Remarks from the 109th JFGI Annual Meeting

I am honored to have had the privilege of serving this Jewish Federation and Jewish community for the past nine months as your Executive Vice President. During this time, I have learned so much, met so many wonderful people and have been blessed to work with and learn from a Federation staff and board of directors who are dedicated, passionate and inspiring people.

The professional staff at the Jewish Federation are an incredible team; they have welcomed me with open arms, aided me in so many ways during this transition and are dedicated to making this a strong and vibrant Jewish community. Our agency Executive Directors, the leadership at the Hebrew Academy and our congregational rabbis are an incredible group of intelligent, passionate and dedicated leaders. I want you all to know how lucky this community is to have Jewish professionals of this caliber leading our organizations and synagogues.

My 8 and 5 year olds suggested that I tell you some things that you might not know about me, and that I should start with the positive and not talk so much about the challenges. I am going to follow their advice.

I am a passionate Jewish communal professional who believes in the power of what we can do when we put our intelligence, leadership, determination and dollars together. I value each and every donation and gift to our Annual Campaign and to our agencies from our $18 donors to our largest contributors. I believe that we all, and when I say all I really mean all, need to financially support our Jewish community. I almost always see the glass as half full, vehemently believe that more is simply and powerfully more and believe in breaking down walls in order to work collaboratively. I know that together we are stronger and can move our Jewish community forward in a thoughtful way.

I come to Indianapolis from a small but dedicated Jewish community and know firsthand what it feels like to live in a place that does not have all of the incredible opportunities that we have here. We are lucky to have a Jewish Federation that unifies the entire Jewish community. Hooverwood is one of the best skilled nursing facilities in the state. We are lucky to have a Jewish Community Center that meets and exceeds our communal, cultural and activity needs. Our children are educated with a Hebrew education at the Bureau of Jewish Education. We are lucky to have the JCRC out in the community as our voice and conscious on all issues relevant to our Jewish community. Our Albert & Sara Reuben Senior and Community Resource Center, a true Jewish Family Service organization, is there for us in so many ways throughout critical times in our lives. We are lucky to have our Hasten Hebrew Academy where those Jewish families who desire a top quality Jewish and secular day school education for their children are able to receive one. Without each and every one of these entities working cooperatively we will not attract or retain young Jewish adults and families to come and make their homes in Indianapolis.

I invite you to take advantage of all that we have to offer here. I encourage you to share your ideas with us, and I urge you to actively join the many volunteers we are honoring this evening to help make the Jewish Federation and Jewish community an exciting and vital part of your lives.



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