I cannot let this week pass without celebrating the successful close of the 2020 Campaign at the earliest point in decades and with an increased result at a most trying time. The 2020 Community Campaign has raised $13.6 Million! Thank you to all our donors and all our volunteer fundraisers for this remarkable accomplishment.
Concurrently with our Campaign achievement, our Foundation is on track to have added over $22 Million by the time our fiscal year closes at the end of the month. That is quite impressive given current economic realities. These dollars being placed in our Foundation will be here for the Jewish community of tomorrow.
While there is so much to rejoice in, it is tempered by the realities within our community. As of this past week, the Federation has distributed well over $1 Million in emergency coronavirus grants to a multitude of front-line agencies. There are more people needing the supports of our Federation dollars than I have ever witnessed.
Next week, Shawn Brokos, our Jewish Community Security Director, will be leading an effort to distribute PPE to all Jewish organizations and synagogues that requested it. Between items donated to the Federation and others purchased by the Federation, these critical supplies are being provided at no cost to all these institutions. This will enable them to have what they need if and when they decide to reopen their facilities.
My first boss at the Baltimore Federation taught me something that I carry to today as part of my professional practice. After I finished running my first Super Sunday in 1993, she came to me and recognized the fact that I did a good job. She then instructed me to take the next ten minutes to really celebrate my accomplishment because after that, I had to get back to work. From a Jewish context, I’m reminded of what Pirkei Avot says:
“Rabbi Tarfon said: the day is short, and the work is plentiful, and the laborers are indolent, and the reward is great, and the master of the house is insistent.”
Let’s celebrate hard and quickly because we still have so much to do.