Ever since I was a teenager I have been connected to the Jewish Federation organizations where I lived, no matter what name it went under. My first encounter with the Jewish Federation in Chicago was when I was 17 and wanted to go on USY Israel Pilgrimage. My parents had two day school tuitions and one college tuition at the time being paid for by my dad’s Chicago elementary school principal salary. Without the help of the Federation scholarship, I would not have been able to participate in that life changing and impactful program that probably put me on the path to where I am today.
As a Jewish community, we have many needs, religious, educational, cultural, medical, social and more. Rather than having dozens of different organizations vying, competing and duplicating services it makes sense to have one umbrella organization looking out for all of us, and that is exactly what Jewish Nevada does.
So much of what Jewish Nevada does is behind the scenes and we do not often realize the impact it has on our daily lives. The money that is raised by Jewish Nevada goes to support vital institutions like Jewish Family Service Agency of Las Vegas and the Sperling Kronberg Mack Holocaust Resource Center. It goes to support educational and cultural programming at the JCC and synagogues. The money goes toward programs with our partnership area in Israel. Funds go to scholarships to send kids to Jewish summer camps and teens to Israel summer programs.
I think of the typical ways in a given year that my own family is touched by Jewish Nevada, and it makes me realize just how important this organization is to the survival of our community.
This past Sunday our Jewish Nevada held its annual Super Sunday Telethon. You may have received a call asking for a donation. Did you have a chance to heed the call for help? Perhaps you got the call, but were not ready to make a commitment. Maybe you heard the message that was left, but have not had the chance to follow up.
Like so many other Jewish homes, we have a tradition of keeping a tzedakah box right next to the Shabbat candles. Just as we get ready to start Shabbat by lighting the candles, we empty our pockets of the loose change and put it in the pushke. This week I am asking you to take a moment before Shabbat to put a little money in the virtual tzedakah box. You can click on this link and make a donation to our Jewish Nevada. You can also find out more information about where that money goes and how it is helping the community.