Strengthening Jewish Life in NOVA

Community-wide collaborative projects are a lot like icebergs. The results you see are often and rightfully cause for celebration. But it’s the small miracles and the hard work of the people, organizations, and municipalities behind the scenes—sometimes for years—that rarely get the recognition they deserve.

One such example is the recently completed Fairfax Eruv, the boundary allowing observant Jews to carry needed things in public on Shabbat, in Northern VA (NOVA). This Eruv was years in the making, even before Eruv Committee member Eliot Goldberg and I discussed the idea on the sidelines of our sons’ soccer game in 2019. That conversation was but one of several key steps in an effort that will make a crucial difference for many Jewish community members in NOVA, and throughout Greater Washington, for years to come.

In 2020, Federation was proud to fund the Fairfax Eruv through our Impact & Innovation funding. That investment process began in 2019 as part of our commitment to supporting Jewish life in NOVA, and has now funded 46 programs focused on NOVA and on engaging the next generation.

Today, Jewish life in NOVA continues to thrive—as evidenced not only by the Eruv, but by the 1800+ NOVA families with young children participating in programs like PJ Library; the growth of Gesher Jewish Day School over the past two years; the ways in which NOVA-based young adults in their 20s and 30s are connecting through GatherNoVa and the Den Collective, and much more. These tremendous efforts have been bolstered and are expanding because of our committed, passionate local leaders and organizations—and because of you, Federation’s donors and champions of our community.

Federation’s NOVA Field Manager, Anne Greenspoon, said it well, “2021 was a challenging year, but it is clear that the NOVA Jewish community continues to be strong and resilient. I look forward to deepening communal connections, building on all the innovation and collaboration, and continuing our momentum in 2022.”

Together, from the nitty-gritty to our boldest achievements, we can take great pride in ALL of the ways we are responding to our community’s needs and building a more welcoming and connected vibrant Jewish future in Greater Washington. It truly takes a community to build one. Thank you for everything you do for ours.

Shabbat Shalom,

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