Federation News

February 21, 2017

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FederationFive – our weekly newsletter of the top five things going on in Jewish Atlanta

February 21, 2017

What Does it Feel Like to Have a Disability?
Gesher L’Torah religious school

This is impossible; I can’t see anything!”
“My eyes hurt from trying see in the dark.”
“Some of the other kids looked at me strange.”
“It seemed like I was always asking for help with something.”
“I don’t know how anyone learns to read like this.”

That’s what our students at Gesher L’Torah said after experiencing “Take a Walk in My Shoes,” a Jewish Abilities Alliance (JAA) awareness exercise offered at religious schools throughout Atlanta. Our students rotated through hands-on learning stations designed to let them experience what someone with disabilities may endure, day in and day out, including sensory issues, visual impairment, physical limitations, and auditory issues. The experience heightens personal awareness about visible and invisible disabilities. It also teaches that, while a disability is a part of who someone is, it

The education staff decided that compassion needed to be taught, not assumed, and that our students should learn how to walk in another person’s shoes for a while, or perhaps how to ride another person’s wheelchair. We know that many young people tend to avoid what makes them feel uncomfortable and that not knowing how to act or respond to differences can be scary. What if someone can’t shake hands? Should I pat them on the shoulder? What if someone walks unsteadily? Will he or she fall? Will I hurt them if I try to help? What if I say the wrong thing?

Take A Walk in My Shoes understands that there is a subtle form of prejudice in our society surrounding disabilities. It’s a discomfort, a fear of what is different and unfamiliar. It often manifests as pity, avoidance or mockery of people. When we see someone with a profound disability, a fleeting thought occurs: “What if that were me?”

We focused on the following overarching ideas.

  • A disability is only one characteristic of a person.
  • People have many facets: likes and dislikes, strengths and challenges.
  • Children with disabilities are like all children in that they want friends, respect and to be included.
  • Children can be born disabled or become disabled from an accident or illness. You can’t “catch” a disability from someone else.
  • Just because someone has a physical disability (when a part or parts of the body do not work well) does not mean they necessarily have a cognitive (or thinking) disability.
  • Children with disabilities can do many of the things we do, but it might take them longer. They may need assistance or adaptive equipment to help them.

When we came together at the end of the experience, we concluded by emphasizing that people with disabilities are individuals with families, jobs, hobbies, likes and dislikes, and problems and joys. Bottom line: don’t turn them into disability heroes or victims. Treat them as individuals.

Article written by: Carla Birnbaum, GLT Assistant Religious School Director
Program run by:  Wendy Bendit, GLT Religious School Learning Resource Specialist.
Program assistance by:  Becky Borak
Congregation Gesher L’Torah Education Director:  Rebecca Gordon

Did You Know?

Friendship Circle of Atlanta is dedicated to creating a friendly and inclusive Jewish community where everyone feels a sense of belonging. Friendship Circle embraces and supports the disabilities community by deploying a vast network of volunteers who promote inclusion through social, educational and Jewish programming.

• 10,960 service hours logged by Friendship Circle volunteers
• 290 volunteers engaged in Friendship Circle outreach programs
• 80 individuals served in Atlanta

Jodi Lox Mansbach Joins Federation

Tomorrow morning, we are all excited to welcome Jodi Lox Mansbach as Federation’s Chief Impact Officer. In this newly created role, Jodi will provide executive leadership and strategic vision for Federation both internally and in collaboration with our affiliates and partners. Jodi is a bold and innovative thinker with strengths in planning, marketing, and nonprofit business. (We absolutely love her design for the rooftop at Ponce City Market!) Much of Jodi’s work here will focus on planning and innovation — developing a new allocations model based on principles of collective impact for our domestic and overseas partners. She will help us design organizational evaluation tools that measure shared outcomes, and will be very involved in the Community Study roll-out.

Jodi is an advocate of the New Urbanism, a human-scaled approach to city planning. Most recently, she worked with the City of Atlanta to launch Atlanta City Studio, Atlanta’s first pop-up urban design center that is incubating new ideas about the design of the City. As a Vice President at Jamestown LP, a real estate investment and management firm, Jodi was a key player in the development of mixed-use properties in the Southeast. She launched Jamestown’s first sustainability program and started and ran Jamestown Charitable Foundation, which supports local food movements, parks and green space, alternative transportation, and design.

