Highlighting Achievements in the Face of Challenges

It’s been a difficult year for the global Jewish community.

You know what’s gone on with the brutal attack by Hamas and the exponential expansion of antisemitism around the world in general, and in Pittsburgh, specifically.  When one is faced with challenges, one has a choice to pull back or lean in.  I believe our Federation has leaned in, once again, to overcome adversity.

But that’s what Jewish Pittsburghers do. Donors, volunteers, partner agencies and Federation staff doubled down to meet the unbelievable challenges of the fiscal year that ended on June 30.

Here’s what we accomplished together:

  1. Hosted two major rallies in support of Israel–the first on October 8.
  2. Sent ten buses from Greater Pittsburgh to the March for Israel in Washington, D.C.
  3. Raised $8 million to date for our Israel Emergency Campaign as part of a national Federation initiative that has now crossed $850 million. (Federation fundraising has accounted for about half of all the emergency dollars raised outside of Israel from around the world.)
  4. Sent dollars from our Israel Emergency Campaign to help fund immediate needs in our Partnership2Gether region of Karmiel and Misgav, including supplying new bomb shelters and repairing older ones.
  5. Completed the biggest Community Campaign in our Federation’s 112-year history!
  6. Worked with others to successfully encourage our Allegheny County Council to reject a one-sided ceasefire resolution.
  7. Raised more dollars for the Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) program benefiting our three Jewish Day Schools and all our Jewish preschools.
  8. Organized a group of Jewish and Black leaders on a Civil Rights mission to the South, just weeks after the war began.
  9. Launched the Buncher Institute for Leadership Development (BuILD), our initiative to help train the volunteer leaders at all our Jewish organizations and congregations.
  10. Experienced a mere 3% increase in costs towards the Jewish Community Health Plan, providing health care benefits for about 18 of our Jewish institutions for their most precious resource–their staff–saving both employees and our Jewish institutions dollars.
  11. Presented our incredibly impactful work at the General Assembly of the Jewish Federations of North America.
  12. Installed the Bluepoint alert system in the Edward and Rose Berman Hillel Jewish University Center over winter break to make sure that our students feel safe.
  13. Provided security training to over 6,000 people.
  14. Secured additional funding for community security by winning $250,000 in federal and state grants.
  15. Supported local needs after October 7 through a grant received from the RK Mellon Foundation.
  16. Continued to ensure a strong grounding for future generations by growing financial asset holdings to $350 million–the largest in Foundation history.
  17. Provided critical security support for the community during the trial of the Pittsburgh synagogue shooter.
  18. Launched the inaugural Teen Capstone trip, part of our Federation’s plan to engage teens, exploring Civil Rights in the South.
  19. “Adopted” Kibbutz Nir Yitzchak as part of our effort to rebuild the south of Israel.
  20. Organized an empty Shabbat dinner table and a Passover Seder table in Schenley Plaza to raise awareness about the plight of the hostages.
  21. Implemented changes to the way we plan and allocate resources as part of our strategic plan.
  22. Held an event to announce the endowing of the H. Arnold and Adrien B. Gefsky Community Scholar position.

In challenging times, we have the power to make a difference. We literally couldn’t have done all of this and more without you. Thank you!

Shabbat Shalom.

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