Shabbat Shalom from CEO Nora Gorenstein

Dear Friend,

I hope you have had a meaningful new year so far! In the days ahead, we look forward to celebrating Sukkot, and participating in a wide range of community celebrations: see the listings on the calendar for more details.

We are especially looking forward to the NextGen & YJP Sushi in the Sukkah event for ages 21-39+, a collaboration between JFWM’s NextGen program and the Young Jewish Professionals group from Lubavitcher Yeshiva Academy: click on the image below to register, or email Donor Impact Officer Bobby Naimark with questions or to connect him with someone else you think might be interested!

Our Jewish Federations of North America network is providing immediate humanitarian relief for the Jewish Federations of Lee/Charlotte, Naples and Sarasota to supply housing, clothing, transportation and food to those who were affected by Hurricane Ian.  In collaboration with the South Florida Federations, we fed close to 1000 people at a Yom Kippur kosher break-fast. Another allocation was to a Jewish senior living center in Sarasota that took in 200 evacuees. You can read more in this week’s letter from board chair Julie Platt and emergency committee chair Wendy Abrams: the committee has made an initial allocation of $225,000. The national mailbox alone has received a total of more than $100,000 from more than 700 individual donors. We invite you to donate via the dedicated national mailbox.
Our hearts were also with the Ukrainian refugees during the High Holy Day season. Hundreds of refugees in Poland enjoyed special activities and educational programming with Jewish Federation volunteers, working in partnership with JDC and the Office of the Chief Rabbi of Poland. Refugees also enjoyed a special holiday concert of songs of hope, performed by Jewish Federations’ volunteer Yuri Vedenyapin, who teaches Yiddish at McGill University. Our global humanitarian efforts remain in full force, whether to take care of Ukrainian refugees, of Ethiopian Jews making aliyah, or of other Jews in need throughout the world.
This week, Jewish Federations applauded the House of Representatives passage of the Mental Health Matters Act. The legislation seeks to strengthen enforcement of the federal mental health parity law and to provide grants for school-based mental health resources.

As always, you can reach me any time with your thoughts and questions at

Shabbat shalom and shana tovah,

Nora Gorenstein
Chief Executive Officer