Paying Tribute to Our Lay Leaders

Paying Tribute to Our Lay Leaders

This year, as individuals and as a community, we have faced demands never before seen in our lifetimes. We have been asked to think and act differently and consider ideas that perhaps only a few months earlier could not have been imagined. We have had to examine our work in the immediate term and plan for a future very much in flux. Through all of this, one group played a central role in ensuring the success of our work: volunteer leaders.

It is impossible to quantify the impact of the numerous lay leaders who gave freely of their time, energy, and passion to Federation and to Jewish organizations across Greater Washington throughout 2020. As a result of their generosity, our community was able to achieve more than we ever thought possible.

Most of Federation’s Board members and volunteer leaders at our many communal organizations signed on to their roles months before the onset of the pandemic. They could not foresee how hard this time would be or how much we would need to rely on their skills and guidance. And yet, even as the enormity of what was happening became clear, they consistently rose to the occasion in every way. Our collective success in the wake of COVID-19 has been because of their efforts.

Indeed, this year has underscored the importance of this special partnership. Our community is blessed with exceptional Jewish professionals. Our organizational missions, however, exceed the reach of even the most talented of teams. We need a cadre of dedicated, passionate lay leaders to propel our collective work forward—and that is exactly what we have in Jewish Greater Washington.

Our lay leaders serve as experts, relationship-builders, and strategic thought partners in our work to strengthen the Jewish community. These are people with important perspectives and ideas for making Jewish Greater Washington stronger and more connected. Together, we get to explore big, creative ideas and ask big, honest questions. As a CEO, I am particularly grateful to work with a team of people who approach the issues of the day in ways that make our work better and who serve as allies and champions of our community.

I want to extend a sincere thank you to Federation’s Executive Committee, Board of Directors, and each of Federation’s lay leaders for your support and for everything you did to ensure we could respond to the needs of our community quickly and effectively.

I also want to acknowledge all of the lay leaders across the community who worked day and night to leverage their skills, get creative, and make important things happen. Thank you for your partnership. We are entering a new year bolstered by your immense dedication and look forward to continuing to work alongside you to strengthen our community for the weeks, months, and years ahead.

With gratitude,