Mar 10, 2014
Caring for Each Other and Building Community Together
I am privileged to serve South Palm Beach County’s thriving Jewish community of 130,000 people. I may be new to this position, but from my 25 years with AIPAC in our region, I know this community’s incredible generosity and dedication to Jewish values and the Jewish people.
It’s exciting to be working with you to develop what is truly the greatest potential of any Jewish community in the country. With my own lifelong commitment to Judaism and the Jewish people, I could not be more proud to be leading this organization that fulfills the most essential role of community: bringing people together to take care of each other.
And there are a myriad of often hidden Jewish needs for us to take care of among our own neighbors as well as our larger Jewish family overseas. With our continued help, they will not have to choose between food and medicine or school supplies. Local families will be sheltered amid an alarming rate of unemployment and home foreclosures. Holocaust survivors will be able to live their last years with dignity and security. Frail seniors will be able to enjoy meals, help and companionship. Those with disabilities will be cared for and receive job training. And children from our burgeoning young population will receive a Jewish education.
We are also vigilant in advocating and educating for the safety and well-being of the Jewish community across the globe, fighting against anti-Semitism and the poison of its threats. Standing in steadfast solidarity, we actively support our brothers and sisters in Israel on the frontlines of Jewish security.
Our community also faces internal challenges. Amid such serious and growing needs, ours is the oldest Jewish community by age, yet one of the most recent in establishment – without the multiple generations of support and level of endowments that other large Federations have had time to develop. While many in our younger and settled population have begun to take their responsibility and rightful place as contributors and leaders, many if not most are unaware of the needs before us and the vital role the Jewish community has played historically to address them.
Our reach must be far broader as well as deeper to take care of each other today and in the future. In the process, together we will build from among the diversity of synagogues, neighborhoods, ages and the unaffiliated or unengaged, one greater, cohesive Jewish community. From recent retirees on the ocean to young families in their first homes and seniors in living centers, our residents will say with pride that they are part of the South Palm Beach Jewish community.
Together, we will face the challenges and dangers with increasing strength, compassion, power and generosity. In joining you, I am ready to do all I can to raise the banner of the Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County, helping our Jewish family locally, in Israel and throughout the world with an extensive range of programs and services as no other organization can. I look forward to working with you to continue our sacred work of helping so many in need locally, in Israel and throughout the world. Together, we build on our Federation's strengths and set the course for a strong future.
Matthew C. Levin
CEO Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County