Jun 27, 2017
I am writing from the Jewish Agency meetings in Israel, where the Prime Minister and his cabinet have made a pair of decisions that together could threaten the unity of the Jewish people and diaspora-Israel relations. First, the Israeli government suspended the historic 2016 "one wall for one people" Kotel Agreement for cynical political reasons. Second, the government introduced a bill that, if passed, would return a full monopoly to Israel’s Chief Rabbinate regarding conversions. South Palm Beach County has been a national leader in understanding that pluralism is crucial for Jewish unity, and our voices are needed now.
May 5, 2017
When the lights went down and a live feed from members of our March of the Living delegation in Poland appeared onscreen, the theme of our 2017 Annual Meeting came alive. For the enthusiastic Federation leaders and donors, rabbis and agency heads, volunteers and staff who packed Zinman Hall on April 25 at the evening chaired by Margie and Ed Marlowe, there could be no doubt. We are, indeed, Our Federation. Our Community. Our World. As we celebrated our year’s many achievements, I urged our leaders to look ahead fully cognizant of the major demographic shift advancing around us - and its impact on our ability to meet the growing needs of our large Jewish community and our Jewish world. I also set a course to take our community collaboration to a whole new level.
Feb 22, 2017
Why has Tevye become one of the most iconic characters in our Jewish narrative? And not just Tevye alone, but his community, Anatevka? Last week was a sad chapter in our own piece of the earth, our Anatevka, as two of South Palm Beach County’s great Jewish spiritual leaders endured a campaign of defamation and threats over a speaking invitation their synagogue had extended. This small but vocal group of Jews that perpetrated these attacks are no better than the Cossacks on horseback setting fire at a wedding. Being Jewish doesn’t make them an exception. It makes them exceptionally worse.
Sep 9, 2016
With our new season beginning and a New Year on the horizon, I’m looking forward to sharing news and perspectives with you again after a very busy hiatus. And I’m proud to tell you that our busy 2015-16 season led our Federation to some great accomplishments on behalf of our community. Our new season is already in gear, on the heels of an Annual Campaign that, increasing once again, brought in more than $15 million; and amid our Jacobson Jewish Community Foundation’s significant growth. Now I’m headed off to Washington, DC with 50 of our community’s brightest, most caring and dedicated women, for the biennial International Lion of Judah Conference, where own Emily Grabelsky will receive the prestigious Kipnis-Wilson/Friedland Award.
Jul 25, 2016
Nice, Istanbul, Orlando, Paris, Brussels, San Bernardino…. The list keeps growing with attacks in more and more cities and countries. When will it stop? When will good, freedom-loving people stop dying at the hands of terrorists?
Nov 13, 2015
For a year, we’ve been imagining and planning our Spirit of Israel Mission – and now we’re here in Jerusalem with about 75 neighbors, friends and colleagues from throughout our vibrant, diverse Jewish community. We vary by neighborhood and observance, and we span multiple generations. Our group includes representatives from all out day schools and on-campus agencies, rabbis of different denominations. Some of us are first-time visitors, and some have been to Israel a dozen times or more. As a community and as individuals, we have come together in strength and solidarity as we often do, to stand with our Jewish family at another pivotal point in Israel’s history.
Oct 16, 2015
In the months before the high holidays, passionate supporters of Israel in our own Jewish community and around the world were riveted in support or opposition to The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), better known as “the Iran nuclear deal.” And now, even with our school year and “season” in full gear, our focus remains firmly on our homeland’s security, with Israel in the midst of a shocking spate of violent attacks throughout the land.
May 7, 2015
With applause and cheers ringing throughout the night, an outsider might have thought they’d walked into a rally rather than our Federation’s 2015 Annual Meeting. Indeed, on April 29, our paths led us from all neighborhoods and Jewish backgrounds to Zinman Hall with plenty to celebrate together at the very hub of our community - kvelling about our year’s shared accomplishments, paying well-earned tribute to our leaders, and looking more strategically than ever toward needs and challenges ahead. From the moment Chairs Emily Grabelsky and Dorothy Wizer welcomed the enthusiastic crowd aboard “FEDEXPEDITIONS: A Journey to Impact” from a cockpit (onscreen), we knew we were in for quite a ride!
Mar 27, 2015
This month’s Israeli election continues to occupy my heart and mind, as I’m sure it does for many of you. With the pundits so prolific, there’s no need to recap or make yet more projections here. But I do feel deeply compelled at this time to share a critical reminder with our community.
Mar 16, 2015
Like many of you, I’m sure, one of my favorite times with my family and on our Federation campus is Purim. What a joy to work amid the vibrant costumes, the music, the triumphant story that resonates so well today. Our community, like others around the world, comes alive with spirited megillah readings, carnivals and parades. And now, as they do every year, our thoughts turn to preparing for Passover.