Campaign Update - May 23, 2014

Last Sunday, Lag BaOmer, seems so long ago. There was a lot going on in town that day. I started my day here at the JCC with the 36 PoolPak Challenge. The lanes at the pool were kept busy all morning with swimmers and many of them brought in additional donations as well. And the laps continued to accumulate over the course of the week. We are now over $113,000.  Not only was there a dinner for the Jewish High School of CT that day, one of our other venerable institutions, the Orchard Street Synagogue, celebrated its 100th birthday and I hear it was a good party as well.  After going home to pick up Caroline, we passed those two by on our way back to town and out to Chester where Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek hosted a piano recital as part of their Music & More series. I had been promising my wife to show her the Sol LeWitt ark and this was the perfect opportunity and there is a vegan restaurant in town I wanted to try (I got the General Tso’s Cauliflower).

Mark your calendars for Wednesday, June 11. That’s the evening of our Annual Meeting and I’ve been thinking about it this week because with it, comes the Annual Report, and it is my responsibility to pull together the Federation part. It’s a chance for me to reflect on all the things we do in the community; things we often forget about. For example the Jewish Coalition for Literacy with its 165 volunteers reading with 330 children in the New Haven Public Schools. To be honest, I remembered JCL this week because Connecticut Commissioner of Education, Stefan Pryor, was at the JCC on Wednesday morning addressing their annual Volunteer Appreciation Breakfast. I was also reminded of the Jewish Scholarship Initiative, through which over $100,000 in additional financial assistance is given to children to attend Jewish preschool, day school, synagogue religious school or local camp. This money is over and above the scholarships these children receive from the institution they are attending. Then there are the various campaign events that took place, the Missions to Israel and Cuba and so much more. And this is just on the Federation pages. Our Annual Report also includes the annual highlights from the Foundation and Jewish Community Center. So please mark your calendars. The festivities begin at 6:30 with some good eats (sponsored by several local businesses). The program kicks off with the Star Spangled Banner and Hatikvah at 7pm and is scheduled to end by 8:30 (I make no promises).

Last month Israel had  Yom HaZikaron, the day Israelis remember the [too] many fallen soldiers of Israel and victims of terrorism. It’s a day that continues to be felt deeply through the country. On Monday, we in America celebrate Memorial Day [or Decoration Day as my Mother still calls it]. It is unfortunate that for many, if not most, of us it has become the three day weekend marking the beginning of Summer. Please take a moment on Monday to reflect on our great country and pay homage to all those men and women have fallen in service to it.

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