My Big November Travel Plans


We’ve had wars and crises, challenges and opportunities, major setbacks and massive accomplishments this year. We’ve cared for hundreds of thousands at home, in Israel and around the world. We’ve built caring, kind, and compassionate community life. And we’ve saved many lives too.

And it’s not enough. We can do better. We can do more. We need to celebrate what we’ve done, and find new and exciting ways to do more. And we need to learn from others in our national system.

One of the aspects that fascinate me most about our national federation system is the sheer talent, the brain power, which exists there. There’s so much passion and energy. And the opportunity to get everyone together to share ideas, best practices, learn from incredible leaders – is unique in the Jewish world. There’s nothing and nowhere like a General Assembly of the continental Federation system to bring this passion and energy, together.

This year will be fascinating. Speakers include Chuck Todd, Justice Elana Kagan, Justice Stephen Breyer, NPR’s Nina Totenberg, Marlee Matlin, and many more. Incidentally, though they’re a terrific reason to sign up, they’re not the reason why I’m signing up.

The meetings and debates will be outstanding. They’ll be discussing inclusion, leadership, engagement, fundraising … you name it. If you’re interested in learning about the mechanics of Jewish community life, that would be a good reason to sign up. Although that’s not my reason.

The GA this year is right by DC, with some great site visits and special events planned. And our Federation will host a reception during the conference, so if you’re from here, consider yourself invited. First (and second) drink is on us. 

But those aren’t the reasons I’m signing up.

The reason I’m signing up is because I love the GA conferences. They energize me. They give me hope for the future of our community. They teach me about who we really are. And – most importantly – they encourage me. Because I walk out of a GA (exhausted, true) with a real sense that there’s a future leadership, that we have passionate and engaged professionals and lay leaders, and we can work together for our schools and synagogues and agencies.

So come with me. Consider yourself invited.* First drink’s on us. 

* But, you know, sign up too.

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