A community celebrates!

Jewish life is rich with many different milestones as communities gather to celebrate in times of joy and to comfort one another in times of sorrow. 
There are life-cycle events such as births, b’nai mitzvah, confirmation, graduation, marriage, death and mourning, and, of course, Jewish holidays. All these events provide opportunities to come together to honor our connections to one another and to acknowledge a “whole that’s greater than the sum of its parts.” 
And then there are times when the community itself has a milestone to mark. It might acquire a new Torah scroll, elect new board members or reach a significant anniversary. As we wind down the 2023 Jewish Federation program year and celebrate our community with an annual meeting, there are a number of milestones that I would like to highlight.
One major milestone was our first Summit to Combat Antisemitism, held at Muhlenberg College with guest speakers from major national Jewish organizations, law enforcement, homeland security and elected officials.
Another major milestone was our coming together as a community to celebrate Israel@75 with a torch-lighting ceremony. It was a momentous occasion shared across agencies and including our synagogues. We also celebrated Jewish American Heritage Month with a flag raising at Allentown City Hall attended by elected officials and featuring our Jewish Day School students singing the national anthems.
It was gratifying this year to see our synagogues’ religious schools joining forces to celebrate Purim together at the JCC with a Super Funday carnival, once again demonstrating that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. We welcome opportunities like these in the future when we can come together to celebrate Jewish holidays.
This year, we convened a new task force on older adults to implement programs that will help them to age in place. In partnership with Jewish Family Service, we will be launching a new initiative. Please stay tuned to learn more about this important initiative and the positive impact it will have on our community.
Coming to fruition will be another collaborative effort employing a regional security advisor to serve across our Jewish community. This enhanced community security program is designed to significantly increase safety and security for all our agencies, synagogues, JDS, JFS, JCC and other centers of Jewish life in and around the Lehigh Valley.
And finally, we look forward to celebrating another productive year at our Community Celebration and Annual Meeting on Thursday, June 8, at 6 p.m. at the JCC. We hope you will join us to acknowledge and pay tribute to our award winners and to celebrate our community!
Our community has been blessed to complete another program year working with our beneficiary agencies. On June 30, we will wrap up our 2023 Annual Campaign for Jewish Needs. Your generous support of our campaign enables us to ensure the strength and vibrancy of our Jewish communal agencies through the allocations we make to our JCC, JDS and JFS. Your generosity allows us to support Jewish Family Life Education at our synagogues, Hebrew Family League funding, programming for college students at our Hillels, camp and Israel-travel scholarships, and our collective participation with 145 other Jewish Federations supporting regional and national initiatives as well as Israel and overseas projects. 
Each of you makes an important difference. If you haven’t made your gift yet, we hope you will do so by June 30 so we can continue to provide robust and meaningful Jewish programming in our Lehigh Valley. Many thanks for your generosity — we are Here for Good because of you!
Warm regards to each of you for a relaxing and peaceful summer!