Shabbat Shalom from Donor Impact Officer Bobby Naimark

Dear Friend,

Today marks one full year since the Russian war against Ukraine began. A year later, all of us continue to witness the daily advance of missiles and tanks destroying the lives of innocent civilians. The Jewish Federation of Western Massachusetts and our Federation system is continuing to do good that goes everywhere with our efforts to support those affected by the war.

During the last year, with your help, our Federation system has raised $85 million, helping to ensure:

  • 500,000 people received humanitarian assistance, relief, or support
  • 700,000 meals distributed
  • 65,000 people supported in making Aliyah
  • 130,000 received essential medical care
  • 4,000 medical and mental health professionals trained
  • 180,000 Ukrainian newcomers supported by our advocacy

It’s moments like this that remind us why the Jewish Federation of Western Massachusetts is here and why we work year-round, building community so that in moments of calm we see Jewish life flourish and in moments of crisis we are ready to mobilize at a moment’s notice. You – our Western Massachusetts Jewish community – are the reason we are able to support so many, so quickly in moments like this.

Tonight, Shabbat, has been declared Shabbat for Ukraine, asking each of us to light an extra candle to remember those who are spending Shabbat by candlelight throughout Ukraine.

The Jewish Federation of Western Massachusetts uses the power of the collective to help Jews in need and build vibrant Jewish communities in Western Massachusetts, Israel and in 70 countries throughout the world. With your generous support, we ensure the sustainability of Jewish life today and well into the future. There are many ways you can help and make your impact! Please visit the Federation’s Give page here to learn more about your opportunity to make an impact and do good that goes everywhere.

Act on your instincts to help! There are many ways to get involved in the Western Massachusetts Jewish community and our network, so please let us know if you would like to learn more! We are happy to connect you with opportunities to volunteer or participate.

Additional updates and reminders from our national network

A total of more than 120 Jewish Federations last Thursday sent a letter to Congress to urge federal lawmakers to bear in mind the Jewish community’s priorities as they write the nation’s 2024 spending bills. These include protecting our Jewish community alongside other vulnerable communities, fighting antisemitism and hate crimes, caring for Holocaust survivors and people with disabilities, bolstering mental health services, boosting the long-term care workforce, and promoting peace and security. Please click here to read the letter. Our Jewish Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion/Community Relations Committee was proud to send this letter to our Western Massachusetts government leaders for their support.

JEDI is organizing a webinar on Tuesday, March 14 at 5:30 pm ET to educate Jewish communal professionals and lay leaders on how to design programs and communal spaces that address the safety and security needs of the LGBTQ+ community. To register, click here.

And finally, we are delighted to announce that Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Isaac Herzog will address our Israel at 75 General Assembly–just nine weeks away!—at the opening night event co-hosted with the Jewish Agency for Israel, Keren Hayesod, and the World Zionist Organization. For FAQs and the draft itinerary, click here. Please join members of our local and national Jewish communities from Sunday evening, April 23 to Wednesday, April 26. We will explore issues facing both Israel and the Diaspora, enjoy uniquely Israeli experiences, and join festive celebrations of Israeli Independence Day.

Shabbat shalom,

Bobby Naimark
Donor Impact Officer