CEO October Update

Rosh Hashanna 5775

Our friends in Israel are not sure what to expect. As they ended the summer, the quiet of the sirens being stopped was a respite. The children going back to school meant a return to normalcy. We hope the cease-fire will hold and that the relative calm can be turned into something more long term and meaningful.


We also have witnessed a war in Ukraine this summer and rampant anti-Semitism in many places around the world. Given the serious deterioration of conditions in Eastern Ukraine, The Jewish Federations of North America has reopened its Ukraine Emergency Assistance Fund. Thousands of Jews in the Donetsk and Lugansk areas have been forced to flee their homes, or have been isolated in these war-torn regions.  JFNA is asking us to consider the urgent needs resulting from this situation and to respond to the best of our ability. Visit our website to get more information or to make a contribution.


We began our Federation Annual Campaign in August along with the Israel Emergency Campaign. This year, our General Campaign Chair Ellen Renee Adams, along with our Women’s Division Chair Susan Adolf and Co-Chair Rebecca Kalman-Winston are leading a dedicated team of volunteers in the 2015 Campaign. They are supported by a great team of professionals including Matt Langsam, Sara Rosenbaum, Ellen Moncure, Shoshanna Schechter-Shaffin, Melanie Phillips and me. We are confident we can hit our Campaign goal of $3 million. In fact, since we began in August, the Annual Campaign is almost 50 percent complete and the Israel Emergency Campaign is over $200,000.


In a few weeks we will begin our Senior Leadership Institute (SLI), which kicks off its  eight-month program beginning Monday, October 20. Participants will attend the Institute that will help them hone their leadership skills to enable them to advance into higher leadership positions at our agencies and Synagogues. SLI offers these individuals the tools to be more effective.  


In November, we would like members of the Board, Executive Committee and general community to join our sister Federations for three-days full of world renowned speakers and informative programs and sessions. 


The Jewish Federations of North America’s General Assembly (GA), the premier annual North American Jewish communal event, will be held on November 9-11, in Washington D.C.  

We will be supplying transportation to anyone that wants to ride together by taking a van/bus to Washington. We also will be providing subsidies for young leadership who want to attend the GA. 

Thanks to the generosity of the Sam E. and  Virginia V. Binswanger Fund of the Richmond Jewish Foundation, we will be providing a $500 subsidy for the GA. With the transportation covered and the registration subsidy, we hope many members of our community will attend this worthwhile event.


Make no mistake about it, the world has changed. The Reflector, our E-newsletter and our speakers are important sources of information. 


Don’t miss the Grand Event with Alan Gill on October 1 at the VMFA.


JCRC will bring Dr. Ralph Nurnberger to Richmond on October 21, at 7 p.m. at the Weinstein JCC to speak about the “Crisis in the Middle East and the Rise of World Anti-Semitism.”  Don’t miss this opportunity to get an update on world Jewish affairs.


We will remain ever vigilant in our efforts to keep our community informed.  I am afraid that we have only seen the beginning of a bad turn in world events – with Israel and world Jewry locked in the cross hairs of efforts to deny the Holocaust, to deny or eliminate the existence of Israel and to proliferate anti-Semitism.


Let us hope for peace in 5775. L’Shana Tova.


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


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