As I think about the beginning of our new campaign year, what stands out for me is the commitment of volunteers who are ensuring the vibrancy of our Jewish community.
Volunteerism is deeply rooted in Jewish tradition as gmilut chasadim (acts of loving kindness). Judaism teaches us that people must play an active role in the world. In Jewish life, the concept of tikkun olam (repairing the world) is an expression of the value of volunteering. The world may not be perfect, but we have the opportunity, and really the obligation to help make it better. Volunteers are doing noble work and the Jewish Federation is excited to partner with volunteers to strengthen our community. It enables us all to take an active role in nourishing and enriching Lehigh Valley Jewish life.
There are so many activities happening right now, both here at Federation and in the broader Jewish community, that are strengthened by our volunteers. At Federation, our upcoming major donor reception and events for Women’s Philanthropy and the Maimonides Society will be made successful by the many volunteers who give their time, energy and ideas.
Additionally, our synagogues and agencies are also kicking off the new year with programs that engage community members and enhance our Jewish community’s vibrancy. The fall calendar is beyond full!
On Nov. 21, we will celebrate community at a concert at ArtsQuest’s Musikfest Café featuring the high-energy Israeli band Hatikva 6. The efforts of our volunteer chairs and committee members are designed to put the “unity” in community, to celebrate coming together on a happy occasion. Without a strong and diverse group of volunteers, this undertaking would not be possible. If you have not already done so, I hope you will get your tickets and join us for this mega community event. Follow us at #unitybeginswithU.
What happens after this significant event will be even more of a testimony to the kind of Jewish community we want here in the Lehigh Valley. It is not only meant to be a one-night-fun-night, but another step in creating the inclusive, caring and committed environment that we would all like to see for ourselves, our neighbors and our entire Jewish family. There is room for everyone to make an impact.
Federation’s campaign slogan, “it all starts with you,” is more than just a slogan. You are the power driving our community. While we have challenges and opportunities ahead of us, you are a valuable and significant part of leading us into the future. You make the difference in determining what our Jewish community will look like in five years, 10 years, 50 years. If you are interested in volunteering, there are many opportunities for you to get involved with the work of Federation – please be in touch. The Jewish Federation really depends on people being active not only in their own lives, but in our community’s destiny, too.