From the CEO

Counting Our Blessings

We are in the time of the Jewish calendar known as the Counting of the Omer, the days between Pesach and Shavuot. During this period in biblical times, the Jews would count the days in anticipation of the grain harvest.

I would like us to use this time to count our communal blessings and note all the positive change that is happening in our Jewish community.

Our Federation is a part of a system, the Jewish Federations of North America. In my role as President & CEO of The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles, I represent our community nationally and globally. Recently, I participated in a series of meetings with 18 other Federation executives from large cities where one of my colleagues from my hometown of Boston expressed his feelings about Federation’s essential role. He said, “We, as a collective Federation movement, are making a real difference on the leading edge of Jewish history.”

I couldn’t agree more. We are truly making a real difference on the leading edge of Jewish history, and we are doing so during these most challenging of times.

I saw the powerful impact of our Federation on my recent trip to Israel. I began the trip meeting young people from some of Israel’s most impoverished neighborhoods, who are participating in our life-changing partnership with Unistream. I also met with another of our partners, the Israel Trauma Coalition. In 91 communities throughout Israel, they are building resilience and treating thousands of Israelis for post-traumatic stress disorder.

On my way to the airport before my long flight home, I was invited to a party. The guests were 40 young couples from our Los Angeles community who were participating in the best new big idea in the Jewish world, Honeymoon Israel. They were learning about Judaism and Israel, and exploring how they were going to return home to create Jewish lives and Jewish families. They were interfaith and unaffiliated. They were LGBTQ and straight. Honeymoon Israel is truly ensuring our Jewish future and that every one of these couples, and scores of others, are part of our community.

These are the blessings I am counting. This is our Federation making a difference.

You make all of this happen and more by supporting our Federation and our community.

Thank you.

Shabbat Shalom,

Jay Sanderson
President & CEO