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Last Monday (March 31) I had hoped to send you the announcement that the Annual Campaign had gone over $2 million. We were so close, less than $15,000 away. But as we prepare for Shabbat I can proudly tell you that we have broken through and finished the week at over $2,027,000. Several large solicitations were completed, the early response from the Passover Appeal (mailed last Thursday) and Barry Kelmachter dropped off the results from the calls he completed since last month’s phone night (he took a few donors’ names and information home with him) all added to the total.

Speaking of phone nights, there is one scheduled for next Wednesday. Originally we were planning on holding it at two sites, but I have decided to hold it only at the Towers. Please join the Tower One/Tower East Board of Directors in making calls to help the Annual Campaign. Let’s fill the Dining Hall  of Tower One with callers beginning at 7:15. The next milestone is $2.1 million. Help us reach it by the time we can eat Hametz again after Passover (April 23). If you cannot join us on Wednesday, please let me know and I will happily send you some names to call at your leisure (like Barry Kelmachter did).

Yesterday I was on a conference and heard firsthand about a Mission to Israel this summer (7/14 – 7/20) for individuals who are experienced fundraisers or want to learn how to fundraise for the federation or even for their favorite agency. In addition to workshops and training sessions such as Anatomy of a Solicitation, Creating Your Own Story and Putting Practice into Action, the week will be filled with site visits to projects funded and staffed by JDC (the ‘Joint’), JAFI, World ORT and the Ethiopian National Project. Would you believe that there is now a Federation in Israel (Ramat Hasharon Federation TAKDIM)? One of the dinners will be with some of their leaders. Another stop will be the Galilee Circus (a youth circus made up of 60 Arab and Jewish children and teens) as well as a visit to an IDF base and dinner with soldiers.  And of course, Shabbat in Jerusalem. It is always a treat, but this time it will be extra special, hosted by Shabbat of a Lifetime, a unique experience where Jerusalem families open their homes to guests. All this, and much more, for $2,500 land only. And it gets better, JFNA (our national umbrella agency) is offering a $750 subsidy. Six nights in Israel (2 in Tel Aviv, 2 in a Kibbutz Guesthouse in the North and Friday & Saturday nights at the Inbal in Jerusalem) all for $1,750 + airfare. Not a bad deal. Contact me for more information.

Shabbat shalom.

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