I am excited for the opportunity to serve our Jewish community for a third term as President of our Jewish Federation. This past year has been a very productive and meaningful one wrapped up by a summer that has been busier than I can ever remember. Our Jewish Federation and agencies have been working very hard this past year to exceed their respective goals.
I am proud of the way that our Jewish community has responded to the recent struggles taking place in Israel. More than 200 people came out to mourn the loss of the three boys killed in Israel and more than 600 people attended the solidarity gathering a few weeks later.
I am pleased to report that we have been working diligently to hire additional staff at the Federation to handle all of the necessary services that we provide. As you might remember, we have also had many recent retirements and we are now almost back to being fully staffed. Please help me in welcoming our new staff: Patti Freeman Dorson, Planning and Engagement Director; Michael Skolnick, Assistant Director, Campaign and Planned Giving; and Keren Ayalon, NextGen Director. We look forward to their energy, contributions and talents.
This year we are shortening the Annual Campaign solicitation calendar from our traditional 18 month format to a period set to begin on September 1, 2014 and end on March 31, 2015. As it is now, each summer and fall we are working on closing one Campaign and launching the next one simultaneously. A shortened calendar will allow us to devote concentrated time and effort on only one Campaign, and then give our volunteers a break as we plan for the next one.
As such, we have now closed our 2014 Campaign and the 2015 Annual Campaign has launched. Please join our team as we work together to raise the necessary Annual Campaign dollars that provide vital services for our Indianapolis Jewish community, as well as Jews in Israel and around the world. We hope you were able to join us as we kicked off our 2015 Annual Campaign on Wednesday, September 3 with mentalist Sidney Friedman.
I look forward to an exciting year ahead and I invite your participation and support in all that the Jewish Federation and agencies do for our Jewish community, both locally and overseas.
On behalf of my family, we wish you and your families a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year!