Dear JFEC Friend,
We are at the start of the new Jewish year (5779), our traditional time to run our Annual Campaign.
There has been much negative news from Israel, and not enough positive news. We think it is important for you to clearly understand how your
donations are used locally and overseas and why they are vital to the future of Israel and to the future of our community in Eastern Connecticut. Here in Eastern CT the JFEC sponsors a Kosher Hot Lunch program at Temple Emanu-El, and a variety of trips and outings for our Senior Citizens. We just delivered Rosh Hashanah bags to 75 Jewish residents residing in 20 nursing homes, and will visit them at least four more times. We sponsor two very successful region-wide youth groups, BBYO for our older teens, and a Junior Youth Group for grades 7-9. And, we organize a Jewish Community High School on Monday nights taught by our Rabbis and other teachers drawn from the community. We also provide free children’s books to young families through our PJ Library program. Involved in all these programs are our Young Emissaries. These fine young Israelis, doing a pre-Army year of service, have built living bridges with Israel for all of us, and inject spirit and energy into our community programs and our congregational Hebrew and Religious Schools, and in the Solomon Schechter Academy, where they serve every week.
Your donations also support Jewish literacy and journalism, educational and cultural life in eastern Connecticut, from our bi-weekly newspaper, The Jewish Leader, to our annual International Film Festival, Suppers with the Authors series, and Adult Education programs. Our Encountering Survivors and Encountering Differences programs reach almost every school district in eastern Connecticut. Many of our programs receive page one coverage in our local newspapers. We cooperate with Hadassah and all our local congregations to help create and promote a lively Jewish community. And, we bring the community together for JCC w/o Walls, to commemorate the Holocaust, and to celebrate Israel Independence Day.
The Jewish Federation is also part of the social welfare network of Eastern CT. Our food pantry serves more than 1,600 families, our Crisis Intervention program reached more than1,500 people last year, and our FEMA funded programs - Operation Cool Down and Fuel Assistance programs - are relied upon by many individuals, agencies, churches, hospitals, social workers and VNA nurses who refer numerous clients to us.
The Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI), the recipient of the portion of our donations that go to Israel has, in the past, met the massive challenge of
resettling the many immigrants that came from the Soviet Union and Ethiopia. Today, they are helping Jews from France and the Ukraine who
are seeking refuge in Israel. But they do much more than that. JAFI was at the forefront of the effort to open the Western Wall to all streams of Judaism. And while that goal has not yet been achieved they are still championing that just cause. JAFI also supports Reform, Conservative,
and Modern Orthodox programs in Israel. The Jewish Agency supports programs that bind Jewish communities around the world with Israel through the Partnership2Gether program. Specifically, JAFI enhances our ties to Afula and the Gilboa region via our Southern New England Consortium (SNEC), through extensions to the Birthright Program, and year-long and shorter term internship programs. They also help resettle new immigrants to Israel, including four from our community!
Please consider and remember all this. Your donations make these programs possible, here in eastern CT for the Jewish and general
community, and in Israel. May you make the New Year sweeter, for yourself, and for all those we help, by, again, making a generous contribution.
With best wishes for a healthy and good year!
Romana Primus Rosa Goldblatt & Ron Leeser
JFEC President JFEC Annual Campaign Co-Chairs