Shabbat Shalom

I visited several Mitzvah Day sites all over town. Everyone, over 1,000 strong, seemed to  be having fun while making a difference in our Pittsburgh community. This was something special to experience.

It’s important to remember that while the Federation has sponsored Mitzvah Day for 15 years, there are 364 other days that have the potential as “Mitzvah Days”. You can find an ongoing volunteer project through our Volunteer Center, for example.  And all of us who donate to the Federation’s Annual Campaign make special things happen every day by supporting agencies in Pittsburgh and around the world.

As we go into the end of the calendar year, I want to remind everyone who is making those final charitable donations for this tax year that our Jewish Community Foundation has opportunities that can help you. If you have appreciated securities for which you may have to pay high capital gains taxes, you can use our Donor Advised Funds (also called Philanthropic Funds) to put away dollars now for charitable purposes in the future. These are easy to set up with a simple agreement to sign and a minimum of $5,000. You can give to both Jewish and general community nonprofits through these funds and we handle all the check writing and the paperwork. If you are interested, please be in touch with our Foundation Department.

Over the last few weeks, our Federation has engaged through our direct programming and that of agencies that receive funding from us, literally thousands of individuals. Mitzvah Day (over 1,000), Vodka Latke (approximately 400), PJ Library at the Zoo, several different Chanukah celebrations, three study sessions around Chanukah with Rabbi Danny Schiff that each attracted over 70 people, a Federation phoning, and so much more brought our community together time and time again.

Thank you to everyone who made Mitzvah Day such a success. Special thanks to our Federation staff who were out in force and all the volunteer site captains who took charge to give all participants a positive experience.

Until next year…Shabbat Shalom.

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