FYI Before the Year Ends

By Keith Krivitzky, CEO, The Jewish Federation in the Heart of New Jersey
We live in very troubled times when it comes to Israel and support for Israel in our community.  Sadly, for many, the Jewish state is no longer a source of pride and inspiration.
This is where the Jewish Federation has a critical and unique role to play.  One of our key objectives is to strengthen bonds between our community and Israel…and with our extended Jewish family living there.
We want to share some highlights of our work, ways you can get connected, and how you can help.  Read more below, but I also want to encourage you to consider making a targeted gift to support our Israel activities.  
At this time of year where many are thinking of the impact they want to have – and tax savings – this can be a good win-win opportunity. DONATE TO OUR ISRAEL ACTIVITIES HERE.
With your contribution, you will help:
1. Fight anti-Israel activity in our area and on campus
While there is room for legitimate criticism of Israel, when attacks on Israel question the right of Israel to exist as a Jewish state or employ double standards – that crosses a line.  The Jewish Federation is in the lead in responding to such incidents, such as addressing the current concerns about anti-Semitism at Rutgers University.
2. Encourage more Jews to visit Israel
We need to get more people to Israel!  The best way to build a personal relationship with this special place and its people is to visit.  That’s why we are excited about our Journey to the Four Corners of Israel in October 2018.  While everyone pays their own way on this trip, we also enable hundreds of young Jews to spend quality time in Israel through support for Birthright Israel, MASA Israel Experiences, and grants for teen educational programs in Israel.  Your contributions help make this possible.   
3. Show community leaders the real Israel
Sadly, it is not enough for Jews to connect to Israel.  Given today’s political climate and the spread of the BDS movement and other efforts to de-legitimize Israel, we need to get more opinion leaders to understand what happens beyond that they read in the headlines.  That is why we have organized our second Interfaith Clergy Journey to Israel this January with more than 20 local clergy.  We are also sponsoring a trip for state legislators in March.  Seeing is believing – and there is no better way to educate those who can influence others.  
4. Making Israel come alive in the Heart of New Jersey
Sadly, not everyone can visit Israel (at least not yet), and so we also make sure that there is an array of Israel education, engagement and cultural experiences in our local area – especially for our youth.  From Israel Film Festivals, cultural performances, partnerships with Jerusalem U and the Israeli American Council…to classes and educational experiences, we have sponsored more Israel programs in our community than ever before.  And we have lots more in the works in honor of Israel’s 70th anniversary this coming year.
5. Help those in need in Israel
At the same time, the Jewish Federation provides assistance to the most vulnerable segments of Israeli society through our grant programs for non-profit organizations in Israel.  Our priorities have been to meet needs that aren’t being met adequately, with current emphasis on youth at risk, kids and and adults with special needs, and victims of terror.  
Your ongoing support of the Jewish Federation has made many of these programs possible.
But it’s not enough.  
We need to do even more!
That is why we are turning to you with this special opportunity to make a difference for a cause you care about.  Your commitment at this time will enable our current Federation investment in Israel engagement to go even farther.
We are seeking to raise an additional $25,000 for these efforts.  
Each $360 we raise enables another Israel education program in our community.  
$1000 provides a scholarship for a teen to go to Israel.  
$1500 sends one of the clergy on our Interfaith Journey.  
Any contribution you make is greatly appreciated.  So, please donate today! 
Best for a good 2018 – and we hope to see you in Israel or at an Israel event we sponsor soon!
PS - Not that we want to take you away from the purpose of this update, but there are a few things that might also be of interest:
Check out our tax-wise giving tips – but keep in mind you have a week to take advantage of this
Support our Annual Campaign for the Jewish community 
Learn more about our Journey to the Four Corners of Israel from October 14 – 22, 2018 


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