By Rich Walter
I hope that you had a restful and productive summer. Here, we spent the summer reflecting on the challenges and successes of our previous year and planning for the upcoming one. Our greatest success was the more than $72 million of impact we had on the community through the Atlanta Jewish Foundation, Federation’s fundraising, and the Alef Fund. Together we enhanced Jewish education, took care of the most vulnerable, and invested in new ideas and opportunities. Other highlights include:
- We launched a major research project around Jewish Early Childhood Education as we plan for the best way to strengthen this important entry point for so many Jewish families. We are expecting the results shortly.
- We continue to support the ecosystem from the ongoing effects of Covid-19 though grants for PPE and disruptions to service and through access to community health experts.
- We launched JproATL (more below) to best serve the professionals working and supporting our Jewish community.
- We sent the first ever Shinshin emissary from Atlanta to our partnership region Yokneam/Meggido in Israel as one of 25 teens who received a Jumpspark gap-year scholarship.
Our year was not without challenges, and we remain committed to positioning Federation as a community champion that is here to both convene our ecosystem around important issues and provide guidance and support when needed. One area that we are looking to do better is in convening the ecosystem and relevant sectors in a more intentional and meaningful way. Part of that will be achieved by our continued investment in JproATL, but we are also working on ways to expand into the broader network of our partners to enhance the lay leadership experience and connect this important sector more in our work.
One of the ways we aim to do this over the coming year is engage our partners in a series of consultations where we can learn from each other about successes and challenges in our work. This is part of a reimagined allocations and grant making structure in which, rather than only receiving reports from those who receive federation funding, we more intentionally engage in conversation with each other to identify the best ways to enhance collective impact in the community.
None of this impact can happen without the collective efforts of all our community partners and as we continue to expand our grantmaking opportunities beyond allocations, we aim to help steward the community into the future. This is only possible due to our ability to serve as the philanthropic champion for the Atlanta Jewish community. I invite you to please consider making a gift and encouraging your constituents to support these efforts as well.