An Opportunity to Make a Difference

Jews around the world will soon celebrate the holiday of Shavuot. In addition to welcoming the spring harvest, Shavuot commemorates a seminal event in Jewish religious memory. It is said that seven weeks after the exodus from Egypt, the Israelites—including all future generations—stood together at Mount Sinai to receive the Torah and enter into a covenant with God.

This image is a powerful one. Time folded in such a way that we could come together as one people and form a transcendent bond—both with each other and the values and teachings that define who we are as Jews. At The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington, we are inspired by this simple yet transformational idea. Our goal is to strengthen a community that is there for each other in good times and in challenging times. A community that goes out of its way to care for others, and that acts as a positive force in our region, our world today, and far into the future.

And we are not alone.

Over the past 18 months, thousands of generous donors contributed millions of dollars to furthering this important work in our Jewish community. Thanks to your support, Federation and our partners are ensuring people in need can eat, pay their utility bills, escape abusive situations, and so much more. It is clear to me how much this community cares about each other and how committed people are to making a difference when and where they can.

I am asking today for each person to make another positive impact in someone’s life. Federation’s fifth annual Shalom DC Giving Week begins this Sunday, May 9th. Our goal is to reach 360 donors by next Friday, and I am excited to share that all new or increased gifts made by May 14th will be matched.

It may seem like the urgency of this crisis is fading. As COVID-19 vaccines become readily available and our calendars start to fill up once again, our focus may be pulled elsewhere. But for so many, immense challenges remain. It will take time for individuals and families in our community to find their footing and recover from the onslaught of hardships brought on or exacerbated by the pandemic.

Although 2020 was a year like no other, those who were able gave early and generously. We are so grateful for your support—and we are asking you to give again. By making a gift—be it of $18, $360, $5,400, or any amount meaningful to you—you can help lighten the load and be there for people who need your support.

After all, we are built for this. We are meant to face whatever challenges come our way together. We are meant to look out for one another, to show that we care, and offer kindness where we can. We are meant to stand shoulder to shoulder, like we did at Mount Sinai, and look toward a brighter future for us all.

Shabbat Shalom and with profound thanks for your generosity,

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