Marking the Occasion: A Message from Gil Preuss

Marking the Occasion: A Message from Gil Preuss

“I can no other answer make but thanks, and thanks, and thanks, and ever thanks.”William Shakespeare

I want to say thank you. Thank you for being an integral part of our community. This year, Jewish Greater Washington welcomed new members with open arms and sustained those who call this area home. We helped create new relationships—linking community members to one another and to vital organizations, programs, and resources—and enabled others to find new meaning in Jewish life and wisdom. We provided critical services to those in need and helped build a more caring, connected, and vibrant Jewish community.

In looking back on 2018, past the headlines and the news cycles, I see something truly transcendent. I see a community of people who are lifting each other up and strengthening Jewish life on a daily basis.

This is the kind of place where organizations like the Jewish Social Service Agency (JSSA) and the Jewish Foundation for Group Homes (JFGH) are empowering individuals with differing abilities to join the workforce. This is the kind of place that raises $500,000 for victims of natural disasters. This is the kind of place where thousands show up to volunteer on Federation’s Sara & Samuel J. Lessans Good Deeds Day.

No matter where I look, I see signs of compassion and connection—and we are eager to build on these strengths in 2019.

Federation and our partners offer multiple opportunities to serve others, to explore our Jewish identities, to wrestle with difficult questions, to get to know Israel live and in person, to offer children and adults alike multiple pathways for Jewish learning, and so much more.

We also recognize that we are in the midst of significant changes in Jewish life. How people connect to the Jewish community and express their Judaism continue to evolve. With this in mind, we are more resolved than ever to ensure our efforts best serve the changing needs of our community.

We learned so much from you this past year. In response to the recent demographic study or as part of our strategic planning work, your insight and feedback have been invaluable. As we implement our strategic plan, we resolve to keep listening and keep seeking your opinion. We hope that you will continue to serve as our guides and role models in building vibrant Jewish life in Greater Washington. We look forward to working with you to build dynamic forums of discussion and to empower community members to lead us forward as a force for good locally, nationally, and globally. I am counting on you to reach out and find your own unique way of helping to steward our community forward.

We have an important and exciting year ahead. Let us mark this occasion by celebrating our accomplishments and renewing our commitments to each other and our community.

May 2019 bring you health, happiness, and the chance to make a difference in the lives of others.

Thank you for all that you do.

Shabbat Shalom,