Shalom from the Jewish Federation of Greater Indianapolis! I have been your executive vice president for two months now, and Indianapolis is feeling more and more like home every day. This could be in part because my family finally moved into our new home in Carmel mid- November. I know it also has to do with the wonderfully warm welcome this community has given me. I have met with a small percentage of you already and talked with you about why you love Indianapolis, why you moved here or have never moved away, why you volunteer, give, learn and celebrate in this Jewish community. It’s inspired and excited me. Your leadership and your desire to take this community to amazing places have been truly incredible.
So many things have impressed me these past few weeks in this new position and Jewish community. Our rabbis and Jewish communal professionals are outstanding. Each one of them brings to our Jewish communal table a passion and dedication for building and sustaining the Jewish community here in Indianapolis. Each and every one of them is dedicated to you, to meeting your needs, to shaping your Jewish identity, to helping you achieve your goals and to making sure that we do so through a Jewish lens. I look forward to strengthening the bridges between the Jewish Federation, our synagogues and our Jewish agencies. We all play a critical role in building the sustaining this Jewish community, and only by working together with them do I know we can move this Jewish community to new heights.
Maybe I haven’t met you yet or I knew you from my childhood at Goldman Union Camp Institute or my college years at Indiana University. Either way I want to spend time with you! I want to have a chance to chat or sit down with as many of you as possible. There is a place for anyone and everyone at the Jewish Federation table, whether you have yet to take the jump to get involved, are already an enthusiastic volunteer or member of our board or one of our committees, or are somewhere in between. I’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas. This is your chance to help us dream about what this Jewish community has been and where it can be in the future. This is your chance to have a voice and an important opportunity for me to learn from you. We as a whole, a community, are only as good as the sum of our parts—you. Let’s meet for tea or lunch or something else and have a Jewish conversation.
I strongly believe that if it is at all important to you to build your life in a place that has a Jewish community then you must invest in that vision; we all must play a role in creating that community for ourselves, for our children, for our families, for our adults and for our elderly. Together we can continue to build our Jewish community and make it stronger for the future. My door is always open and I can’t wait to hear from you. You can reach me at the office by phone or by email at 317.715.9262 or dbartongrant@JFGI.org.
May the lights of Chanukah remind each of us that together we create an inspiring and sustainable Jewish community.