From the desk of Stewart Bromberg

Dear Friends,

Once again, this morning there is a crisp feeling in the air. With temps expected to remain in the 70s today I hope everyone has a chance to enjoy the day. As we begin to get a taste of the changing of the seasons, we know the year of 5778 is coming to a close. This is a time of reflection and planning.

As I promised last week, I will continue with another excerpt from my journal to share my experiences in Odessa, Ukraine, and Israel. Here is Day 2, part 2 (next week I will not be including an update from this trip, but I promise more will come later):

‘…Our next stop brought us to the Stolyarsky Music School – what an incredibly beautiful building and an example of detailed finish and design. Very ornate and historic. Misha Galperin, former CEO of the Greater Washington, spoke about growing up in Odessa and how his family left just in time before an invasion arrived to remove the Jews from the community. I felt his passion and sorrow, and his joy of returning to his birthplace for the first time since leaving so many years ago. Over the years Misha and I have not always agreed on issues affecting the community but being a part of this reconnection with his past has given me a renewed sense of respect for him. Sometimes we need to learn about peoples’ past to understand who they are today. Day two was a very long day.’

[When I return to my journal entries I will share my experiences at the JCC (Jewish Cultural Center) in Odessa.]

There is something special coming to the MGM Casino in Springfield on October 29th. The Jewish Federation of Western Massachusetts will be holding a Donor Extravaganza at this exciting new venue in our community. Details will follow soon about the excitement, the program, and, of course, the entertainment for the evening. We promise this will be an event to remember.

Last week both the Allocation and Grants committee and the Board of the Jewish Federation of Western Massachusetts once again approved funds to provide extra visible security for organizations in our community providing High Holy Day services. Times are different and there is much happening throughout the world. We take seriously the security of our community members.

As we enjoy our temporary respite from the high temperatures we have experienced this summer, we need to be reminded about the holy days approaching just around the corner. This is a time to reflect on our past year and look forward to the future—not only our personal future, but the future of our local, national and international communities. My wish for us all is that we are able to experience a time of peace and cooperation with communities across the globe, and that we each do our part as best we can.

We are looking forward to engaging the community in new and relevant ways. We have many successes to speak about in this community, but so many more opportunities to create new experiences. We are ready to accept the challenge and we need your help. It is, after all, your generosity that has provided the funding needed to develop and offer the wonderful programs presented and staffed by the many constituent agencies of the Jewish Federation of Western Massachusetts. Thank you for past support, and we truly will appreciate your future engagement and contributions.

Shabbat shalom,


Stewart L. Bromberg, CFRE CEO