Relationships Matter

Relationships matter. A lot. In fact, for my first few months here in Indy, I have spent the majority of my time meeting people and listening to what they have to say. This process has been as enjoyable as it has been important. I can now state with some authority that the food in this city is fantastic! Culinary delights aside, I am deeply grateful to everyone who has so willingly and openly shared their thoughts with me- be it one on one, in group settings, face to face, virtually, or by email. My door and my inbox are open to everyone, and I welcome the chance to hear or read what you have to say.  

A quick word about my institutional partners: Wow. This community has assembled and supports leaders of the very highest caliber. Our rabbis, agency professionals, and lay leadership are extraordinary in their knowledge, dedication, and wisdom and have warmly welcomed me into their ranks. You may or may not know that there are long-standing meetings where we assemble to discuss the issues of the day. In addition, almost immediately I began to have regular meetings with CEOs Eric Koehler of the Jewish Community Center, Evan Lubline of Hooverwood Living, and Rabbi Aaron Spiegel, the interim executive director of the Indianapolis Jewish Community Relations Council. Miriam Gettinger at Hasten Hebrew Academy of Indianapolis is an amazing leader to which we all aspire to be. And of course, I am honored to work with Jewish Family Services Executive Director Lori Moss – who just celebrated her 38th work anniversary.

Indianapolis is also blessed to have a deep, diverse, and devoted cadre of volunteers and lay leaders who work across all of our agencies and synagogues. You’d be hard pressed to find an experienced community member who is emmeshed solely in one of our fine institutions. The resulting network of shared leadership strengthens us all.  

We are so grateful to our young and newer leaders and actively cultivate opportunities for them on our boards and committees so they can develop a deeper understanding of the work we all do and advocate for why we need the necessary dollars to do it. See page 16 for a new young leadership opportunity we are excited to launch this spring. 
And of course, everything accomplished is on behalf of the thousands of donors who so generously share your hard-earned dollars with us all. You are the real heroes who make such a difference in our community. Thank you again. 
When we all work together, we develop a united, powerful voice because what is good for one of us is good for all of us. When we all work together, we assemble in ways that make us stronger, including having a unified campus. When we all work together, we communicate our shared values throughout our community and across generations. 
Here are just a few recent examples of the importance of strong communal relationships. In January, both before and after the Colleyville hostage situation, Safe Indy trained more than 1,500 members of our community on how to be aware of an incident and how to encounter an active threat (see page 6 for more about our community security program). In February, when a shooting occurred on our own campus, we were able to effectively communicate both internally for the purposes of life safety and externally with law enforcement and the media. In March, our lay leaders and staffs came together to talk about a strengthened Jewish community with a visit from Doron Krakow, president and CEO of JCC Association of North America. And, of course, we continue to work together to raise the critical funds necessary to help Ukraine as the crisis continues and to support our Russian/Ukrainian community here in Indianapolis. You can read more about these efforts on page 5.

My goal includes looking for new, creative opportunities to expand and capitalize on this synergy in the future. When we all work together, we lay a strong foundation and plan for success. This community has so much potential and as we build upon our past achievements, we see that our best days are still ahead. That’s just another reason that the dollars we raise during our Annual Campaign today are so important as we Imagine our Tomorrow. Get ready for it!


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