I haven’t written anything in a few weeks due to various reasons. On one hand, I’ve been occupied with work-related travel on behalf of the Federation, including attending the Jewish Federations of North America Board meeting, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee Board meeting, and the President of Israel’s Initiative gathering in New York called Kol Ha’am (the goal of which is to develop a framework to build the connectivity of Jews around the world). On the other hand, my attention has been focused on the ongoing trial of the murderer who has been found guilty of taking the lives of eleven members of our community, which has been emotionally challenging. Even during my travels, I’ve made sure to keep up with daily news articles and tweets.
June 30th is significant as it marks the end of our fiscal year. Although we are still in the process of closing our 2023 Community Campaign, which currently stands at $13.45 million, it is evident that our Jewish Community Foundation has experienced its most successful year in terms of new donations. Approximately $32 million (with a final figure to be confirmed in about a week) has been added to the Foundation by donors who have placed their trust in the Federation to fulfill their philanthropic goals and responsibly invest their contributions. This achievement surpasses our previous best year by approximately $6 million! This growth aligns with our strategic plan goals of expanding the Foundation to ensure the future vitality of the Pittsburgh Jewish community. I extend my gratitude to all the donors, organizations, and synagogues that have entrusted us with the stewardship of these perpetual funds.
June 30th also provides an opportunity to highlight some of the numerous summer activities made possible, in part, by the support of our Federation:
- The summer camp season has begun, and thanks to the generous support of the Papernick Family Foundation, we are offering a $1,000 incentive grant to every first-time camper at any nonprofit Jewish camp.
- The EKC Staff in Training program is embarking on a trip to Poland and Israel, and they will share their experiences with all the campers and staff upon their return for the second session. This program is supported by an endowment in the Federation’s Jewish Community Foundation from the Philip Chosky Charitable and Educational Foundation.
- Pittsburghers participating in Onward Israel are currently living in Tel Aviv, gaining valuable internship experience to enhance their resumes.
- The Diller Teen Fellows from Pittsburgh are also traveling in Israel, accompanied by their Israeli counterparts.
- Our Security team is already preparing for late summer trainings for our Jewish schools and for the upcoming fall High Holidays.
- A week of meetings in Pittsburgh with our partners from Karmiel/Misgav and Warsaw concluded with plans for joint projects in the coming year to strengthen the ties between our communities.
Contrary to the notion of a quiet summer at the Federation, we are buzzing with activity!
Wishing you a Shabbat Shalom and a happy 4th of July!