Let me start with the news you’ve been waiting for and a Yasher Koach! The 2019 Campaign closed at $2,504,764, and we are able to meet our local and overseas commitments. This result is the culmination of hours of herculean efforts by our professionals, Amy Holtz, Judy Alperin, and Andy Sarkany, the Campaign Cabinet, as well as many board members, agency representatives, and additional volunteers. TODAH RABAH, many thanks, to everyone who took the time to arrange meetings with and to make calls to donors. TODAH RABAH as well as to all of you who stepped up and supported the Campaign this year. I am so very grateful to each and every one of you who contributed resources of all kinds to our Campaign effort.
The motto for the 2019 Campaign was “It All Starts With You”, and it sure did, with early commitments from many of you, board training on fundraising, and a successful Mitzvah Day phone-a-thon. The campaign ended with you as well, with recent phone-a-thon days and a last effort to reach every member of our community.
Fundraising is not easy. We seem to be busier than ever, and setting aside an hour to have a Jewish conversation feels like a luxury. We must make decisions about how and where we are going to allocate our tzedakah, and there are many asks. Many do not answer calls from phone numbers they do not recognize. As we begin the 2020 Campaign, I want to share that we are considering ways we might adapt our fundraising model to these challenges. We have heard you- that you have preferences for how, when, and where you want to make your gift to the Federation, and how you would like it to be recognized (individual, family, anonymous, etc.). We are working on ways to honor these preferences, to fully recognize the many ways you support the Jewish community, and to create community through fun and meaningful events. We will keep you updated as we formulate plans, and as always, your input is welcome (firstname.lastname@example.org).
I am pleased to share that the theme for the 2020 Campaign is “Powered By You”, reflecting once again the power of individual efforts in supporting our schools, agencies, programs, Israel, and Jews around the world. You may not think your gift counts, but it does. You may not think your few phone calls to others count, but they do. We do not reach our fundraising goals magically. The Campaign is powered by you in every way. Powered by us for us to keep our Jewish community strong.
I’d like to invite all of you to a thank you event on September 17 at 7pm at Stony Creek Brewery in Branford, chaired by Campaign Cabinet members Jodi Seidner and Stephanie Green. Let’s come together to celebrate everyone’s efforts! Look for a detailed invitation in the mail. And mark your calendars for Sunday evening, October 27 for our 2020 Campaign kick-off event, featuring live entertainment, refreshments, and friends.
As we approach Rosh Hashanah and the beginning of a new year, remember the start of the 2020 Campaign year as well as a time of new and renewed relationships, as an opportunity for good deeds, and as a way to feel a part of Klal Yisrael, the Jewish people.
Todah Rabah again and Shabbat Shalom!