Heritage Florida Jewish News - Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

By Ina Porth
Viewpoint 

Show support for the Jewish community

 

Ina Porth

As the campaign chairwoman for the Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando's Shaping the Future: 2014 Annual Campaign, I know the daunting task I've accepted. Our community is splintered and many don't see the relevance of the Jewish Federation. But I know that the Federation is needed now more than ever. When asked to chair the campaign, my first thought was, 'How can I say NO at a critical time like now?' We have many problems in the Jewish world...the growth of anti-Semitism in Europe; the continued unrest in the Middle East, with Israel feeling so isolated; and the growing numbers of Jews in America who are turning away from Jewish life. We are given a great opportunity now. 

Now, is the time to come together as a community to meet these challenges. If each agency, synagogue or institution thinks they can make it alone, I am afraid we will all fail. It is time to circle the wagons and work together. Federation is that one vehicle to do that. Federation works to help support all our institutions whether with funds or collaboration and coordination. Federation is the Jewish community. Giving to our campaign is necessary to insure needed services; to keep our campuses open; to reach out to those who are single, young marrieds, inter-married; and our seniors.  Federation programs reach out to all.

I have been asked why I give to the Federation annual campaign? My answer is, 'Why not!' I have always been one to believe in the Federation movement as Federation is the Jewish community. It embraces all aspects of Jewish communal life. I want to support and help make our community a thriving environment for all to feel welcomed. My family was welcomed into this community 35 years ago. Being Jewish means so much to me that I doubt we would have moved here if there had not been a Jewish community to become part of. My children are grown now and have moved out of Orlando. When they moved to new places across the country, there was a Jewish community waiting for them. As Jews, we build communities for each other not only for ourselves. I continue to give to the Federation to build a stronger Jewish Orlando because I want to assure the next generation that it will be here for them and their children.

If you join and support the annual campaign, we can ensure that the Federation continues to be a catalyst and a portal for all things Jewish in our community. We will ensure that Jewish life continues to flourish on our two community campuses, used by up to 1,500 community members daily. We will continue to touch the lives of young families, children, teens and young adults who look to Federation for involvement and engagement. We will reach out to seniors and keep them active and connected to Jewish life. Together with your support, we will ensure that every Jewish person in Orlando feels that they belong to a caring Jewish community.

Your gift will help support Israel, which faces huge social challenges. It will help immigrants integrate and acquire job skills. Your gift will care for at-risk youth in our sister city Kiryat Motzkin, so they can chart productive paths in their lives. We will also continue to help meet the needs of Holocaust survivors living below the poverty line in Israel and around the world.

Your support of the campaign ensures that Federation will respond to any crisis throughout the Jewish world. We have and will continue to carry out big, bold initiatives and mobilize great resources in times of crisis. As part of the Jewish Federations of North America, we join 155 Jewish Federations and more than 300 network communities that raise and distribute more than $3 billion annually for social welfare, social services, and educational needs. The partnership of more than 400 Jewish communities through JFNA has something to teach us at a local level, that as a whole we are stronger than as individuals.

This campaign comes at a critical time. Unmet needs for our Jewish community can only come to fruition through a successful campaign. Every dollar raised above last year's campaign will be put back into our community. As the landscape of Jewish Orlando changes, it's up to us to shape the future.

I am proud to be part of the Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando. Won't you stand with me and show your support for our Jewish community? Contribute now to the Shaping the Future: 2014 Annual Campaign at http://www.JFGO.org or by mail at 851 N. Maitland Avenue, Maitland, FL 32751. Together we can do so much.

Thank you for your generosity.

 

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