19 May 2023
On the final day of Federation’s Israel YOUR Way mission, our group of community members from across Greater Washington had the chance to meet with Dr. Tal Becker, Senior Fellow of the Kogod Research Center at Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem and one of the most experienced and thoughtful leaders in the Jewish world.
As part of the discussion, one mission participant asked Dr. Becker if he saw the glass as half empty or half full, in terms of a potential resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Dr. Becker responded: “we should think about how we add water to the glass.” I was struck by this, as this is precisely the approach many of us take as community members in Greater Washington and a broader characteristic of our region as we seek to make positive impact.
In the nation’s capital, there is a broad culture inspired by the belief that ideas, practice, and action lead to change. People move here because they believe that their personal actions – the water they add to the glass – will create change for the broader world.
This is also true for Federation and our approach. We are constantly in pursuit of ways we can improve the lives of those around us, how can we strengthen connections to Jewish life and Israel, and how we can enable an increasing share of those who identify as Jewish to live connected, meaningful lives within our increasingly complex world. There are no absolute answers or outcomes. Each generation faces unique circumstances and challenges, and yet our commitment to continuously filling our individual and collective cups is core to what we do.
Through convening leaders, developing strategies and programs, allocating resources, partnering with both proven and start-up organizations, we seek to expand the capacity of our community to make more effective and efficient impact.
Thank you for your support in empowering Federation, our vital Jewish institutions, partners, and leaders, and all of Jewish Greater Washington as we build vibrant Jewish life together. And if you haven’t already, I hope you’ll consider joining us as we celebrate #ShalomDCGivingWeek. Now through Sunday, May 21st, every new or increased gift will be matched. Your commitment to this collective effort will ensure we can continue to move Jewish Greater Washington towards a bright future.
I am eager to continue our collective and meaningful work together and as always, I welcome your thoughts.