A New Year — A New President!

Warm greetings to all as I embark on this exciting adventure as the new president of the Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven. I am truly invigorated at the prospect of working closely with our wonderful professional staff, our many spectacular lay volunteers and our devoted religious leaders. 
The fundamental question that surrounds all of us who are involved with Federation is a very simple one: Why do we care and why shouldSHOULD we care?
Why Do We Care? 
I believe we care for a wide range of reasons, and each of us might share one or all of these:
  • We care because we have been raised to value tzedakah and we gain true pleasure out of giving and helping others; 
  • We care because we cherish our amazing history and want to be a part of the Jewish collective; 
  • We care because we feel a personal duty to share our many blessings; 
  • We care because we don’t want to take religious freedom for granted and want to ensure a viable future for our children; 
  • We care because we believe it is our duty as Jews to help those in need.
Why Should We Care?
This is a much more difficult question to answer and it is my hope that, over the next two years, every Jewish person in the Greater New Haven community develops their own response to this question. For me, it is quite simple, I feel pain when I see people suffering and I want to help those in need…and helping fellow Jews just feels right. And when I see the activity, the camaraderie, the excitement happening at our camps, in our JCC, at religious observances it makes me feel good — really good!
I am following in the footsteps of many superb past presidents. I am so fortunate to have as my immediate past president Dr. Steve Fleischman. When I think of Steve the following adjectives come to mind: indefatigable, brilliant, smiling, kind, empathetic, considerate, caring.  If I can perform my responsibilities as well as Steve that would be sufficient…but with everyone’s assistance, we all hope to grow our Federation to new heights so we can take on more challenges and help more people throughout our community and throughout the world.
Warm wishes for a healthy and happy New Year for each of you and your families, and for our entire world.  
Shana Tova, 
Gerald Barker
Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven
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