One of the time-honored traditions for New Year’s is to make resolutions.  Every year brings opportunities for new or renewed ones.  I’d like to share some of my resolutions for 2019: I resolve to be more philanthropic. I resolve to do more to help build a stronger Jewish community. I resolve to help provide support for our seniors and those struggling with illness or grief. I resolve to help ensure our children hold onto their Jewish heritage. I resolve to work within our community to ensure there is a unified Jewish voice to address significant issues.

This has been a pivotal year for us.  We have made a significant investment in our Federation to re-energize the community around our ability to deliver services directly to those who need it most.  You have met our new staff, either in person, at one of our programs, or through our FEDSpotlight feature.  We are fortunate to have assembled such a terrific team.  They are working every day to make sure that our community needs are met.  And there are more needs here in our community than most of you likely imagine.  

There is also more capacity to give in our community. Our campaign year is just half over, which means you can resolve to give generously to help us finish strong.  Over the past several months, we have been sharing information about ways the Federation has made an impact on the community.  I hope you are as proud as I am about the significant ways we are helping so many in our community. Many of you have reached out to me and shared your excitement about the work we are doing while some of you have experienced Federation for the first time. 

Federation is about tzedakah – we raise funds to help others.  Through tzedakah we are able to make a difference for hundreds of families in Howard County. Through tzedakah we are able to engage Jewish families and ensure the future of our heritage. Through tzedakah we are able to ensure that no Jew, no matter their life situation, is left alone or without help. It is this tzedakah that binds you and me with every Jew in Howard County and the world over.

To paraphrase a very famous politician, “Ask not what Federation can do for you, but what you can do for Federation.” We need your help. We need your support. We need your engagement. Resolve to help make a bigger difference in our Jewish community in 2019.

Happy New Year!