What's your WHY? E-news Nov, 2015


Last week, I attended the Jewish Federations of North America General Assembly (The GA) in Washington, DC. The GA is the premier leadership gathering for Federation volunteers and professionals, with this year's speakers including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu; journalist and author David Gregory, formerly of Meet the Press; and many more.
With dozens of high-level briefings and educational workshops, what struck me more than all the "HOW-TOs" were the WHYs: 

  • why each of us is passionate about the care and keeping of Jewish life
  • why we're committed to making the world more just 
  • why we dedicate ourselves and rally others to invest in Jewish community 

During the opening session, David Gregory told us his Jewish faith helped him navigate rocky periods with his dad, who had just passed away. Canadian Supreme Court Justice, Rosale Abella, daughter of Holocaust survivors, shared her dream of a world where all people can wear their identity with pride and dignity. Actress/activist, Debra Messing, described experiencing anti-Semitism from her Rhode Island hometown to Hollywood. These were their WHYs.

This weekend the world was rocked by news of terror in Paris - echoing the horror our brothers and sisters in Israel live with all too often and reminding us, as Jews, we champion peace and pluralism. How's that for a WHY?

And this past Sunday, at our local Super Sunday, many volunteers felt fundraising for the Jewish Federation was particularly sacred this year -- knowing the Federation is there wherever and whenever people are in need, from Paris to Piscataway to Asbury Park. That was their WHY. 

The Jewish Federation supports the Jewish community in thriving together so there will always be a way for us to care for the vulnerable, address threats to peace and Jewish peoplehood, and share in meaningful, joyful Jewish life experiences. That is our WHY.

You are reading this newsletter. You attend community events. You support the Federation with your time and money. What is your WHY? If you'd like to share, go to our Facebook page and tell us. 

Early wishes for a happy Thanksgiving,

Lisa Karasic
Director of Marketing & Communications
​The Jewish Federation in the heart of New Jersey

News Highlights

Super Sunday a Strong Start to Homestretch

Sunday, more than 100 volunteers from our community including volunteers from various partner agencies and synagogues across the heart of NJ came out to raise critical funds to improve security for Jewish organizations, care for the elderly, engage young people to foster positive Jewish identity, provide trauma support to people affected by terror, and so much more. Together our Jewish community made a difference for those in need. Pictured above, Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr., joined Federation 1st vice president and campaign chair, Jeff Schwartz, and others in making calls. 

Thank you to Jewelry Design Gallery (Towne Point Shopping Center, Manalapan) for being our lead sponsor. Thank you to Cheryl Markbreiter, Super Sunday chair, and to all who came out to volunteer. Whether you came to call or were home and answered the call, we thank you. If you missed the call Sunday or have not yet made a pledge this year, take a moment to make a difference now. We need everyone's support before year-end to address critical, unmet needs. 

Please make your tax-deductible pledge today by clicking here or call 732-588-1800. Thank you.


Want more WHYs? Join us Dec. 9 for The Annual Meeting

Has anyone ever asked you why you support the Jewish Federation? Perhaps you know it's the best way to do the most good in the Jewish world, but you don't always have specifics on the tip of your tongue to rattle off.  

We're serving up specifics -- along with latkes, light dinner, and a menorah lighting -- at the Federation's first anniversary, annual meeting & Chanukah celebration Dec. 9, 6:30 PM at the Grand Marquis in Old Bridge. 

Join us as we share successes from our first year as The Jewish Federation in the Heart of New Jersey, look at smart ways to meet ongoing needs, shine a light on our vision for thriving together, and honor special people in our community.

Couvert is $36 per person. Register


Additional News

Stand With -- and IN -- Israel

The Jewish Federation is committed to enhancing bonds with our extended family in Israel. We offer many ways you can show your support. This spring join us in showing we stand with Israel by standing IN Israel. 

Celebrate Israel Independence Day in Jerusalem and consider an optional pre-trip to either Berlin or Budapest for a Remembrance to Renaissance experience.

 Click for Mission Details



It's Time to Plan for Summer Camp and Teen Programs
The Federation proudly supports programs that provide young people with joyful Jewish experiences inspiring them to embrace their Jewish identity and securing a Jewish future for generations to come. Deadlines for scholarships, grants, and applications are quickly approaching. Act now. 

The Federation Triples Summer 2016 Sleepaway Camp Incentives

Studies show Jewish camp is one of the best ways for young people to acquire Jewish values, learning, and connections. Offering incentive grants for 1st-timers is a smart investment in a bright Jewish future. 

That is why the Federation with its partner, One Happy Camper, is tripling the number of 1st-time Jewish overnight camp incentive grants available for summer, 2016. Applications are being accepted NOW on a FIRST-COME/FIRST-SERVED basis. 

Click here for criteria and application

Sandy Teen Fellowship Now Accepting Applications for January Start

Three years after super storm Sandy, many people whose homes and livelihoods were destroyed have recovered; others have not. The Federation's Sandy Teen Fellows continue to help rebuild in places like Sea Bright, Highlands, and Union Beach, while learning about Jewish values toward social action and philanthropy. 

Applications are now being accepted for the Sandy Teens class of 2016 beginning in January. Don't let the teens in your life miss out on this opportunity to develop leadership experience and make strong connections in the community while amassing service credits for resumes and college applications. 

Details and Application

All About Winter Break Birthright Trips

The Federation is delighted to invite your Birthright Israel participant to an orientation Monday, Dec. 1, 7 PM at Solomon Schechter Day School, Marlboro -- for everything you need to know about this amazing, upcoming experience. 


More Summer Scholarships

The Federation is proud to offer many more summer scholarships:
Need-based scholarships for day and sleepaway camp
Scholarships for special needs camps 
Scholarships for teen Israel travel
Application dates and criteria vary. 

Click here

Giving Tuesday is Dec. 1, 2015

Right after Thanksgiving, there's Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Small Business Saturday. Now there's also Giving Tuesday, created to celebrate giving back.

What better way to extend the true spirit of Thanksgiving? The Federation is pleased to participate in this growing phenomenon and will publish text-to-give information to make donations quick and easy. Stay tuned -- and thank you in advance for sharing with others on this special day.  

Maimonides Society Presents Boyd "Rainmaker" Melson December 7

Boyd Melson holds many boxing titles. Today he's dedicated to knocking out spinal cord injuries. Whether you're a sports fan, doctor, or someone with heart, this is a program you don't want to miss. 

Details and RSVP

Join In the Chanukah Celebrations!

The Jewish community in the heart of New Jersey is brimming with Chanukah celebrations for people of all ages. Enjoy the holiday with extended family and neighbors, meet new friends, and brighten the glow of the festival of lights for yourself and others.

The listing of events is growing every day. Check out a recent summary on our web page jewishheartnj.org/chanukah or for the most comprehensive and up-to-date list, see the online community calendar at jewishheartnj.org/calendar and search by the keyword Chanukah or the key word Hanukkah -- and see you soon.

With AmazonSmile, You Shop and Amazon Gives to the Federation

Are you shopping online this year for Chanukah and other holiday gifts? When you shop on AmazonSmile and select The Jewish Federation in the Heart of New Jersey as your organization of choice, Amazon gives a portion of your sales to the Federation -- at no additional cost to you. 


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