By Rob Grosser, Co-President
As I write my final FedConnect article as Co-President of Federation, I reflect with a great deal of optimism on the current state of our Federation.
As our campaign year draws to an end, I am confident that for the second year in a row, we will realize double-digit growth in our fundraising initiatives. This is a testament to the hard work of our leadership, staff, and most of all, our donors.
Five years ago we embarked on a transitional journey to insure the long term viability of Federation in Rockland, and we embraced many new initiatives. Our Compelling Needs™ model of distributing local funds has been hugely successful in identifying local needs and addressing those needs in a meaningful and dynamic way. We have built a strong working relationship with the Board of Rabbis and we work collaboratively with the agencies we support to insure services are delivered in a manner that best meets the needs of our community.
On a local level, our allocations committee thoughtfully reviewed over twenty grant applications this year. Thanks to our campaign successes, we were able to increase our grants year over year to each organization. These grants support services provided to seniors, holocaust survivors, special needs students, programs to combat anti Semitism and racism, teen leadership, college campus programs, and Rockland Jewish Academy, the only pluralistic day school in the county, to name but a few.
Our joint initiative with the Rockland Board of Rabbis continues to evolve. The Board has been actively developing a county-wide program that will highlight the many positive aspects of Jewish life in our County.
Federation has made a major financial commitment to Rockland Jewish Community Campus Capital Campaign. We enthusiastically join community leaders in a vital initiative to reduce the campus debt and insure the long term fiscal health of the campus.
Internationally, Federation delivers funds to Israel and communities in need throughout the world. There are many dwindling Jewish populations in often forgotten places who depend on Federation as a true lifeline. Completing the Journey supports the settlement and integration of Ethiopians embarking on a new life in Israel. Whether Ukraine or Nepal, Federation is on call 24/7 to ease suffering and provide vital life sustaining aid.
I want to say thank you and bid a fond farewell to Timna Mekaiten, our esteemed Shlicha. Federation has allocated the financial resources to provide a community emissary from Israel. Our Shlicha works with organizations throughout the county both educating and imparting passion for Israel. The emissary works with Rockland synagogues, Hebrew schools, Hillel, JCC Rockland and other organizations to “share” Israel with our community. His or her efforts help educate the community about Israel and bring Israeli life and culture closer to home Timna has truly raised the bar and has set a standard that we hope to continue.
Before I conclude I want to express my sincerest thanks to the staff and board of Federation. I especially want to thank our Executive Director, Diane Sloyer, who each day gives her all to our Federation. Finally, I’d like to thank my Co-President Andrea Weinberger, who has so graciously agreed to continue serving as President. Andrea has been a remarkable partner whose passion, talent and commitment has been instrumental in so many of our accomplishments. To our supporters, your donation, your support, and your trust enable us to make a real difference in so many lives. It has been an honor and a privilege working with all of you.
As our campaign year draws to an end, please join us in this noble journey. Your pledge is the currency that fuels the mission.
Editors note: Federation's 2015 Annual Campaign ends June 30, 2015. To be included on the Campaign 2015 Honor Roll, please pledge or donate by June 30. Pledges made by June 30, 2015 can be paid anytime prior to December 31, 2015.