This was our moment

On June 30, we closed the 2021 Annual Campaign for Jewish Needs. As I reflected on the year that passed, I was reminded by the astounding dedication of all those who helped to make our campaign a success during this unprecedented and challenging pandemic year. Our campaign slogan, “This is Our Moment,” could not have been truer than what was evidenced this year. By meeting the moment, together we made the difference that enabled us to meet critical needs locally, in Israel and around the world. In addition to our annual campaign that supports our local agencies, the Jewish Day School (JDS), Jewish Family Service (JFS) and the Jewish Community Center (JCC), our synagogues and Hillels, we also took this moment to support a special COVID campaign and matching gift opportunity as well as an Israel emergency campaign while Israel was being bombarded by thousands of rockets.

In a year that saw the ground shifting beneath us time and time again, we were ready to meet the moment because of YOU. It is clear we live in an incredibly generous community, and my sincere thanks to each of you who generously supported our 2021 Annual Campaign, enabling us to make critical funding decisions and to provide services on your behalf. Led by our remarkable president, Gary Fromer, our dedicated campaign co-chairs, Robby and Vicki Wax, and our outstanding Women’s Philanthropy president, Carol Fromer, we were able to stay the course and to navigate the challenging moments of the past year and a half to ensure the continuation of community services to benefit all. Together with our agencies, we were able to meet social services demands on our food pantry and for our seniors, we supplemented funding to ensure that our pools and summer camp were ready to safely open, and we helped our day school to keep the school year going safely, both in person and through hybrid learning opportunities.

Now as we begin to see things reopening, we are faced with rising antisemitism and anti-Israel sentiment. Through our Community Relations Council (CRC), we are facing the challenges with heightened advocacy, education and security. “This is Our Moment” became more than just a campaign slogan. Like Jewish Federations across the country, what positions our Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley to impact diverse areas all at once such as social services, Jewish life and crisis response locally and around the world is our annual campaign. It sustains an unparalleled network of agencies that enables all of us to respond quickly, especially in times of great need. The annual campaign is why when the pandemic struck, when Israel was under attack, and when antisemitism struck at home, we had the infrastructure to respond.

I am profoundly grateful to our volunteers and leadership and to our professional staff who inspired and worked seamlessly throughout a difficult year to meet and address the many unique challenges we faced together.

As the 2021 Annual Campaign for Jewish Needs closes, I am gratified by your strong support and ongoing commitment to ensure that our community remains robust and resilient. I thank you for rising to make this our moment. With best personal regards, I wish you a relaxing and pleasant summer and look forward to a strong return as we plan for the 2022 program year.