Building Community

The Federation’s Vision Statement exclaims that we are striving “to build a thriving, vibrant and engaged Jewish community”.  Another way to say that is we are trying to build a strong Jewish community.

This past Saturday night, we were able to build community by bringing the diversity of our community together for our annual Tikkun Leil Shavuot night of study.  We estimate that somewhere around 400 individuals turned out between 10 pm and 1 am.  A special thank you goes out to all our congregational Rabbis and other educators who inspired and provoked us late into the night.  I can honestly say that I saw people I know who belong to Conservative, Reform and Orthodox congregations.  I saw people who do not belong to a congregation.  I saw people from the city, the Eastern Suburbs, the South Hills and Fox Chapel.  There were teens, young adults and members of our Lev Society (donors to the Federation of over 32 years).  It was awesome!

As we celebrated the holiday of Shavuot this past weekend, our hearts were in Orlando with one of the worst mass shootings in American history.   The Pittsburgh community held a large gathering that took place on the second day of Shavuot so many of us could not attend.  The Federation’s Community Relations Council has put together an opportunity for us to assemble for an evening of solidarity with the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) community in Pittsburgh.  I hope you will join us on Thursday, June 23rd at the Jewish Community Center in Squirrel Hill from 7-8 pm.    For more information, please click here:  https://jfedpgh.org/orlando2016.

While the Tikkun was a chance to come together for celebration, this Solidarity evening is focused on our sadness and anger.  A strong community provides opportunities to come together for both.

Shabbat Shalom.

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