I’m very excited to announce the beginning of a new Community Campaign, which, believe it or not, is my fifth since coming to Hamilton.
In a year filled with new fears, old threats, and deep divisiveness, there is still so much good. It’s easy to forget the good that surrounds us, but at the Hamilton Jewish Federation, good is something we think about every day. Because good is something that we do every day.
Good is in our DNA, as a community and as an organization. Good is what we have been doing for more than 90 years. It’s what we’ve been focused on during one of the hardest years we’ve ever faced. And good is what we will do now and in the future.
While Federation is the engine for good in Hamilton, the work we do supporting individuals and organizations often takes place in the background. Federation impacts virtually every sphere of Jewish communal life. And this year, after COVID-19 changed our world, we didn’t just continue our work – we evolved, finding even more ways to provide support. That included being a lifeline to our isolated seniors by providing meals, transportation, and wellness support, bringing peace of mind to them as well as their families.
When there is a crisis, we are there. For good.
Good isn’t just about working in crisis mode. It’s about being proactive in strengthening Jewish life and laying the foundation for the next generation. That’s why we’re committed to strengthening and deepening community engagement by offering diverse Jewish education and identity-building programs; providing opportunities for participation in all aspects of Jewish life; developing a capable and dedicated leadership pipeline; and growing community-wide programming.
To actualize these important strategic priorities, over the coming year we will focus our attention on young adults and young families. Our scholarship fund will provide subsidies that will enable parents to send their children to Jewish day schools and Jewish day camp, a need we’ve seen increase over the past year; and we will continue to fund PJ Library and the JCC cultural programs that our community counts on — whether online or in person.
In spite of the many challenges posed by the pandemic, we found innovative ways of sharing good. We adapted existing resources and programs to meet emerging needs and were able to offer most of our important programs virtually. We also created new opportunities to learn and connect, some of which have been so popular that they will live on in a post-COVID-19 reality. Despite the fact that the pandemic literally kept many of us apart over the last year, our community never wavered in its commitment to sharing good.
Doing good, in Israel, and across the Jewish world.
While the majority of the good that the Hamilton Jewish Federation does occurs at the local level, we must also recognize that strengthening our bonds with Israel is essential to ensuring a strong Jewish future. Through our partners, the Jewish Agency for Israel, Jewish Federations of Canada-UIA, the Jewish Federations of North America, and the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), we are also here for good in service of the Israeli people.
We are keenly aware of growing antisemitism and BDS activity that aim to weaken and diminish our value as a people and a community. That’s why we work with Jewish community advocacy organizations on critical incident intervention and strive to build long-term strategic relationships with other community groups. We actively participate in boards and coalitions, collaborating to address issues of common concern whenever possible, and we intervene with the relevant government bodies when issues arise that have an impact on the Jewish community.
Hamilton Jewish Federation is here for good.
But good doesn’t just happen on its own. It comes from our supporters, who are dedicated to the promise of a flourishing Jewish future. With your gift to the Annual Community Campaign, you will help struggling families in our community get back on their feet, ensure that the vulnerable are cared for, and give younger generations opportunities to connect to our heritage and Jewish communal life.
Your donation means that Hamilton Jewish Federation will continue to help good grow. Just as we have in the past. Just as we will in the future. Because with your help, we are not going anywhere. Please do good today by donating online at jewishhamilton.org/2022-donate.