Jodi brings tremendous depth of understanding of the trends and challenges facing the nonprofit world. For several years she was Vice President of WordOne LLC, a boutique marketing communications and branding agency for nonprofit and foundation clients. Along with this, she is a true servant-leader, whose time and talents have been shared on our own board many more. Not surprisingly, Jodi is past winner of two Federation awards: the Mary and Max London People Power Award (2015) and the Gerald H. Cohen Community Development Award (2003).

Synagogue Shelters Assist the Homeless in Winter

2017 may not be the coldest winter on record, but for homeless people, Atlanta’s two synagogue shelters are a lifeline. Congregation Shearith Israel was the first synagogue in the nation to open a homeless shelter. Now renamed Rebecca’s Tent, this shelter has been in operation for 32 years, providing 13 women in transition with warm beds, hot meals and MARTA transportation from November to March. To volunteer click here. The Temple’s Zaban Paradies Center (ZPC), founded in 1984, was the first and only shelter in Atlanta helping homeless couples transition to independent living. More than just a safe place to eat and sleep, ZPC helps residents obtain employment, find permanent housing and improve their life skills. To donate or volunteer click here.

Staff Spotlight

Cathal J. Lucy, Federation’s Director of Community-wide Security, joined us last fall and follows in the pioneering footsteps of Dick Raisler, the nation’s first Jewish community security director. Cathal is a retired Secret Service agent. In his 25-year career, Cathal was assigned to the Presidential Protective Division and served Presidents Clinton and Bush, who he protected on 9/11. He was an attaché of the Secret Service in the U.S. Embassy in Paris where he served 23 countries around the globe. This proud son of Boston is a graduate of Boston University and holds two masters — one in criminal justice and another in management from Johns Hopkins. Cathal works closely with federal, state and local law enforcement and was instrumental in ensuring that protocols were followed when bomb threats were called into the MJCCA and Atlanta Jewish Academy last month. Read the AJT story here. We deeply value the protection and professionalism Cathal J. Lucy brings to our community.

Read the Legislative Update.

Read February 21 newsletter.

Feburary 14, 2017

Building a Stronger Disabilities Community
By: Ina Enoch

Right after graduate school I had an experience as a teacher on an inpatient unit for children who were severely and emotionally disturbed. It left an indelible mark on my life and became the foundation of my professional work as a child and adolescent psychologist. It also influenced my volunteer work as an advocate for children with disabilities. Three years ago when AMIT, Atlanta’s centralized Jewish special education agency closed, I was privileged to help lead a task force that was charged with assessing the community’s gaps, desires and needs in becoming a more inclusive Jewish Atlanta. It has been a complex but rewarding journey which continues today under the banner of the  Jewish Abilities Alliance (JAA).

Upon the closing of AMIT, Federation affirmed the importance of inclusion by providing the funds to create the Jewish Disabilities Task Force. This group was comprised of lay leaders and parents who created short and long-term goals for the community. Two positions, the Community Disabilities Coordinator and Community Inclusion Coordinator, were funded to help achieve these goals.

Extensive research was done to assess the community’s needs. It was evident that the Jewish community and its agencies were not perceived as warm and welcoming, and that individuals with disabilities and their families did not feel adequately supported. In addition, many of our agencies were operating in silos, unaware of how their colleagues and counterparts were addressing inclusion and disability issues.

A website called the Greater Atlanta Jewish Abilities Alliance was launched in 2015 in partnership with Baltimore’s Jewish Federation. It connects individuals with disabilities and their families to 380 community resources. To build better connections within our disabilities community, JAA now offers listservs for parents of children with disabilities, adults with disabilities, and professionals. They provide families with immediate access and support from one another and a way to share information about resources. A partner group including all of the Jewish agencies and synagogues who strive to be more inclusive meets on a regular basis to analyze and creatively solve problems unique to our community. There are now Learning Resource Specialists (LRS) in many of the congregational religious schools and preschools. The LRS’s provide assistance to teachers and families around classroom management and inclusion related issues.

On February 26, 2017 we will host the third annual Power of One event, which honors individuals who have championed inclusion at many of the agencies and synagogues around the city. We have come a long way in this community towards creating a person-centered, individualized approach for individuals with disabilities. While we have made great strides, we know that there is much work left to be done.

It has been my honor to serve as the co-chair of the Jewish Abilities Alliance Committee for the past three years and to be a part of its creation. I take pride in the steps our Jewish community has taken to become a warmer, more welcoming, and inclusive community for children, adults and families with disabilities.

