Federation Leadership Briefing: January 2023

As Federation officially closes the book on 2022, I want to extend my gratitude to Jewish Greater Washington for another amazing year together. Guided by your leadership, partnership, and support, Federation is poised and ready to continue furthering vibrant Jewish life in DC, Maryland, and Northern Virginia in 2023 and beyond.
I’m proud to announce that on December 31st, we concluded 2022 with $44,276,819 in total resources raised from our passionate donors, funders, and investors.

These dollars include: 

  • $25,598,101 in Annual Campaign commitments, which represents an increase of more than $1 million from the year prior.
  • This includes $20,461,135 for the 2022 core unrestricted campaign and $5,136,966 for Federation’s strategic priorities and fields of interest, including support for Ukraine.
  • $18,678,718 in resources newly invested by local philanthropists and organizations in Federation’s Jewish Community Foundation.

We move forward with deep gratitude to the more than 9,000 donors who placed their resources and trust in Federation to achieve these extraordinary outcomes.

And though our community continues to face significant challenges, generous, passionate leaders like you have ensured we can continue to make enormous and far-reaching strides towards a vibrant Jewish future.

In our latest update below, you’ll find a snapshot of our collective impact and accomplishments, as well as a look at what’s ahead, including:

  • Federation’s Israel at 75 community celebration.
  • Combating antisemitism — and our new security fundraising effort.
  • Support for Ukraine’s Jewish community.
  • Meeting the needs of local individuals and families.
  • Our newest adult Jewish learning initiative.

As always, I’d love to hear from you. If you have questions or thoughts on these topics or others, please feel free to contact me at any time at [email protected] or 301-230-7205.

Thank you for everything you do to help Jewish Greater Washington thrive.


Israel at 75 

Federation is proud to lead Jewish Greater Washington in celebrating, honoring, and uplifting Israel at 75 with immersive, fun, and engaging events and offerings throughout January-June 2023. Our extended, community-wide Israel at 75 celebration will highlight opportunities throughout the region offered by Federation, local organizations, synagogues, and more, for community members of all ages and backgrounds to connect with Israel and Israelis. I encourage you to visit our brand new Israel at 75 website, and share it with your networks to ensure our celebration is far-reaching and inclusive. Organizations can submit events and view upcoming programming throughout the community and the website will be updated regularly.  

Federation is supporting our community organizations in multiple ways, including by offering: 

  • A toolkit for our partners to cohesively brand Israel at 75 programming across the community.  
  • Synagogue grants between $2000 – $7500 for Israel at 75 programming, including incentivizing partnerships between congregations.  
  • Grants to the JCCs for community programs around Israel this spring. In addition to helping fund individual JCC events, Federation is assisting our three local JCCs in their collaboration to bring in an Israeli act for a tentpole event on either May 13th or 14th as part of the JxJ festival.  
  • Shlichim programming: Federation’s Community Shlichim (Israeli emissaries) to local synagogues and schools have developed a limited set of programs that can be requested by organizations that do not have resident shlichim. Your organization or synagogue can contact Hagai Dagan-Schlachter for more information.

Addressing Antisemitism & Launching LiveSecure 

As we continue to witness to the sharp rise in antisemitism, the safety and security of Greater Washington’s 400,000 Jewish community members and 165+ organizations and synagogues remain a top priority for Federation, particularly amidst recent hateful attacks in our region.  

Given the increase in antisemitism and ongoing risks to the safety and security of our community, I want to continue to encourage leaders to contact Federation and Secure Community Network’s Regional Security Advisor, Robert Graves, to request a consultation or a security assessment and learn about available safety, security, and preparedness training.  

Many throughout Greater Washington have already received training and assessments, and our accomplishments since 2020 include: 

  • 57 organizations have received one or more security assessments, for a total of 77 assessments of community organizations. 
  • Federation and SCN conducted 261 trainings for 7,832 people at synagogues, Jewish day 
  • schools, JCCs, early childhood education centers, and day and overnight camps, including: 
  • 78 countering active threat trainings for 2,326 people. 
  • 27 situational awareness trainings for 1,881 people. 
  • 202 weekly community calls on safety, security, and preparedness topics for professional and lay leaders of community organizations. 
  • 14 Stop the Bleed trainings for 273 people. 
  • 5 camp trainings for 488 people. 

If you belong to or regularly frequent a synagogue or other Jewish institution, advise those leaders to connect with Robert as well. This initiative is wholly supported by Federation’s allocation of security funding and available to all organizations. Additionally, I urge you to send our new incident reporting tool to those you know throughout our community.  

In order to enhance emergency preparedness, Federation is leading the local arm of LiveSecure: an unprecedented national fundraising campaign and initiative to ensure the security and resiliency of our communities today and into the future. In Greater Washington, the effort to raise $2.25 million over the next three years to further our communal security and preparedness is being led by Campaign Chairs Nancy & Marc Duber and Kerry Iris & Eric Kassoff and was launched in partnership with the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) and SCN. Funds raised and matched by JFNA will ensure we can provide additional training, tools, and resources to protect those inside our Jewish community centers, synagogues, schools, senior centers, summer camps, and other centers of Jewish life.  

