glad it is Shabbat. May you all have a Shabbat shalom and I am confident our community will have an incredible year!
PS - OPB's Think Out Loud will be doing a segment on the Vida Sefaradi exhibit currently at the Oregon Jewish Musem. It should be a great conversation with Marc Abolofia and Rochelle Menashe Stilwell starting around 12:25 pm. Listen in.