Did You Know?

The Greater Atlanta Jewish Abilities Alliance website is a comprehensive gateway to community resources for individuals with disabilities and their families. The site reflects the collaborative efforts of parents, committee members and community partners (synagogues, agencies, and schools) to make disabilities services, support groups, workshops and programs more accessible across all age groups.

• 2,965 average monthly visitors to the website
• 380 resources listed on the site
• Atlanta is one of just three U.S. Jewish communities providing this online resource

How Federation Helped Make a Movie

The 2017 Atlanta Jewish Film Festival (AJFF) ends its three-week run tomorrow, and it’s been a fabulous season. Federation is a proud AJFF Community Partner, and you might be interested to know that we also played a unique role in helping award-winning director Brad Lichtenstein get his film, There Are Jews Here, made. Three years ago, Brad, who grew up in Atlanta, approached Federation for a fiscal sponsorship for a film that pays homage to once-thriving and now disappearing Jewish communities across the United States. The project aligned well with Federation’s mission to build and strengthen Jewish communities, so we helped Brad create a fund through which he could raise money from private donors to make the movie. This is another way that Federation and Atlanta Jewish Foundation can be important resources for innovative Jewish ventures.

OneTable Atlanta Elevates Friday Nights

OneTable is an innovative national platform that helps young adults elevate their Friday night dinner experience with online tools to explore what it means to create their own Shabbat. OneTable empowers post-college/pre-family young adults to build personal communities with good food and friends. Hosts can invite people they already know or people outside their network. If you’re looking for a dinner, the site makes it easy. OneTable enhances the experience by providing up to $150 for food, and will soon provide “coaches” to help hosts think creatively about bringing Shabbat rituals into the meal. “We’re helping young adults explore what Friday night means to them,” says Shira Rothman Hahn, who manages the new Atlanta program. With eight dinners already facilitated, OneTable Atlanta is off to a great start.

Affiliate Spotlight

For 126 years, the agency currently known as Jewish Family & Career Services (JF&CS) has brought hope and opportunity to thousands in our community. JF&CS serves Jews and non-Jews alike and has just enhanced and expanded its Dunwoody campus with the intention to provide a person-centered model across all of its service areas. Core programs include Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities Services, Aviv Older Adult Services, Counseling Services, Child & Adolescent Services, Career Services, and the Ben Massell Dental Clinic. JF&CS values community collaboration and evidence-based practices. More than simply counting the numbers of people served, JF&CS is measuring impact by assessing the actual change that results when individuals use its programs and services.

Read the Legislative Update.

Read February 14 newsletter.

February 7, 2017

“Inclusion is what camp should be about”
By: Sheryl Arno

Adam is our third child — beautiful and brilliant, with an over-the-top intensity and BIG emotions. Before he turned three it became clear that Adam’s inability to rebound from little things like a pebble in his shoe, a spider in the shower, or tags in his clothing, were signs of problems to come. In preschool, he was diagnosed with Sensory Integration Dysfunction plus ADHD, and even for me, as a long-time professional in the disabilities world, Adam’s journey to inclusion has been an upward climb.

Everyone has dreams and goals for their children, but we Arnos are a Camp Barney Medintz family. Barney songs and Barney experiences are literally the languages we speak. So we had a singular dream for Adam — to get him to Barney and have it be for him the incredible summer place it has been for me, his brother Elliott and his sister Pearl.

Adam first spread his camp wings at age five at the MJCCA’s Alterman Day Camp. There, he had the daily support of a teenage facilitator. We backed off the need for a facilitator for the next three summers and finally, Adam was old enough to attend Barney. Through the Jewish Abilities Alliance, we knew the camp understood inclusion and was invested in his success. Jim Mittenthal, the Executive Director was firm with me: “Even if Adam only makes it for 3 days he’ll be a Barney alum for life!”

Adam not only completed the program, he has returned to camp for five summers. It has been a triumph for all of us who love him.

Last Spring, when my mother was diagnosed with ovarian cancer and plans were underway for our daughter Pearl to become a bat mitzvah, I hatched an idea for Adam and Pearl share their b’nai mitzvah at camp. Jim Mittenthal came through again. “Inclusion is what camp should be about,” he told me and worked diligently to make it an authentic Jewish ritual. Adam and Pearl read their Torah portions and gave speeches before the entire camp community. My son, who for years wouldn’t look you in the eye, stood up before 600 people and told how Camp Barney made him feel Jewish and gave him the confidence to succeed.

