This Week, We Stood Together in Community


Today I am once again reminded that Jews are a communal people. The collective is an integral part of the Jewish experience, a foundational principle of all aspects of Jewish life. We don’t always see eye-to-eye on everything – no surprise there if you spend time in Jewish spaces – but the powerful concept of “peoplehood” has tied us together and sustained us over many centuries and across the globe. This week here in San Diego, the strength and connectedness of our Jewish community bore out, as it is at the heart of everything we do.

Along with many community partners, dozens of committed and passionate individuals and many incredibly articulate students, Federation supported a resolution against antisemitism in front of the San Diego Unified School District. That resolution, after some modifications, passed unanimously, ensuring that District leaders remain committed to ensuring that Jewish students and faculty feel safe and welcome on all SDUSD campuses. I had the privilege of addressing the board on behalf of Federation, along with speaker after speaker in support of this resolution. Each spoke movingly about the need to fight antisemitism, and more importantly about the richness and value of their own Jewish experience. We are committed to doing all we can to ensure a safe and secure Jewish community. This resolution was an important piece of that work.

At the same time, Federation remains laser-focused on our other priorities, including caring for those in need, especially seniors and Survivors. To that end, this week we also continued the rollout of our “Kulam B’Bayit: Everyone At Home” Fund to provide emergency financial support to help seniors live comfortably in their homes.

As the convener of and a participant in the Jewish community’s Poverty Working Group (PWG), Federation brings together professionals from Jewish organizations whose work helps to alleviate poverty. This includes professionals from Jewish Family Service, Jewish Community Foundation, Kindness Initiative, Seacrest at Home, Impact Cubed and Hebrew Free Loan. The group saw a need for easy access to emergency funds, which was the impetus for Federation's Kulam B’Bayit: Everyone at Home. We believe this fund will help alleviate stress on Jewish Seniors and Holocaust Survivors by meeting emergency financial needs and enabling social service organizations to prioritize longer-term objectives. To support Kulam B’Bayit and other Federation programs caring for Jews in need, click here.

These seemingly very different efforts share a common element: both were made possible only by the power of our Jewish collective. Different community organizations and leaders all working together for a shared purpose and common good.

Wishing you all Shabbat Shalom,

Heidi Gantwerk
Interim Chief Executive Officer


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