October 19, 2023

Curating Your GMW Jewish Experience

Andrea Bergman Community Concierge

A young dad is offered a new job in Greater MetroWest and is looking for Jewish schools. They reach out to Federation for guidance, and we connect them to a local realtor and our local Jewish schools. They find a house, move in, enroll their child in the school, receive a GMW Right Start gift voucher to help cover the tuition, AND meet other young families at our local PJ Library Family Fun in the Sun backyard gathering.  

“We feel blessed to move to this wonderful community that has been friendly, super welcoming, and supportive,” they said.    

An out-of-state octogenarian is looking to move into a 55+ Active Adult Retirement Community where he can meet other Jewish people. We connected him to residents of three different communities, and he is currently waiting to hear if he can get an apartment in his first choice. Once he settles in, we will help him find a synagogue and connect him with programs and services that meet his needs.   

A couple wants to know what they can do to show their support for friends who are currently in Israel. I direct them to our Israel at War Resource webpage, invite them to join us at the march in Livingston, and tell them how they can donate to the Emergency Fund for Israel.    

What do these people have in common? They are looking to build their Jewish community in a way that is meaningful to them. Now more than ever, finding Jewish community feels critical to experiencing a sense of belonging.    

Federation is committed to being your go-to source for all things Jewish in Greater MetroWest (Essex, Morris, Union, Sussex, or Somerset County) and created a new role – Community Concierge – based on data from our 2020 Jewish Community Study. This position is part of our new Welcoming and Inclusion Initiative, aiming to lower barriers to getting involved and taking advantage of Greater MetroWest’s excellent resources.  

Much like a hotel concierge who knows exactly who to call and what to recommend in their respective city, I am that friendly and welcoming professional tapped into this community to help you chart and identify your personal Jewish experience here in Greater MetroWest. I am  here to help you find what you need whether you’re new to the area, planning on moving here, or are a long-time resident… whether you’re looking for a synagogue, help finding a job, or a new group of friends… or whether you want resources for yourself or a family member, ideas on how to connect to local Jewish life, or advice on how to help those in need.     

I can connect you with the many incredible communal assets in Greater MetroWest, including local social service providers (Did you know we have three Jewish community centers and four Jewish day schools?), synagogues, day and sleepaway camps, early childhood centers, as well as the resources and programs we offer at Federation. I can also help you with items outside the Federation circle – ask and I’ll see what I can do!     

Our team is hosting events to ensure we meet, connect with, and engage all who want to find us. Through social media and print ad campaigns, we are promoting Greater MetroWest as a wonderful Jewish community where anyone and everyone can find meaningful ways to get involved. You can find us at secular and Jewish community events, like town menorah lightings, Pride festivals, and more, and our Welcome webpage is a one-stop shop for all things Greater MetroWest. As we continue to build this new program, we want to get the word out about our efforts and this incredible service we provide. Please help us spread the word!  

For more information and to get in touch, check out our Welcome webpage or contact me at concierge@jfedgmw.org. I can’t wait to hear from you!