For the past 12 months I have found my president’s message very easy to write as there was always something wonderful in our community I wanted to share. This time, it is very different.
Listening to the terrible stories of the massacre and the many who have lost their loved ones, or have their loved ones missing…is just a terror we never expected. We say “Never Again” but it has happened again. It is just heartbreaking and the sadness will envelop all of us for quite some time if not the rest of our lives.
I wanted to write about our well attended annual meeting and the wonderful opportunity to be together and recognize so many amazing people in our community.
And of course, it was moving to say goodbye to Amy Holtz and exciting to welcome Gayle Slossberg as our new CEO. But now, all I can think about is our memorial gathering on October 9, and embracing my son Max during Hatikvah, with tears streaming as I thought, and we all thought, that any of these babies, children, parents, grandparents could be ours---- indeed they are ours!
Yet, all of you and our community are stepping up to help, are asking to help and have helped, as we all work diligently to support our Jewish brothers and sisters in Israel, around the globe, and here at home.
Once again the Jewish Federations, all over North America, are responding to assist, and each of you can be proud to be a part of this effort.
This is the time to speak up and be proud of our heritage, to rejoin and strengthen our synagogues, to think about enrolling our children in our Jewish schools, to join and participate in the JCC, to plan to attend Jewish summer camps, and to provide support our most vulnerable in our community—especially the young, infirm and old!
Remember—your gift to the Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven is the “One gift that touches many Jewish lives”…thank you very much for your continued support! Am Yisrael Chai!
Gerry Barker, President Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven