CEO Message 2/18/2019

From the desk of Stewart Bromberg

Dear Friends,

By now everyone should have received an invitation to the Community Shabbat Dinner on Friday, March 1, 2019. There will be Shabbat Services available at B’nai Torah beginning at 5:20 and a combined Shabbat Service presented by both Temple Beth El and Sinai Temple beginning at 6:00 and taking place at Temple Sinai. Everyone is invited to attend the Community Shabbat Dinner beginning at 7:15 being hosted at B’nai Torah. If you have not received an invitation and would like to join us, please call 413-737-4313 to make reservations. Please also call if you just want to verify that we have you on our email list.

As I have said previously, there is a lot to learn, see, and love about living Jewishly in western Massachusetts. To explore some of the many amazing programming opportunities happening in our community this month and into March, please click here and review this week’s Fed Connect listings [editor’s note: link depreciated].

Our Women’s Philanthropy Committee, under the direction of the new committee chair, Lara Curtis, is working hard to provide educational and topical programs designed to challenge us and help us see the world that we live in today in unique and intellectual ways. The first program being sponsored by this committee, is being held at the SJCC on March 18, 2019 at 7:00 PM. This event, being presented by Linda Fishbayne Joffe, S.J.D. from the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute, is a powerful program dealing with anti-Semitism, anti-Zionism and feminism in America today. Be sure to watch for future exciting programs to come throughout the year.

As the sun shines longer each day and spring approaches, there are many things within the Jewish community suggesting the changing winds are filled with exciting times. The schools in our community are actively reviewing applications for new students who will begin the next school year, and summer camps—both overnight and day camps—are working hard to finalize their plans for the summer programs fast approaching. When I arrived last July and walked into the JCC building, I felt at home and part of a community. Some might complain about the level of voices in and around the building. I look around and I see the future of our community. These children, although not all of them Jewish, are attending a Jewish day camp or summer program, whether here at the SJCC, or at other organizations across our community, which has been built on, and teaches, Jewish values. Whether or not we actively seek out the many opportunities in our community to learn more about our heritage, or participate in events and programs, these children will be surrounded by informal Jewish education through their programs. They are experiencing the wonders and joys of living with Jewish values and seeing the world through a Jewish lens.

Last week I spoke about the upcoming Community Demographic Study for our community. You may ask why we are embarking on this endeavor. In order for us, as a community, to plan and provide the programs and services the community needs and wants, we need to know what direction we should follow. This is why we are reaching out over the next couple of weeks to the agencies which serve our community to ask for their involvement from the beginning. Three plus years ago we had a task force with representation from all corners of our community involved, and as we move forward, it is very important to involve as many people as we can. What questions do we want to ask? What are we hoping to learn? How do we move forward once the information has been gathered and we receive a report? These are all questions we need to work on together. I encourage you to contact me if you have questions about this project or have an interest in helping us determine the questions to be asked, and the methodology we should choose to ask these questions. Please take the time to reach out to me at sbromberg@jewishwesternmass.org.

Please remember, TOGETHER WE MAKE A DIFFERENCE

Please help us change the future of our community and the world by contributing to our campaign. We remain committed to helping you help support our communities in ways that are relevant to you. Give us a call at 413-737-4313 and share your passions with us. I guarantee there are many opportunities in our community for you to have an impact on something that stirs your passions. Let us help you find it. Thank you for your continued support.

Shalom,

Stew Bromberg, CFRE

CEO, Jewish Federation of Western Massachusetts

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