Here’s what I know deep in my bones: Every child deserves the dignity of risk. We cannot protect our kids from everything, so we have to let them try, and fail, and try again and again until they ultimately succeed. Inclusion isn’t a “program,” it’s a philosophy. Programs cost money, but inclusion is a mindset that doesn’t have to cost a thing. When we open our arms and our minds to inclusion, our hearts open too.

Did You Know?

LOTEM (an acronym for the Hebrew phrase meaning “integrated nature studies”) is the leading organization in Israel offering accessible hikes and educational nature activities for children and adults with special needs. LOTEM also serves at-risk youth and mothers and children who live in shelters for victims of domestic violence. LOTEM operates an ecological farm in the picturesque Emek HaShalom (Valley of Peace) Nature Park near Yokneam.

  • 30,000 people are engaged in nature activities each year
  • 90 nature clubs are facilitated around Israel by LOTEM
  • LOTEM pioneered the Green Fitness program promoting exercise in nature for adults with intellectual disabilities

Jewish Conferences Coming to Atlanta

We’re proud that Atlanta will welcome five major Jewish conferences to town in March. Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) holds its Professional Institute, March 6-8 in Atlanta, and many of our staff and community leaders will be attending workshops and programs there. We’re also excited to be a local host of the Jewish Funders Network International Conference, March 19-21. JFN works with Jewish funders to improve the quality and impact of their giving in the Jewish world. The Central Conference of American Rabbis, the rabbinical body of the Reform Movement, convenes its meeting March 19-22. The Collaboratory, a network for Jewish innovators and change-makers, has its national meeting in Atlanta March 21-23, and the National Council of Jewish Women meets here March 23-25.

Building Volunteerism

On January 25, Atlantans eager to engage in community service met at Federation for a presentation from Literacy Action — the Southeast’s oldest and largest adult basic education nonprofit helping undereducated adults build a better future by teaching literacy and life and work skills. Following presentations by Literary Action’s Executive Director Austin Dickson, Federation CEO Eric Robbins, and The Temple’s Rabbi David Spinrad, the evening became a springboard for a larger discussion about creating a Jewish Center for Service. The center would consolidate volunteer opportunities for people of all ages and help match volunteers with appropriate activities. For more information about this project, contact Stephanie Wyatt, Federation’s VP of Engagement & Leadership Development.

Volunteer Spotlight 

Mazal tov to Adam Pomeranz, the newly appointed vice-chair of Federation’s Jewish Abilities Alliance (JAA) Committee. Adam has had a lifelong commitment to disabilities and inclusion, going back to his childhood in Miami growing up with an older brother with developmental disabilities. Adam has combined his personal commitment to inclusion with professional studies in mental health and business to become a strong advocate for individuals with disabilities and their families. For the past 12 years, Adam has been the CEO of Annandale Village, a residential community in Suwanee, GA, for adults with developmental disabilities, serving nearly 200 individuals. He brings a 20+ year commitment to making Atlanta a more welcoming community for individuals with special needs, and JAA is deeply grateful for his leadership.

Read the Legislative Update.

Read February 7 newsletter.

January 31, 2017

“I made space for Judaism in my life because of Jewish Student Union”
By: Daniel Sandfelder

Everyone warns you that junior year of high school is stressful. Between academics, the fencing team, and acting in school plays, there isn’t time to cram in much more. In freshman year I met this amazing man, Rabbi Chaim Neiditch, who runs Jewish Student Union (JSU) clubs at my high school, and his passion for Judaism really changed me. I made space for Judaism in my life because of JSU.

At Centennial High School, the Christian student clubs can feel aggressive and intimidating to me. JSU’s approach is casual, tolerant, and inspiring. I was very moved by this teaching, right before Passover. Rabbi Neiditch told how, during the Exodus, Moses reached the Red Sea and stopped. He let an ordinary guy named Nachshon take the first step into the sea. Nachshon keeps on going, even when the water reaches his nostrils. At the last possible moment, the sea splits. This story tells me that anyone can do amazing things and push beyond their limits.

