Unless you were living under a rock in the 90's, you knew of the smash broadway hit Rent written and directed by the late Jonathan Larson. The play, based loosely on Giacomo Puccini's opera La Boheme, had many memorable songs, but none more than Seasons of Love. The beginning of the song asks a very poignant question, "525,600 minutes - how do you measure, measure a year? In daylights, in sunsets, in midnights, in cups of coffee, asks in inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife. In 525,600 minutes - how do you measure a year in the life?"
I was reminded of this song because on November 2nd I celebrated my one year anniversary with the Jewish Federation of Las Vegas. I thought of Seasons of Love because my first year with the Jewish Federation has been an accumulation of several minutes, moments, meetings, cups of coffee, and terrific experiences. While it feels like each minute of this past year has brought a different challenge or opportunity, there has been a constant throughout - there are needs in our community and in Jewish communities around the world that must be addressed. That was true in my first minute in the office, it was true on my 525,600th minute in the office, and it is true today.
Servicing the needs of our community is what drives me, my colleagues, and the leadership of the Jewish Federation. We are constantly assessing and addressing the needs of our local and global community and we are constantly working on new strategies to accomplish and provide the best service possible. But just as the needs are constant, so is one strategy that we will always employ to address these needs - the Annual Campaign for Jewish Needs.
The Annual Campaign for Jewish Needs is not only a vehicle for raising the funds to support the programs and initiatives of our community agencies and synagogues. It is also our collective answer to the family that can't afford Jewish education, to the infirm elderly that can't leave their homes for food or medical treatment, to the next generation that is seeking direction on how best to identify with their Jewish heritage, and to stand with our brothers and sisters in Israel. The Annual Campaign for Jewish Needs also provides an opportunity for members of our community to participate in the work that we are doing.
This year we are fortunate to have a wonderful opportunity provided by the Adelson Family Foundation. Every new or increased gift to the Federation, paid by December 31st, will be matched dollar for dollar up to $500,000. Therefore; if you gave $100 last year and increase to $200 this year, your $100 increase will be matched. If you've never given or did not give last year, any amount that you give this year will be matched dollar for dollar. There is no way in a blog post that I can truly articulate the impact that this opportunity can have on our community. What I can say is that it will allow the Jewish Federation to further enable our agencies and synagogues to protect Jewish life throughout Southern Nevada and will have an immeasurable impact on the future of our community.
Today is November 4th, our Annual Campaign for Jewish Needs ends on December 31st. I hope that you will take a few of today's 1,440 minutes - while you are reading this message - and consider making a gift to the Jewish Federation of Las Vegas Annual Campaign for Jewish Needs. If you've never given please do, if you've already made a gift, please consider making an increase. You can either call our office, 702.732.0556, log on to our website by clicking HERE or text-to-give from your phone “CFJN16” to 717-77.
Lastly, regardless of the ups and downs that come with the position of President & CEO of the Jewish Federation of Las Vegas, I continue to feel incredibly fortunate to be in this position and to serve this terrific community.
As always, I welcome your comments at email@example.com