Building Relationships, and Being a Mensch in Hollywood

Debbie Winn Horvitz, the CEO of the Jewish Association on Aging, spoke at a meeting of the Federation Beneficiary Agency Executives.  Debbie mentioned that at a recent session of the Wechsler Leadership Development Institute (Federation’s Young Adult leadership development program), one of the attendees was very taken by an aspect of the work of the JAA and offered to help “open some doors” for the JAA help grow JAA’s reach into the community.  That offer became action and has resulted in a very positive new relationship between the JAA and another community health provider.

Too often, the Federation is perceived as only a fundraising organization.  But, as I like to point out, our real power and ability to impact our community comes from the relationships we build.  Whether those relationships be between and among agencies and synagogues, or those relationships be between individuals from different religious observance or different geographic parts of our region, relationships allow us to make a bigger difference.

This past Saturday night, the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh’s Young Adult Division hosted its Main Event (click here for pictures!).  This program is a fundraiser and featured a private reception for our Ben Gurion Society members (young adults who give $1,000 and more).  Everyone in attendance was asked to make his/her commitment to our 2015 Campaign.

Our speaker, Josh Malina, a star of the show Scandal and previouslystarring on The West Wing, talked about being a mensch in Hollywood.  Malina, a day school graduate from a traditional Jewish home, expressed his love of Judaism, being Jewish, and of Israel.  He described how Judaism is part of his daily life from reciting the “Modeh Ani” with his children in the morning and the Sh’ma before they go to sleep.  He belongs to a Reconstructionist synagogue and he loves and defends Israel from delegitimizers both privately and publicly.

Not only did the Main Event inspire and raise money, it built new relationships between and among young adults and with the Federation.  Who knows what impact these new relationships will have on our amazing Jewish community?

Shabbat Shalom.

P.S.  I am looking forward to seeing all our East Coast Florida Snowbirds Sunday morning at our annual Snowbirds Event in Boca Raton.

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