10 things I’ve learned as Federation CEO in 2015

It’s nearly the end of the year. Close enough to the end, at least, that I’m starting to see it. Here’s what I learned in 2015…

  1. You can’t stand still in a time of change. You have a responsibility to adapt, to test, to question your assumptions. Even to make mistakes.
  2. It’s about engagement and dialogue. We’ve diverted a lot of resources this year to help us communicate, engage, and inspire.
  3. We’re bigger than the geographic boundaries that we sometimes think define us. They don’t. Super Sunday this year was astonishingly powerful because one of our sites was in Israel. To sing “Hatikvah” together by live video, and to celebrate community and philanthropy together, were amazing innovations. No one’s ever had a Super Sunday like that before – and we’ll make it even more Super next year.
  4. We can’t do this work without our partners – 27 local agencies and schools and more than 80 synagogues at home, 14 national organizations, and 4 international organizations. They help implement the vision and values of our community.
  5. Our rabbis are critically important. Sometimes we get lost in focusing on the small percentage of issues that divide us. But instead, our rabbis can help us to think wider about the high percentage of issues that unite us. When we say klal yisrael (the collective People of Israel), we should mean it – we’re bigger than just the sum total of our institutions. Community is bigger than bricks and mortar. It includes values, and learnings, and belonging. It includes all of us.
  6. Leadership is vital. And leaders aren’t born. They’re trained. The more training and educational opportunities we offer today, the more we’ll benefit tomorrow. We have some amazing and inspiring leaders in this community. I’m privileged to work with them.
  7. Social media is the intersection of humanity and technology.
  8. I’m glad my kids are growing up here.
  9. Building Israel is about building people. But also about planting trees.
  10. Having a strong, healthy, vibrant community with excellent programs, inspiring agencies, and meaningful touchpoints doesn’t just mean that we need your support. It means that if you care about these things, you’ve got a way to do something about it. If your vision is to care for Jews in need, to build Jewish lives, and to save the world, one person at a time – now is the time to make your philanthropic dollars count. Every dollar you donate makes a difference. Click here (or the red button at the top of the page) to make a gift now – thank you.


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