A quick story about something that happened to me this week…
My daughter is participating in a teen trip to Israel this summer. I called the office of the organization running the trip to let them know that our Federation subsidizes every teen going on a teen trip to Israel (when you have attended a Bar/Bat Mitzvah in the region, the child receives a certificate from the Federation for that scholarship). When I shared that the amount is $1,750, the staff person on the other end said that it is an extremely generous amount and far more than most other communities.
We know that Israel experiences for our young people are very powerful in strengthening Jewish identity. Our investment in this way will have a powerful impact.
One of the things that always strikes me is that we in Pittsburgh take a lot for granted. We do not usually realize how well we do things. This generous subsidy is but one example. The fact that we have the largest Jewish college scholarship program (Central Scholarship) in the country is another. The fact that Agewell Pittsburgh has been both locally and nationally recognized is another. The fact that in the Federation world, our Campaign and Foundation are highly ranked in terms of per capita giving.
While I know far too well that we have many areas in which we can and must improve, let’s make sure we do acknowledge and celebrate the fact that we, nevertheless, do so much good so well. And we do so because of each donor, volunteer and staff person in our community.
Wishing you a Chag Sameach and an early Shabbat Shalom.