Making the world a better place

by | Sep 19, 2016 | Other News

With the approach of the Jewish Holidays, many of us are starting to review our actions over the past year. We reflect on the goals we set for ourselves and assess whether we met them and we begin to contemplate how we can make positive changes going forward.

As I review my personal actions, I am also doing so in my role as chair of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater’s 2017 Annual Campaign. On behalf of the UJFT, I can say that the achievements of our very special Jewish community over the past year were great: the 2016 Annual Campaign fundraising drive, which ended on June 30, raised just over $4.76 million from 1,500 individual donors.

All those who made financial gifts, volunteered time, donated goods, signed petitions, and attended events deserve a tremendous “Thank You!” Your participation in the Annual Campaign has had a significant impact, including the extraordinary effect of touching more Jewish lives than any other organization in the world.

Already, the funds raised in the Campaign last year have been distributed to partner agencies and organizations. These partner groups will use their allocations to meet the most pressing challenges facing our Jewish community here and abroad.

Unfortunately, the challenges faced by our community never fully disappear. Rather, the challenges we face shift and change from one priority to another. Yet, thanks to your generosity and caring, and your support of our Federation’s annual campaign each year, we will be prepared to meet these needs.

The 2017 Annual Campaign will kick off at a special event featuring Ambassador Dennis Ross at the Sandler Center for the Performing Arts on September 20. The momentum of the thought-provoking conversations started by Ambassador Ross will be kept going during “The Week,” September 26–30.

The Week is an opportunity for volunteer and UJFT staff fundraisers to have informal, yet in-depth one-on-one conversations with community members. Topics discussed can be general or more specific, ranging from the impact of donations, results of the latest Pew Study about Jews in America and israel, the emerging challenges of 2017, or a chance for donors to have their concerns heard and questions answered.

Whether as the guest of a volunteer or UJFT staff fundraiser at lunch or dinner, over the phone, or on Skype, I encourage you to participate in these very important conversations. if you are called, please accept the invitation to meet during The Week. Or, don’t wait. You can call the Federation at 757-965-6136 to request a one-on-one conversation, and be our honored guest as we talk and learn about each other.

Discovering the ways we can make the world a better place for our community and for our extended family is a great way to end 5776, welcome 5777, and get the Annual Campaign off to a great start.

We wish each of you a L’Shanah Tovah—a good, sweet year, marked by health, happiness, prosperity, and the fulfillment of your hearts’ desires.

Laura Geringer Gross,
2017 UJFT Annual Campaign Chair