With your support and commitment to the safety and security of our community, Federation has raised nearly 40% of our goal of $1.5 million, which will be matched 50% by JFNA to bring us to a total of $2.25 million. 

Learn more about LiveSecure and Federation’s overall impact on the safety and security of Jewish Greater Washington. 

An additional piece of Federation’s response to rising antisemitism includes building broad awareness of its impact and dangers, locally and beyond our community. Recent news coverage – including in a variety of national and global outlets – has elevated our voice and vital role in keeping our community safe and secure. Read more in The Jerusalem Post, Newsweek, Bloomberg, AP News, The Washington Post, and The Washington Jewish Week. 

An Update from Ukraine and the Impact of Our Support  

Ukrainians, including in the Jewish community, are experiencing new and ongoing challenges as the war continues into its second year. Electric lines and power stations have been knocked out; gas and water sources destroyed; and in Kyiv, buses have replaced electric trams on the city’s streets to conserve costly and scarce electricity. “We have been getting used to not having electricity for 12 hours a day,” noted Kyiv JDC staffer, Sara Hanna Polushina, in a recent update. “The situation has gone from bad to worse.”   

Donors to Federation’s Ukraine Emergency Fund, which includes many of you, contributed more than $2.5M immediately following the war’s outbreak. These funds added to the nearly $80M raised by Federations across North America to support Ukrainian Jews and have made a vital impact on the lives on Ukrainian Jews.  

Our collective support provided: 

  • 1,212 tons (over 2.7 million pounds) of medical equipment, clothing, food, and hygiene products have been distributed. 
  • 239,851 individuals have been fed with food purchased and provided by our partners on the ground in Ukraine. 
  • 80,817 individuals have been urgently evacuated from danger zones, including through the organization of 455 buses to bring individuals to the Romanian, Polish, Hungarian and Moldovan borders. 

And though most of our emergency funding has now been spent and our impact clear, efforts to care for those in need continue thanks to the infrastructure and partnerships Federation has built and fostered over decades in the region, including with JDC, the Jewish Agency for Israel, World ORT, and others. Today, Federation’s Annual Campaign support is more vital than ever, as it sustains our emergency and other ongoing efforts to care for Jews overseas. 

Thank you to those who contributed to Federation’s Ukraine Emergency Fund and Annual Campaign. Together, we’re making a difference in the lives of Jews around the world. I encourage you to read more about our collective impact in Ukraine in this report. 

Individuals & Families in Need 

Driven by what we’ve learned during the COVID-19 pandemic, Federation has been at the forefront of developing and implementing a community wide strategy to assist individuals and families in need throughout Jewish Greater Washington. 

Today, with your support and leadership, Federation continues to focus on identifying opportunities reach more people in need through a clear entry point for those seeking assistance and broader services as well as specific financial assistance. We are committed to the continued evolution of our strategy and pursuit of our goal: to ensure that all Jewish community members facing economic vulnerability can receive necessary support from within the Jewish community.  

Some of our ongoing work and impact includes: 

  • Sustain 703-J-CARING: the Jewish Community Support Line, launched in partnership between Federation, JSSA, and our network of human service agencies. 
  • 1,309 callers across Greater Washington have received support line assistance, with a 50% increase in calls as of October 2022 than two years ago. 
  • Provide ongoing allocations to support scholarships and grants to allow more families to send their children to Jewish summer camp, including many who would otherwise have been unable to afford this formative experience. 
  • Since 2020, 2,000 families across Greater Washington were empowered to send their children to summer camp, providing access to critical Jewish identity building programming and building a deeper connection to our community and Judaism.  
  • Expand the Support Line to include the new Care Navigator Program, connecting human service professionals with those who need more in-depth case management support. 

Learn more about our approach to caring for those in need and our collective impact.

Furthering Adult Jewish Learning 

Tehom: Inspiring, building, and sustaining vibrant Jewish life in a changing world is central to Federation’s mission. This work includes developing new avenues for community members to deepen their Jewish learning and leadership journeys across the community for all age groups. Our newest offering, Tehom, is an intensive fellowship for personal growth and leadership development, designed for individuals and couples between their 30s – 60s. Led by a faculty of premier educators including Rabbi Rami Schwartzer, fellows will be equipped with the foundation, insight, and toolkit to serve as catalysts of change in their own fields, in the Jewish community, and in our greater world. The initial pilot cohort will begin with an experiential retreat later this month, with monthly learning sessions to follow. Learn more about Tehom here. 

Join Us 

Israel YOUR Way 2023: From May 8th – 13th, celebrate Israel at 75 on Federation’s signature, multi-generational mission to Israel. You won’t want to miss this incredible journey. Learn more and register.


We are continually humbled by your commitment to our community and generosity. With challenges and opportunities along the road ahead, your ongoing dedication is strengthening our community today and into the future. We are proud and grateful to be your partners in philanthropy and leadership as we continue to build a vibrant Jewish community.