A Marathon Week of Activity at Federation

It’s been a marathon week of nonstop activity.

At the beginning of it, over 30 Pittsburghers who graduated from the Wexner Heritage Program as well as recipients of the Wexner Fellowship descended on Columbus, OH to celebrate the Wexner Foundation’s 30th Anniversary.  This wasn’t just a party of 1,200 people from around North America and Israel, it was a conference of inspiration and learning.  We watched David Gergen interview Shimon Peres.  We had breakout sessions with inspiring speakers.  I attended one with Rabbi Ethan Tucker from Machon Hadar in New York where he reframed the way I think about how we approach pluralism.  We can be proud that the graduates of our two Wexner Heritage Program classes have taken on some of the biggest and most important lay leadership responsibilities for our community.

The next leg of this week’s race brought together our Founders of the Centennial Fund for a Jewish Future.  This campaign has secured $23 Million in commitments, over $10 Million of which have already been paid.  Over $500,000 is making a difference this year in our community because of the generosity of many donors.

Making our way towards the finish line, the Board that oversees the distribution of Educational Improvement Tax Credit Dollars (EITC) to our Jewish Day Schools met.  Due to a great year of securing donation by corporations, millions of dollars are flowing to our three Jewish Day Schools to support scholarship needs.  Anyone who is involved with a corporation paying Pennsylvania corporate taxes should be in touch with us to learn how to apply and further help our schools at no or little cost!

Partnership2Gether (formerly Partnership 2000) is having an extremely active week of programming.  The reason for my marathon references is not merely because the Pittsburgh Marathon is taking place this weekend.  This year’s race will feature runners from our Partnership2Gether (P2G) region of Karmiel and Misgav.  Federation and these runners will be prominent in the marathon.  You can join us to cheer on all the runners at the Community Day School-P2G Cheer Station (click here for more information).  To all the runners, B’hatzlacha (good luck).

Finally, thousands in Pittsburgh have been impacted in some way by Partnership2Gether since its inception 20 years ago.  From the Diller Program, EKC’s CIT trip to Israel, Community Day School’s 8th grade trip, Federation and synagogue missions to Israel, housing teens from the region, the Children’s Village, Yom Hazikaron ceremonies, Yom Ha’atzmaut celebrations, and on and on, this program has truly been a “living bridge” between our Pittsburgh Jewish community and the people of Israel.  Sunday night, our P2G relationship will be celebrated at a reception at the JCC in Squirrel Hill at 7 pm.  Please join us.  For more information click here.

Shabbat Shalom.

P.S.  While this week has so much going on in our Jewish community, we cannot forget about world events.  I remind you that the Federation has opened a mailbox for Nepal relief and we invite you to join in our communal response by clicking here.  Our overseas partner, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, arrived in Nepal on Wednesday to begin their intense work.

In addition, I lived for five years in Baltimore prior to moving to Pittsburgh.  I hope that peace quickly falls on that great city.

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