CEO December 2014 Update

Let's Hope for a Good Deal

We just returned from the General Assembly of the Jewish Federations of North America, the largest meeting of the year of Jewish leaders in the country. There was great excitement and collaboration among our communities at the 2014 program called:  “The World is our Backyard.”


Our young leadership representatives included Geri Adler, Greg Serkin, Shannon Hahn, Kevin Fine, and Yael Fletcher. They and were accompanied by Melanie Phillips, our Young Leadership Director.  We all cheered as Shannon spoke to 3,000 people at the opening Plenary about her life-changing Birthright Israel experience that led to her becoming more  involved in Network JCFR and assuming a leadership position in our Federation.


Nathan Shor, our immediate Past President, was elected to the Board of Trustees of JFNA as one of the representatives of Intermediate Communities.


Plenary speakers included Supreme Court Justices Elana Kagan and Stephen Breyer, political commentators and correspondents Chuck Todd and Andrea Mitchell, and, of course, Prime Minister Netanyahu via video simulcasts from Jerusalem. 


The Prime Minister spoke about how the United States and five other powers have tried to reach a deal with Iran.  Nov. 24th is the deadline to reach an agreement. 


“It’s obvious that Iran wants to remove the sanctions that have had such a devastating impact on its economy, but it should be equally obvious that Iran is not prepared to dismantle its nuclear weapons program in return,” he said.


There has been much debate in Washington over a possible deal, with many members of Congress suspicious about an agreement with Iran. Netanyahu said that no deal would be better than a bad deal.  He said it would be a mistake to end sanctions, without a good deal. And he questioned our ability to use international inspections to keep  Iran’s move toward the development of  nuclear weapons in check.


The deadline of November 24 will have come and gone by the time this article is in your homes. We can only pray that an agreement is reached that will keep Iran from having nuclear capability.


In the meantime, I wish you and your family a joyous Hanukkah. 


As always, call me at 804-545-8622 or email 




Samuel H. Asher

CEO, Jewish Community Federation of Richmond


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