As diverse as the speakers and special guests were at the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater’s 2016 Annual Campaign Kickoff event on Thursday, Sept. 17, they all passionately imparted two similar messages.
First, this community’s financial support of the UJFT Annual Campaign changes lives, in more ways than people could ever imagine. Second, they were glad for the opportunity to say, “thank you” to the audience gathered for the event.
Jay Klebanoff, UJFT president, provided welcoming comments. Annual Campaign chair Karen Jaffe followed. Both community leaders emphasized the challenges facing the Jewish community locally, nationally, and abroad, and how contritions to the Annual Campaign meet those challenges and help secure the future.
Jerry Silverman, president and CEO of the Jewish Federations of North America, provided a sobering message about increasing challenges facing Jews in Israel and overseas communities, while at the same time lauding the Tidewater community for its generosity and commitment to Jewish values.
Special guest speakers at Kickoff spoke about how the Federation’s support of local partner agencies, schools, and programs had an impact on their lives. Brief, but moving, statements were made by Betty Ann Levin, Miriam Seeherman, Julie Byers, Danial Watts, Mattie Lefcoe, Betty Berklee, Eliot Weinstein and Ashley Zittrain.
Visit www.JewishVa.org to learn more about the 2016 Annual Campaign and how to make a difference. Want to see videos of the presentations? Like UJFT on Facebook, and sign up for the Tzedakah Box Enewsletter on the website to find out when they’ve been posted.
by Laine Mednick Rutherford