Monday, March 3, 2014

Strangers on the Ground

I was listening in to my colleagues Alan Gill and Ofer Glanz speaking on a phone-conference this afternoon with the Jewish Federations of North America. There were some excellent speakers from our colleagues in NCSJ, ORT and the Jewish Agency.

In addition to some excellent insights into the situation and the latest developments, Alan said something critical that was also mentioned by my colleague Misha from JAFI. “We wouldn't have been in Kiev a week ago when violence struck if we hadn't been there the week before,” he said.
The core funding that we receive from our federations is critical. The key is that we’re there and we’re going to be there.

We have seven Hesed (welfare distribution) centers in  southern Ukraine, three of which are in Crimea, serving 13,000 elderly Jews and some 2,000 children-at-risk. The job right now is to ensure ongoing operations, keep our clients and operations secure (as well as our amazing and dedicated staff), and to plan for possible future scenarios.

But without core federation funding, as Mark Levin (NCSJ) and Misha Galperin (JAFI) pointed out on the call, we’d be “strangers on the ground” without credibility.

So, if you’re a federation donor, know this: it’s because of your support that we’ve been able to do so much so far. And we’re grateful for that.

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