We are overwhelmed by the outpouring of support shown through the mailbox opened by our Federation to express comfort to and solidarity with the Muslim community in New Zealand after the horrific massacre by a white nationalist of individuals innocently praying in a holy space. The parallels with what happened in Pittsburgh this past October are profound. Our intention in opening this box was especially to stand in solidarity with our local Muslim community who were with us from the time of the attack on the Tree of Life building. They offered to guard our spaces, they showed up at our vigils and they raised significant dollars. We absolutely needed to show them that we care just as much.
Truthfully, we figured this would be a way for members of our Jewish community to give. Never did we expect the kind of outpouring or media mentions that resulted. We have appeared in the New York Times, Post Gazette, CNN, BBC, Radio New Zealand and probably over 100 other media outlets. Currently, there are almost 4,000 donations to our fund from all 50 states and 10 different countries. See Thinking Globally Can Have Global Results.
Our job now is to determine the best recipient of these dollars in New Zealand and we are in the midst of researching that.
While we work to complete this beautiful effort, it is critical for the Federation to refocus on our core work of building this Jewish community. The major fundraising push now has to be for our Community Campaign. That effort is closing in on $10 Million as we move towards our goal of $14 Million. Because we did little work on the Campaign from October 27th through the end of 2018, we are behind in pace, but are beginning to catch up. Those who have pledged are increasing more than the past several years because of how they saw our Federation and the agencies we support respond to keep our community resilient after the worst anti-Semitic incident in the United States.