CEO Message 7/26/2019

From the desk of Stewart Bromberg

Dear Friends,

PASSION: astrong affection or enthusiasm for an object, concept, etc.

We all feel passion for something or someone. Generally this is not something we decide to do or work hard to develop. It just happens. Maybe it started when we attended an event, witnessed an occurrence, or over time we have been drawn to certain beliefs and have developed a dedication to have an impact on the future. Passions can take many forms and cause us to follow different paths throughout our lives.

I have a deep passion for my family. I also have a very deep passion for the survival of Judaism: here in Western Massachusetts, across North America, and yes, globally. I can trace this passion to my first Jewish overnight camp experience at Camp Kingswood in Bridgeton, ME. Here I was spending time with 200 other Jewish campers and 50 Jewish staffers, all making this the most Jewish experience I had ever had. I was a camper for three years and a counselor for two. My children attended the same camp and I chaired the 50th anniversary reunion weekend. Clearly these events where all part of my personal journey, destined to define my passion for Judaism.

We all have passions. We all want our passions to continue in perpetuity. There are programs that will help us all secure the future of our passions for generations to come, and The Jewish Endowment Foundation (JEF) of the Jewish Federation of Western Massachusetts can help make this happen.

The Create a Jewish Legacy program can help you help our community prepare for the future. JEF can provide information about the many vehicles available, such as Endowment Funds, Bequests, Gifts of Insurance, Stock contributions, and others that will provide you the opportunity to ensure the continuation of programs and/or services that address your personal passions.

The Harold Grinspoon Foundation created a program called “Life & Legacy—Assuring JEWISH TOMORROWS”. Thanks to our proximity to the foundation headquarters, and our relationship with The Harold Grinspoon Foundation, we were fortunate enough to be one of the first communities to be involved in this great program.

The funds raised by our community (approximately $22 million) through this amazing and successful program will help build our legacy programs for the future thanks to the generosity of our donors. Our role is to help the community achieve the goal of becoming more self-sustainable as we move forward to provide strong and vibrant Jewish life in the Pioneer Valley.

The Harold Grinspoon Foundation has agreed to help us restart our efforts to build these legacy endowment gifts. We will be scheduling a community meeting in the fall to reintroduce us all to this opportunity to jump-start our future. We will also be scheduling a community training session to help us all feel more confident as we talk to others in the community and help them turn their passions into the future of the western Massachusetts Jewish community.

As we begin moving closer to the end of the year and closer to our annual meeting, look forward to hearing about some of the projects we are working on now, and some visions we are forming for our future.

Let’s work together to build the future for our children and their children. Together we can do extraordinary things.

Shabbat Shalom,

Stew Bromberg