5784 will enter on a solid foundation in Tidewater

by | Sep 14, 2023 | Trending News

Betty Ann Levin
It is strange preparing for the new year while it still feels like the middle of summer outside, but like all things, that will soon change. I will be grateful for the cooler weather as we embark on 5784, a year which will continue to bring change to our strong, generous, and innovative community.

Together, we have again accomplished much over the past year, and I continue to be immensely grateful – thank you. We again contributed funds through our annual 2023 Community Campaign, totaling close to $5 million to support ongoing and emerging needs locally and globally.
We continue to innovate in Jewish education – at Strelitz International Academy, Toras Chaim, Bina, the Talmudical Academy, through our synagogues and religious schools, and through programs and partnerships of the Konikoff Center for Learning.

We continue to build Jewish identity through programs such as BBYO, Birthright Israel, and support of teen participation in the JCCA Maccabi Games in Israel and the U.S. this year.

Over the past 13 months, we have welcomed four wonderful shinshinim from Israel who have enhanced our Israeli programming and awareness in our community, and who have now brought Tidewater to Israel!

We have enhanced our investment in community security through our increased partnership with Secure Community Network (SCN) with increased training, awareness, and measures to protect us all.

We have helped vulnerable, at-risk populations both in our community and in Jewish communities in Eastern Europe, South America, Israel, and other countries through our overseas partnerships.

We have responded generously, as we always do, to continue to support the people of Ukraine as the war has raged on, as well as to appeals in the wake of natural disasters in Turkey, Syria, Hawaii, and now Morocco.

Our community institutions are innovating, evolving, and reimagining every day. Jewish Family Service has expanded its Embrace counseling program, Beth Sholom Village is planning for its next generation of care including the opening of Aviva at Pembroke, and multiple other institutions and programs, including those at UJFT, are planning to meet the needs of the next generation.

Our organized Jewish community has experienced much change throughout our history, and I have no doubt that we will continue to embrace change as we address current needs and plan for our future. This is who we are.

So, as the new year 5784 begins, may we all continue to stand together to continue to strengthen our Tidewater Jewish community and take care of one another, kol yisroel aravim zeh b’zeh both locally and globally.

L’shana tova tikatevu – wishing you and your families the sweetest of New Years.
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Betty Ann Levin is executive vice president/CEO, United Jewish Federation of Tidewater/Simon Family JCC.