In an epoch when depressing news stories tend to outnumber uplifting ones, I am delighted to share with the community some good news. Our 2018 Annual Community Campaign closed five percent higher than it did last year. In fact, when you look at a variety of statistics, this year’s campaign was the most successful since 2015. We will be providing more information and statistics on this year’s campaign soon.
How should we interpret this good news? I posit the notion that much of this success has to do with the clarification of Federation’s message. Yes, Federation has always been about community. Giving to the annual campaign was never simply giving support to Federation, but rather a recognition of the work such investments underwrites across the community—here in Minnesota, in Israel, and around the world. But that sense of community had been waning—or at least positive discourse about it had been.
I am so pleased that as I talk to members of the community from many walks of life, differing observance levels, varying economic strata, and opposed political views, the belief that Federation is a table at which everyone can sit is returning. We have work to do. Our organization is not as strong as it could be and there is more we can and want to do for the community. Part of our value proposition is that we are more than just annual campaign and can provide help and leadership in many areas. But this is a darn good start.
We will have the opportunity to come together as a community to celebrate last year’s accomplishments and dream about the next frontiers at our annual meeting. This will not be your bubbie’s annual meeting. On August 15, we are having a Glatt kosher, family friendly, BBQ to which all members of the community are invited. Our annual meeting should be more about celebrating the power and joy in our community and I hope to see everyone there.
On behalf of the professional and lay leaders of Federation, I thank you for your support and look forward to another wonderful year.