Many people use the secular new year as a fresh start, a new beginning, or a time to recommit to personal goals. The Federation is recommitting to our goals as well. Over the past few months, we’ve made some changes that result in a refocused delivery of service to our community and we are continuing to evaluate and prioritize changes to serve our community better. This January 2018 message launches our new newsletter format—FEDConnect. Our goal is to share information in a more accessible and user-friendly way. We’ve also updated our website and hope you will visit often to get updated information about what’s happening in our community and with Federation.
We have new staff serving our community. Our interim director, Ralph Grunewald, will be staying on with us through June and we plan to begin a search for a permanent Executive Director this spring. We’re thrilled to share that we’ve hired a social worker, Michalah Hoffman, who has already hit the ground running. Currently, we are interviewing candidates for a Campaign Associate, as well as a new Program Manager and a PJ Library Coordinator to backfill Michelle Goldberg and Danielle Leder, who both left the Federation last month for other pursuits. I would like to especially thank Michelle Goldberg for her years of dedicated service to the Federation and, in particular, for helping our PJ Library program thrive.
We are trying some new programming approaches, too. This year, we expanded our Global Day of Jewish Learning to include additional content and a more diverse schedule. We had our biggest turnout ever, with over 150 attendees. Our Purim Palooza & Kids Activity Expo, scheduled for February 25, will also feature a new format. For the first time, all the religious schools will meet together under one roof at Long Reach High School for morning religious education and then roll into our community Purim celebration. Through our support of these community-wide events, the Federation is helping create a vibrant Howard County Jewish community. Good Deeds Day, coming April 15, will be another opportunity for our local Jewish community to come together and help others. Watch for information about how you can participate!
Over the coming months, you will see and hear more about a rededicated focus to Federation’s unique core values. While we will introduce new faces and provide new ways to engage, care for, and connect, we remain dedicated to our values of Tzedakah, Tikkun Olam, and Torah.
Wishing you all a happy (secular) new year!