On Gratitude for our Community

On Gratitude for our Community

Over the past several years, our community has faced and overcome many challenges together. And, of course, we continue to live in uncertain and difficult times. Rising antisemitism, widespread economic insecurity, an ongoing war in Ukraine, and the lasting effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, among others, hang over our community and the world.

Yet, despite all we have dealt with and continue to go through, I have watched Jewish Greater Washington repeatedly come together to sustain and strengthen our community and help Jews in need all over the world. I am continuously inspired and humbled by your generosity, compassion, and vision, and how – together – we’ve made a significant impact on the lives of so many people.

So, ahead of Thanksgiving, I thought it appropriate to share some of the many ways in which our community is thankful for everything you do and what you help make possible.

  • “I am grateful…that we are so well taken care of, protected, and helped. For this I am so thankful – for their attention, for their care. It means a lot to me.” — Gallina I., an elderly Ukrainian woman receiving help from our partners at the JDC.
    • You’ve helped 80,817 individuals with urgent evacuations from danger zones, provided 239,851 individuals in need with food in Ukraine, and helped 52,500 refugees resettle in Israel from Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus. 
  • “We really appreciate the support this year. Being unemployed since November put camp in question, but I am so glad that the financial assistance came through to make it happen for our daughter.” — Camp Scholarship Recipient
    • You’ve helped more than 1,200 local children attend camp in the last two summers, including nearly 300 who experienced Jewish overnight summer camp for the first time through Federation and One Happy Camper vouchers and financial scholarships. 
  • “The notion of a free Jewish book a month was a lifeline for me to teach my child about our Jewish culture. What a blessing this program has been!” — PJ Library Parent
    • In 2022 alone, you’ve helped send 98,896 books to 6,460 local families, empowering them to deepen their children’s Jewish identity.  

I hope that you take pride in what we have been able to do collectively. None of this is possible without you. 

I am thankful that in Jewish Greater Washington, we continue to care for those in need locally, in Israel, and around the world; to elevate diverse voices; to find new ways of connecting with each other; and to build a Jewish community where every member feels that they belong. All the while, we are carefully planning for our shared future, by addressing poverty in our Jewish community, strengthening our communal relationship with Israel, ensuring the accessibility and affordability of engaging in Jewish life, and so much more.

And so, as we head into Thanksgiving and, yes, Giving Tuesday, I thank those who have already made a 2022 Annual Campaign gift to Federation. We can only do this vital work because of you. Every donation is critical in helping our community move towards a more vibrant Jewish future. To make a gift before our campaign closes on December 31st, please visit shalomdc.org/donate, or call our donor relations team at 301-230-7239.

I hope you’ll stay tuned for my next reflection on December 2nd. In the meantime, I wish you and your loved ones a very happy Thanksgiving.

Shabbat Shalom,


P.S. Join me at noon on Monday, November 28th for a critical and timely webinar conversation on the role of Jewish identity in the American public square. I’ll be joined by Yehuda Kurtzer, president of the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America, and Emily Tamkin, author and senior U.S. editor of the New StatesmanRegister here.

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