Shabbat Shalom from CEO Nora Gorenstein

Dear Friend,

On Monday, we launched an important survey to enable community members to update contact information and preferences. If you have not already done so, I hope you will take the survey now! If you are not automatically connected to your unique survey link, please let me know so that I can help. 

If you can’t wait for this summer’s Annual Campaign mailing, don’t worry! You can email me any time to make your pledge to the campaign (payable by Dec. 31, 2022), or make a donation on our website right now:

If you have already made your Annual Campaign contribution, or this isn’t the right time for you, don’t stop reading! This Sunday, we will be sending out an email survey that is customized just for you. This secure process will enable you to update the contact information in our database and ensure that you are receiving the types of updates that are most meaningful to you. Please keep an eye out for the email, and if you don’t receive it, I hope you will let me know.

In addition, please see below for some important updates from our Jewish Federations of North America network about Ukraine, the Social Safety Net, a Jewish perspective on Dobbs v. JacksonBDS, and safety at the Kotel.

Early this week, Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) offered a webinar attended by nearly one thousand people, covering the impact of the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Healthcare. Speakers included Rabbi Menachem Creditor and representatives from the National Women’s Law CenterAmerican College of Obstetricians and GynecologistsNational Council of Jewish Women, and Hadassah, who shared information on state law developments, their potential impacts on women and their health providers, and how individuals and organizations can take action.

“Like the majority of the Jewish community, we disagree with the Dobbs decision and are concerned about the risks it poses to women and girls,” JFNA President and CEO Eric Fingerhut said on the issue. “Our focus from the minute the decision came down was to mobilize our expertise in health issues and government relations at the state and federal level to ensure our communities can protect women’s and girls’ health. That’s what Federations do.”

The full implications of this decision remain to be seen. Please click here to view the recording.

As the war in Ukraine nears its fifth month, the Jewish Federation of Western Massachusetts, JFNA and our national network, along with our global partners remain committed to providing humanitarian aid to those still in Ukraine and to helping to resettle those who have fled. For an update from JFNA’s Israel office on our continuing efforts, please click here.

As a direct result of our collective advocacy, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has agreed to expand the number of kosher options in the Temporary Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP), a program that provides surplus food to food banks and pantries. With this change, deliveries starting in January 2023 will require kosher certification for several additional items. The USDA will also add a wider range of kosher certifications and more clearly identify those items. For more details, click here and read more in JNS.

You can join Jewish Federations and Hazon/Pearlstone on July 27 and August 3 from 1-2pm ET for the second and third parts of a three-part masterclass to explore what sustainability and climate action look like through a Jewish lens, and the opportunities they present for expanding and reshaping your local Jewish engagement strategy. Click here to register. For a recording of the first session, click here.

Please be in touch any time. I look forward to hearing from you!

Shabbat shalom,

Nora Gorenstein
Chief Executive Officer