Farewell L’hitraot - Elliot Karp

L’hitraot!  It has been a sacred privilege and personal pleasure to have served as President & CEO of the Jewish Federation of Las Vegas for the past 6 ½ years.  

The vision of our Jewish Federation is to see “More Jews, Doing Jewish,” and I believe we have accomplished a great deal towards that goal…from our Jewish Emerging Leaders and Yesod Leadership Development programs to the Global Day of Jewish Learning, Birthright Israel, Hillel at UNR and UNLV, March of the Living and a myriad of community programming and activities. 

We have achieved a greater sense of communal collective responsibility as our Jewish Federation worked diligently to develop greater communication, cooperation and collaboration with our community partners and beneficiaries…
most especially our JCC, JFSA and four Jewish Days Schools as well as each of our community’s congregations… to meet the needs of our Jewish community; and to build, develop, support and sustain creative and dynamic Jewish life in Las Vegas, Israel and around the world.
We have developed and established similar partnerships and friendships with the greater Las Vegas community including important and meaningful relationships with our elected officials at the City, County, State and Federal levels; as well as impactful friendships with other nonprofits, social service agencies, religious and interfaith groups and ethnic communities across the Las Vegas Valley.  These deep friendships have benefited our Jewish community, Israel and the world Jewish community while at the same time helped to improve the quality of life for as Las Vegans, Nevadans and Americans.
And we have redefined our commitment and partnership with Israel through our close bond and relationship with Ramat HaNegev; the introduction of the Schlichut and Tzofim programs; as well as our advocacy efforts on behalf of Israel in Washington, Carson City in the Jewish and greater community of Las Vegas as evidenced by our work with Christians United for Israel.
While our Jewish Federation continues to face the challenge of raising the funds our Jewish community is certainly capable of providing…over the last 6 years we have raised more than $20 million in both the annual Jewish Federation Campaign, the Jewish Community Foundation and in special designated campaigns for everything from CUFI’s Night to Honor Israel, Birthright Israel and the Israel Emergency Fund to our community’s response to disasters from Nepal, Houston and the Ukraine.
I am proud of our accomplishments, achievements and successes; and yet, I believe there is still much, much more that can and must be accomplished in the Las Vegas Jewish community with the vision, leadership and determination of our Jewish Federation.

It takes an entire Jewish community to make that future possible; and it must become an important priority and effort for all Jewish leadership and members of our Jewish community to achieve the lofty vision of “More Jews, Doing Jewish.”  It cannot and should not be an effort of just a few people or organizations…
but rather a comprehensive and pervasive effort to insure a bright, vibrant and vital Jewish future for the entire Jewish community of Las Vegas.  I believe that working together, as we have done over this past 6 ½ years, in a spirit of cooperation and collaboration that Las Vegas can and will become an even better Jewish community.

This was both my professional and personal mission as President & CEO of the Jewish Federation.  I take leave knowing that I made a serious contribution to a bright future for the Jewish community in Las Vegas; and with the hope that my colleagues and friends will continue those efforts in the years to come.
I am grateful, thankful and indebted to so many who made my time in Las Vegas so meaningful and wonderful including all of our volunteer leadership; my professional colleagues at our community’s agencies and organizations; each of our cherished Rabbis and Cantors; our Jewish Educators, youth professionals and advisors; each and every contributor who gave generously to support our initiatives; our partners in the Greater Las Vegas community; and most especially my professional associates at the Jewish Federation who are, without a doubt, the most dedicated, passionate and hardworking colleagues a CEO could ever ask for or have the privilege of working alongside.  And of course I am grateful for the unparalleled support and unconditional love of my family…Sharon, Naomi and Joshua…who have always been a source of joy, hope, strength and inspiration.
Todah Rabah! Thank You! Shalom u L’hitraot!


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