June 2022 – Pittsburgh’s Mega Mission to Israel

It was announced in this week’s Jewish Chronicle. Videos and posts appeared on Facebook. An email blast went out to the entire Federation database. Exactly 10 years after our last and largest Mega Mission in Pittsburgh Jewish communal history, our next Mega Mission has been publicly announced for June 2022! I couldn’t be more excited. The last trip with approximately 300 Pittsburghers is still being talked about today. We experienced amazing things from our time in Karmiel and Misgav to a nighttime dinner at the base of Masada in the middle of the dessert with live entertainment. While all of the site visits we made were profound, the lasting impact of that trip resulted in new friendships and relationships, and engaged many more community members in Jewish life. I encourage you, while we are still practicing social distancing and dreaming of a time when we are able to travel, to sign up at the Federation website to receive more information as details continue to be hammered out.

Over the last week, I’ve seen some great emails from the JCC about programs that are beginning recruitment for the fall. The Diller Teen Fellows for 10th and 11th graders is a premier leadership development and training program for our teens connecting them with peers in Karmiel and Misgav. Find out more about Diller Teen Fellows and apply online. The other is the Samuel M. Goldston Teen Philanthropy Project: Grades 9-12. It engages our teens in learning about Jewish philanthropy through active engagement and learning. Learn more about the Samuel M. Goldston Teen Philanthropy Project online. I write about both of these because you may know of perspective candidates. These programs along with the overall teen work at the JCC is made possible because of significant support by the Jewish Federation’s Community Campaign and Foundation. Let’s make sure that our incredible teens know about these opportunities.

Finally, I do want to call your attention to what I think will be a fascinating program on Monday co-sponsored by our Community Relations Council featuring a Conversation with David Horovitz and Haviv Rettig Gur. David Horvitz is the Editor of the Times of Israel (TOI) and Haviv Rettig Gur is a political consultant with the TOI. They will talk about what is happening in Israel including the possibility that Israel may annex or apply sovereignty to areas of the West Bank and implications of that decision. I encourage you to join me to learn more. Register online and sign up to ask questions in advance for the two of them.

I hope you will take advantage of these and so many other opportunities offered and supported by our Federation to stay connected, to learn more and to be part of our community.

Finally, this past week was supposed to be our annual staff picnic in Schenley Park. We obviously could not hold it in person so instead our Management Team picked up prepared kosher lunches and hand delivered them to every one of our team members. It was incredibly meaningful to me, while socially distanced, to see several of our staff in person for the first time in months and to thank them for all they do. I am blessed to work with some of the best, brightest and most dedicated professionals anywhere and I am deeply appreciative of all they do.

Shabbat Shalom.

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