Shabbat Shalom from CEO Nora Gorenstein

Dear Friend,

This week’s Torah portion, Parshat Noach, is one of the most well-known, featuring the flood, the rainbow, the Tower of Babel, and more. Key to this text is the concept of miracles and the importance of communication. Beyond the visual of pairs of animals climbing into the ark, and a small group of human beings saved while the rest of the world is swept away, the image of the rainbow as God’s promise to humanity can be our take-away. When you view a rainbow, what does it bring to mind? Do you consider the science, the joy, or perhaps the symbol of humanity’s many beautiful differences? Does it remind you of the story of Noah’s ark?

Later in the parsha, we learn that while Noah’s descendants initially all speak the same language for many generations, they become arrogant and are punished by being unable to understand one another (speaking different languages) and therefore cannot work in sync together. I think we can all see clearly how communication and cooperation are closely connected!  

As I prepare to travel to the General Assembly (GA) and gather with Jewish communal professionals from all across the Jewish Federations of North America network and our national and global partners, I see the GA as a productive, caring way to counteract the global concerns and chaos that parallel the story of Babel. Only by coming together, sharing our thoughts and concerns, and finding common ground can we move forward to fruitful collaboration. I look forward to connecting and learning from Jewish community leaders, interfaith partners, and thought leaders on the topics of greatest importance to our communities and the Jewish world.

What are the topics most on your mind heading into this weekend? In the spirit of communication and partnership, I invite you to take a moment and share your thoughts with me by replying to this email or sending me a message. I look forward to hearing from you and working together to make our dreams a reality.

While I will be away until Wednesday, there are many fantastic events happening in our community in the days ahead! Please take a look at the Community Calendar for upcoming event highlights.

Before we head into Shabbat, please take a moment to join me in congratulating my dear friend and colleague, Rachel’s Table Director Jodi Falk on being selected one of eight Women of Impact by BusinessWest, and read more about her journey. It is a privilege and an honor to work closely with Jodi and the rest of our staff every day to ensure that our community’s needs are met, and to support our Rachel’s Table program in expanding its resources for nourishing individuals and organizations across our region.

Jodi Falk, BusinessWest Woman of Impact, 2022

Jodi’s passion is apparent in everything she does, and we are lucky to have her leading the way with kindness and compassion, bringing together many partners and resources in the fight against hunger. She has the depth of commitment that makes it clear that we can make a measurable difference despite the overwhelming needs of our community! You can join me in celebrating this well-deserved accolade and send Jodi a message of congratulations by emailing her directly at

Shabbat shalom,

Nora Gorenstein
Chief Executive Officer

Save the date for the JFWM Annual Meeting,
7m on Thurs., Dec. 15, 2022