I recently spent 10 days in Moscow, Georgia and St. Petersburg with over 100 other Jewish leaders as part of our annual National Young Leadership Cabinet study mission. From a multitude of experiences and encounters two stand out:
We had the incredible honor of being joined in St. Petersburg by Natan and Avital Sharansky, leaders and heroes of the movement to free Soviet Jewry. They regaled us with stories of their struggles and how they ultimately built a successful movement to free Natan and other Soviet Jews. The most critical lesson was the importance of coming together as one people. When we are united as Jews we can change the course of history; Am Yisrael Chai!
The other key takeaway is the absolute necessity of organizations like the Joint Distribution Committee; Jewish Agency for Israel; and ORT Schools in providing basic dignity to Jews around the world through adequate levels of food, home care, education, and Jewish community programming. Federation dollars are critical in supporting the work of all these organizations, and our giving has a direct and meaningful impact in supporting not just basic quality of life for Jews in need but also for helping to foster vibrant communities that cherish and celebrate their Jewish identities. These are critical components of a strong future for Jewish peoplehood.
National Young Leadership Cabinet is Jewish Federations’ elite leadership-training program for people ages 30-45. It attracts the best and the brightest. The savvy and sophisticated. Young, successful, business and philanthropic-minded Jewish professionals. Individuals seeking to enrich their lives and the Jewish community by becoming leaders within a global philanthropic movement. To learn more about National Young Leadership Cabinet please click HERE.
by Jonathan Aires, National Young Leadership Cabinet Member