“Horseshoe Theory” and Jews in Need. It’s Friday.

Last week, Federation hosted one of our incredible grantees from Israel – a nonprofit called Shaharit, funded by our Israel Crisis Relief Fund. They brought together Jews and Arabs from all backgrounds, including Haredim, religious, traditional, and secular; right, center, and left-wing in their politics, to navigate the political and social polarization that threatens to pull us apart as a community. I joined them on Sunday evening, and you can watch a bit of our session here.

The event reinforced my own recent observations about the diverse opinions amongst American Jews and between American Jews and Israelis. These are challenging times, especially against the backdrop of the war and rising antisemitism, and I am grateful for our community as we seek to navigate difficult and complex conversations.

Next Tuesday, June 4th, is Federation’s Annual Meeting, and I hope you will join us. You will love the music and be inspired by how our community is investing in Israel, in fighting antisemitism, and in the next generation. Learn more here.

Take a look at much more in It’s Friday below and let me know what you think of Ambassador Lipstadt’s “Horseshoe Theory.” Frightening, but true.

Shabbat Shalom,
Gil Preuss, CEO
The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington

Horseshoe Theory. In a briefing last Friday, Ambassador Deborah Lipstadt, U.S. Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism, shared her “horseshoe theory” on the uniqueness of antisemitism. In essence, Amb. Lipstadt outlined how antisemitism comes from both the extreme left and right, making it more difficult to fight because both sides are connected by a long-standing, historic hatred.

  • What should we do? Amb. Lipstadt says, “Leaders, whether they be leaders of countries, leaders of states, leaders of cities, leaders of public institutions, leaders of universities, must speak out, directly, unequivocally and expeditiously.”

Jews in Need. A recent study by The Jewish Federations of North America found that 20% of American Jewish households are struggling to make ends meet, including in Greater Washington.

  • This is a sobering statistic and one we are addressing locally. In the coming year, with support from donors like you, Federation, alongside our local human service agency partners and others, will continue to learn about and meet the needs in our community and lower barriers to participation in Jewish life. I look forward to sharing more about Federation’s evolving strategy to fight poverty in the coming weeks.

Meet Craig Mintz. The Federation team is excited to welcome Craig Mintz as our new Chief Financial & Administrative Officer. Craig joins us next week and brings more than 25 years of experience to our professional leadership team, including at BBYO and most recently as CFO of the Edlavitch JCC of Washington DC. His expertise in finance and operations will be essential to our continued success, and I look forward to working alongside him.