News & Updates

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Welcome to Federation’s News & Updates! Read on for reflections from our team and members of the Greater Washington Jewish community, news from around the world and opportunities to Make Federation Yours.

  • Investing in our Future: A Message from Federation CEO Gil Preuss

    As CEO of The Jewish Federation, I have the unique opportunity to connect with many of the talented and committed people who lead and sustain Jewish Greater Washington through their work on behalf of our local agencies and congregations. Last week, I was honored to address the annual gathering of more than 700 educators from
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  • A message from the CEO: Personal reflections on Jerusalem

    Living in Jerusalem as a young child after the six-day war, I was able to wander the streets, walk through the old city, visit the Kotel (Western Wall) and go to the Knesset (Israel’s Parliament) with ease. I experienced a wondrous city that for the first time in many years appeared to be at peace.
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  • Civic Discourse, Not Civil War: A Message from Federation CEO Gil Preuss

    With Chanukah’s approach, I’ve been giving some thought to the true origins of the holiday, and how they mirror some of the challenges we face as a society today. The holiday hoopla of dreidels, jelly donuts, potato latkes and presents masks the dark secret of the holiday’s history. While it is true that the Maccabees
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  • Thanksgiving’s Jewish Roots and Wings: A Message from Federation CEO Gil Preuss

    As Thanksgiving draws near, you may be planning for the turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie …. but have you considered preparing four questions for table talk?  The idea has been on my mind for the past few weeks, as I’ve considered celebrating the quintessential American holiday and its connection to Jewish tradition and
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  • An Ethiopian Jew Makes Aliyah A Second Time

    Federation’s former Senior Shlicha (emissary), Pnina Agenyahu shares a personal recount of her return to Israel after four years with The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington. “In November 1984 my mother left Ethiopia with me on her back, walking for 14 days and 15 nights through Sudan to travel to Israel. This summer, after four
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  • Celebrate Our Local Teacher-Treasures at ROUTES

    By Avi West In a commentary on the Song of Songs, tradition maintains that “Teachers and students are society’s most beautiful ornaments!”  On November 5th, a sample of sacred Jewish jewels will be on display at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. On that day, in a Federation program of adult Jewish learning called ROUTES,
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  • A Message from Federation’s CEO: Israel YOUR Way 2017

    I have just returned from Federation’s Israel YOUR Way Mission to Israel, alongside nearly one hundred of our passionate and dedicated Greater Washington community members. Throughout our journey, we saw many of the miracles of Israel and what it has created over the past 70 years. We also heard many of the ongoing challenges that
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  • Whose Children Are We?

    This year’s High Holiday season arrived during a particularly tumultuous time. It is difficult to know how to cope when faced with what has felt like an endless series of catastrophic events – disasters, both natural and man-made. As our public consciousness seems to shift all too quickly from one tragedy to the next, as
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  • Federation Stands with Las Vegas

    We awoke this morning to the horrifying news of another mass shooting – this time in Las Vegas at a country music concert – that left at least 58 dead and more than 515 injured.  We, the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington and the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington extend our heartfelt sympathy
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  • Don’t Judge a Sukkah by its Cover: A Sukkot Message from Federation’s CEO

    There is a wonderfully comforting prayer that is a part of the daily evening service in Jewish tradition. As the night falls with all its related anxieties, we ask the Creator of Day and Night to “Cause us to lie down in peace…. and spread over us Your sukkah/shelter of peace.” It occurs to me
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