I know that I have. On a JSU ski trip last winter we all celebrated Shabbat, and it created so much joy and happiness in me that I came home and started keeping kosher. This is pretty big in my interfaith family. Even though Judaism was the predominant religion in our home, I wasn’t very public about being Jewish and I didn’t observe rituals or laws. Today I’m president of my JSU chapter and actually thinking about a Jewish studies major in college.  JSU awakened the Jewish values that always lived inside me.

Federation supports Jewish Student Union to strengthen Jewish identity and develop young leadership.

Did You Know?

The 2017 session of the Georgia General Assembly is underway. To keep you informed on key issues we’re providing weekly updates from Federation’s Legislative Counsel, Rusty Paul. Click on the legislative update link below the red box and above upcoming events in FederationFive every week to stay on top of our priority issues, including:

  • Tax credit legislation to protect the ALEF Fund
  • Maintaining adequate Medicaid reimbursement rates for the William Breman Home
  • Restoration of funding for nonprofit health clinics like the Ben Massell Dental Clinic
  • New funding for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities

Balser Symposium: Empowering and Energizing Philanthropy 

For the 11th consecutive year, Atlanta Jewish Foundation joined the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta and United Way of Greater Atlanta, to sponsor and convene the Balser Symposium – an educational seminar attracting approximately 200 professional advisors. The Symposium draws national speakers to educate advisors about the philanthropic landscape and encourage them to discuss philanthropy with their clients.  This year’s Keynote speaker was Dr. Raj Raghunathan, of the University of Texas McCombs School of Business, who spoke about his academic work studying happiness and its relationship to philanthropy.

This year’s Symposium also featured a presentation about the Balser Professional Advisors Council’s (BPAC) Giving Circle, which just completed its inaugural year.  A component program to the Balser Symposium, The BPAC Giving Circle meets throughout the year to learn about needs in our community and invites innovative nonprofit programs addressing those needs to apply for a grant of $25,000.  At the end of each year, the Giving Circle hears from three finalists and selects one of the three to receive the grant. This year’s recipient was Our House, a service agency offering tools, support and education to families with young children experiencing homelessness.

A JDC Trip to Ethiopia with the JDC

Lisa Lebovitz, one of Federation’s Campaign Development professionals, took her volunteerism to a new level when she traveled to Ethiopia to learn about the Joint Distribution Committee’s (JDC) work in the region. JDC Entwine trips are exclusively for Jewish young adults. Lisa told us: “I landed in Addis Ababa with 18 diverse trip-mates, all driven by the Jewish value of tikkun olam, repairing the world. What I brought home was immense gratitude for freedom of speech and access to modern medicine, as well as close to 500 pictures of stunning landscapes, delicious injera, and exceptional new friends.” Learn more about Entwine trips and email Lisa to hear more about her experience and see all 496 of her pictures.

Why I Give: Giving it all away 

Great philanthropy has the power to move and inspire. Which is why we wanted to share an amazing story about a New York philanthropist, 85-year-old James Feeney, who quietly gave away the last $7 million of his $8 billion fortune. No other philanthropist in the world has given away a bigger proportion of his wealth. Feeney’s donations have focused on higher education, public health, human rights and scientific research, yet he has no buildings with his name on them and his beneficiaries were not allowed to publicize his gifts. Lewis Shubin, chair of Federation’s Allocations Committee, who brought the story to our attention, commented, “I thought that Mr. Feeney’s story demonstrates the great joy and the great good that personal philanthropy can bring to the donor and the world. Feeney’s modesty, his innate frugality, and ultimately his generosity, are what he will be remembered for. His mindset of anonymous ‘giving while living’ exemplifies the highest Jewish ideals of tzedakah.” Read the full story about Mr. Feeney.

Read the Legislative Update.

Read January 31 newsletter.

January 24, 2017

Reflections From Eric
Shabbat Shalom in Toco Hills

As Ana and I continue to learn about Atlanta’s Jewish communities, we spent the cold and icy weekend of January 6-7 “embedded” in what is surely one of Atlanta’s warmest, most vibrant Jewish micro-communities — Toco Hills. We experienced Shabbat from beginning to end, discovering a depth of hospitality and harmony that is beautiful and all too rare. Over the course of 25 hours, we were embraced by a unique Jewish community that is incredibly diverse and cohesive at the same time.

