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

Shana Tovah U'Metuka from the JFGO

 

September 11, 2020

Keith Dvorchik

As we enter 5781, the Federation is excited about what our community has been doing and is excited to bring even more to Central Florida during the coming year.

Our Jerome J Bornstein Leadership Development program is preparing to graduate an incredible class of 15 leaders. Many have already taken positions on community organization boards and others are in the process of deciding how they will best serve our Jewish community. I'm excited to see these leaders in action and how they will impact our community over the next 20-40 years.

RAISE, our work and social skills program, has transitioned during Covid to continue to provide essential training to RAISE employees. RAISE alumni are volunteering in different opportunities showing the impact of the program goes far beyond the employee and their family and also impacts agencies and the people participating in agency programs. This program truly changes lives.

Food Cart from the Heart is providing essential food to people who aren't able to get out of their home and have food needs. The impact of this program is incredible and the reaction from those receiving assistance is heartwarming and highlights everything good about our Jewish community. As long as there are those in need, we will continue to provide this service for them.

Our Women's Division continues to provide interesting and meaning programming through virtual means. This is a great committee to get involved with as women are deciding on programming for women. Working with SPARK, JScreen Sharsheret, and the Susan B. Komen Foundation, on Sunday, Oct. 18, we will be holding a virtual event about breast cancer, genetic counseling, access to testing and more.

Friday, Oct. 16, is our second annual Pride Shabbat. We will be holding this event virtually and excited to celebrate our diversity, bringing together friends and families to honor the LGBTQ community. Partnering with the City of Orlando, featured speakers include author Abby Stein, Mayor Buddy Dyer, and City Commissioner Patty Sheehan. The service will be conducted by our local clergy.

Our PJ Library program continues to grow. While we now provide more than 1,100 children these Jewish themed books every year, our goal is to provide at least 1,400 children the books each month this year. Our new cirector of Outreach & Engagement, Beth Rose, is already planning exciting and fun programs and how to best expand the reach of PJ Library so more families can use these books to enhance their family's Jewish Journey.

In mid-November the Central Florida Jewish Community Study will begin. Working with The Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies at Brandeis University, the Federation sponsored study will provide us insight into our Central Florida community and give us the data we need to work together to create a roadmap for the next decade. We are excited to work together with our synagogues, agencies and organizations to provide this data and to strategize together how to use the information to plan for our community's needs.

All of the work of the Federation is only made possible by your generosity. As we leave 5780 and enter 5781, we wish all of you a happy, healthy and sweet year and say Todah Rabah - Thank You - for what you have enabled us to do.

Keith Dvorchik

CEO Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando

 

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