This past week, the Jewish Federation of Greater Portland proudly released its 2019 Annual Report. It outlines many of the highlights of the year, as well as commemorates the tragedies of Pittsburgh and Poway. It showcases the dozens of programs the Jewish Federation is providing to our community and all our funding allocations for the year. Last but definitely not least, we recognize the generous donors to our Annual Campaign in our Honor Roll.
As I reflect on this past fiscal year, I am very proud of all that we accomplished. In fact, I am extremely excited and pleased by our successes these past nine years. You see, this Sunday will mark the completion of my 9th (!) year as President and CEO of this wonderful Jewish Federation. Time flies when you are having fun.
Over that time our annual campaigns have raised in excess of $34 million in support of our local and overseas Jewish communities. We have added many new programs to our overall community including: a director of security, community chaplain, Jewish Free Loan program, Jewish Right Start pre-school incentive grants, One Happy Camper incentive grants, and we continue to be the only Jewish Federation that has built and operates a community mikvah, Rachel’s Well. In fact, when I came to Portland, Federation sponsored only seven of these types of programs and today we sponsor twenty. In addition, we have expanded our allocation funding from 20 different local and overseas agencies, organizations, and programs to now over 50 local and overseas agencies, organizations, and programs.
This success is due to so many people: our volunteer leadership who guide this organization every day, our generous donors who understand the value of “collective giving” through the Annual Campaign and its impact, the agency volunteer and professional leaders, our community rabbis and clergy, and, of course, the incredibly dedicated professional team at the Jewish Federation. I have never worked with better people.
As we begin our 100th year, we look forward to our Centennial Trip to Israel on March 2020 and launching the Wexner Heritage Leadership Program, with both setting the course for our community over the next two decades.
Moreover, we will continue to do all we can to meet the most pressing needs of our Jewish community today and to be forward-thinking in addressing the needs of the future. We recognize there will be challenges along the way, but together we will make Greater Jewish Portland an example for Jewish communities around the country.
Be proud! Be excited! Our community is flourishing Jewishly. The Jewish Federation is “here for you.” Most of all, we are grateful that you are here for our Jewish community today, and long into the future!
Have a safe and enjoyable Labor Day weekend and may all our children have a wonderful and enriching school year.