On Shabbat morning, Rabbi Adam Starr graciously offered me a chance to speak at Young Israel of Toco Hills. I commented on the weekly Torah portion, Vayigash, near the end of the Joseph story. In retrospect, I couldn’t have imaged a more relevant teaching than the way Joseph’s fractured family ultimately resolves years of misunderstanding and resentment. In the very next portion Jacob, the patriarch, blesses his sons, acknowledging each brother’s unique role. That kind of unity within diversity is exactly what I saw in Toco Hills.

I’m sure many of you have seen the parade of families streaming up and down LaVista Road on Shabbat, coming and going to synagogue, or carrying potluck dishes on their way to meals with friends. Within the eruv (the ritual enclosure that permits Jewish residents or visitors to carry certain objects in public on Shabbat) that delineates this community are at least five congregations. They range from Reconstructionist, modern and traditional Orthodox, to Sephardic and Persian. On any given Shabbat, you’ll see women covering their heads in scarves, wigs, and hats, or nothing at all. You’ll see men wearing knitted kippahs, black kippahs, fedoras and fur-rimmed shtreimels. It’s a glorious sight.

Because Toco Hills has proximity to the CDC, Emory University and several hospitals, the community is full of men and women who are doctors, lawyers, academics, public health professionals, teachers and innovators. It’s an intellectual oasis. Though many people we met grew up with secular Jewish backgrounds, they’ve chosen this committed, observant Jewish life and are passionate about sharing it.

They care intensely about education, Jewish camp, Israel, the obligation of tzedakah, and each other. When a family is in need, the word goes out across Toco Hills and suddenly meals are delivered, children are driven to school, and prayers are offered. Families are large, but generosity runs deep. An incredible 40% of the donations supporting relief after the fires in Israel came from members of Young Israel of Toco Hills.

Unity within diversity. It’s right here in our Toco Hills Jewish community. And if you want to experience it, just call any of the synagogues along LaVista Road and ask to be invited. I guarantee you’ll find a Shabbat table to join, a warm place to sleep, and an unforgettable Jewish welcome.

All our Atlanta Jewish micro-communities have something to teach, and I look forward to immersing myself each of them.

 Did You Know?

In an effort to promote all streams of Judaism, Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta supports Beit Hillel, the Modern Orthodox Movement in Israel. Beit Hillel believes an authentic, enlightened, and inclusive Judaism is critical for Israel today. As a collective of Modern Orthodox scholars and leaders — including women — Beit Hillel provides a unified perspective on issues that could otherwise be divisive.

  • 120 Rabbis, scholars and leaders are members of Beit Hillel
  • Beit Hillel is the first and only Orthodox rabbinical association in which women take equal part in leadership
  • Beit Hillel supports religious LGBTQ Jews

Breaking Ground in Community Collaboration 
This year, driven by principles of collective impact — a process where organizations and partners agree to solve complex problems collaboratively by looking broadly at data and impact — our Caring Outcomes Committee is breaking new ground. “We’re shifting our focus from what individual programs do, to what all of our programs do collectively,” says Amy Glass, Federation’s Community Planning & Impact Manager. “It’s a better way to measure impact, and a better tool for understanding what the community really needs. In the disabilities area, for example, we’re bringing Allocations Committee members, Federation grantees, other community service providers and key stakeholders to the same table for a deeper examination of community needs and priorities. These discussions have been rich and productive, building trust and deepening relationships across agencies.” The new process is beginning with the Caring Outcomes Committee, and our learning about best practices will be applied over time to all allocations areas.

We Spent MLK Day in a Jewish Way

Federation’s first Mitzvah Day of 2017, held on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, attracted a big, enthusiastic and multi-generational audience of nearly 200 people. Service projects were offered in three locations: Hillels of Georgia (Emory campus), Berman Commons, and the Atlanta Community Food Bank. At Hillels of Georgia families made tzedakah boxes with their kids. At the Food Bank volunteers sorted and boxed 19,000 pounds (12,700 meals!) of donated food and supplies for distribution to more than 600 organizations. Berman Commons volunteers made 600 PB&J sandwiches for local shelters and fire and police stations. “The turnout proves our community is eager to give back meaningfully, and we plan to provide more opportunities like this,” said Federation’s Rachel Kosberg, Under 40 Development Officer, who helped organize the event. Chairs for Mitzvah Day 2017 were Michael Plasker & Ellen Arnovitz, Amy Arogeti and Josh Gold.

Why I Give

Why does Kimberly Swartz give to Federation?

Watch to find out!

Read our January 24 full newsletter.


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