Week of Extraordinary Deeds proves to be…extraordinary

by | Nov 8, 2013 | Other News

Avraham Infield at the Sandler Family Campus.

Avraham Infield at the Sandler Family Campus.

Inspired and energized Jewish volunteers embarked on a unified effort last month to reach out to others in the community and speak with them personally about the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater—what it is, what it does, and why continued support is vital to maintaining a vibrant Jewish community.

The five-day period from Oct. 13 through Oct. 17 was dubbed “the Week of Extraordinary Deeds,” for the time given by the UJFT representatives, the gifts made by generous community members, and to embrace the Federation’s theme for this year’s Annual Campaign— Together We Do Extraordinary Things.

The week began with a visit from Avraham Infeld, president emeritus of Hillel International—the Foundation for Jewish Campus Life, who motivated audiences with his discussion of how the Federation’s vital work unifies, helps and sustains Jewish values and lives.

“The Jewish Federation is deeply committed to ensuring the continued significance of the Jewish people as a family,” says Infeld. “Thank you all so much for what you’re doing for our family.”

Infeld spoke to large groups on Sunday and Monday evenings, and met individually with community members to further share the ways that gifts made to the UJFT help make the world a better place for Jews, in ways they might not know.

“Avraham reminded us that we’re all part of our local Jewish family, and also part of a much larger, worldwide Jewish community,” says Alex Pomerantz, UJFT community development specialist. “He says that it’s our obligation, as family members, to be committed to one another and to take care of each other, and those who heard him definitely took his message to heart.”

On Tuesday, volunteers and UJFT leaders took prospective donors to lunch at area restaurants; on Wednesday and Thursday they spoke one-on-one in other locations, including the Reba and Sam Sandler Family Campus of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater.

“Between all of these events, we engaged more than 150 people in meaningful face to face conversations about the needs, desires and concerns of our Jewish community,” Pomerantz says.

“We wanted people to ask tough questions and we wanted to reaffirm the Federation’s mission. With the help of all involved, we did just that.” More than $200,000 was raised during the five-day period, an amount that exceeded the Federation’s goals and helps the community move closer to reaching the $4.7 million goal set for the 2014 Annual Campaign, which ends in March.

“We deeply appreciate the community’s time and generosity,” says Pomerantz. “It shows how truly extraordinary Tidewater is, and that together, we absolutely do extraordinary things.”

To arrange a personal discussion with a community volunteer or UJFT leader about the Federation’s mission, contact Alex Pomerantz at 757-965-6136, or email apomerantz@ujft.org. Visit www.JewishVa.org to hear Avraham Infeld’s motivational words and to learn more about the UJFT.

by Laine M. Rutherford