Shabbat Shalom: Friday, April 1, 2016

Concurrently, in one 2 hour block on Tuesday morning, three meetings took place involving Federation volunteers and staff.  I think it can gives a good snapshot or sense into some of what we are working on to support our community.

1.  David Bernstein, the new Executive Director of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs (the umbrella organization for all Community Relations Councils and other Jewish advocacy groups) was in town and briefed us on the continuing battle against the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement on our college campuses and elsewhere.  We have done much in this area already as a community and are seen as national leaders and thinkers.

2.  The committee working on the Jewish Community Scorecard met (http://www.jewishscorecard.org).  This project which has received major national attention is our community’s effort to measure who we are and what we do, and eventually set goals for future achievement.  It pushes us to be a more data driven community.  This meeting was intense and engaging as we are working on defining some broad goals for what will define us as an “Excellent” Jewish community.  I would just mention a quote I heard recently:  “Excellence is a journey, not a destination”.

3.  The Jewish Community Health Plan was formed over 10 years ago so we as a Jewish community could jointly purchase and manage health care for our staff at our Jewish institutions.  Today, there are 20 Jewish organizations participating with over 600 employees.  A group of staff and volunteers met with our new brokers to discuss how we are going to move forward as a group to continue to control costs while doing what is right for our Jewish communal employees.

This was just a snapshot in time of our Federation efforts.  From Jewish and Israel advocacy to major planning for the future vibrancy of our Jewish community to controlling costs so that our dollars can go further, all are critical and are examples of the kind of activity you help to make possible.

Shabbat Shalom.

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