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Spring 2022 Quarterly Impact Report Flipbook PDF

Spring 2022 Quarterly Impact Report




Dear Community, Every day, we see shocking, heartbreaking images from Ukraine. Innocent people, including Jews who had built up a vibrant community over decades, now caught up in the chaotic horror that has been inflicted on their country. Millions fleeing for their lives with little more than the clothes on their backs. A humanitarian catastrophe reverberating across the globe.

Nancy B. Greer PRESIDENT & CEO

The Ukraine crisis has brought home, in an all-encompassing way, the fundamental importance of your Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle’s work in keeping Jewish life strong and taking care of Jews wherever Jews light candles on Shabbat, gather at Passover Seders, and find connection, beauty, and meaning in Judaism. It is work we do because generous people like you make it all possible. Your Federation has responded to the Ukraine crisis with the urgency it has required. The Federation’s Board approved a $100,000 grant for emergency relief that our international partners, the Jewish Agency for Israel and American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, are undertaking on the ground. These agencies are providing food, medicine, and other essential care for vulnerable Jews in Ukraine’s embattled communities; securing Jewish institutions; helping families escape the violence and find refuge in neighboring countries; and supporting the thousands of Ukrainian Jews who are making Aliyah and starting new lives in our Jewish homeland.

David Isenberg BOARD CHAIR

Your Federation is participating in and administering the Seattle Jewish Community Ukraine Challenge, a joint effort by six local Jewish organizations, including your Federation, to raise matching funds from generous people in Jewish Puget Sound for crisis response. Community leaders have contributed over $1.1 million to match donations that will be used for humanitarian aid overseas and for local resettlement of Ukrainian refugees by Jewish Family Service. We will continue to send you regular updates via email about the crisis and what we can do together to help. In this issue of the Quarterly Impact Report, we are sharing with you stories of how our international partners are responding to the crisis— how your generosity is saving lives and caring for our mishpacha. Because anytime Jews are in need anywhere, we are there for them. Kol Yisrael Arevim Zeh Bazeh - All Jews are responsible for one another. Thank you for caring so much. Thank you for all that you do.

Every year, with your generous support, the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle brings Israeli emissaries to spend a year in our community. The shinshinim are engaging young adults who help strengthen ties with our Jewish homeland by giving us a taste of Israeli life through activities and programs for people of all ages. This year, we have welcomed Mor Ben Haim and Or Chen Worcman to Jewish Puget Sound. In a recent interview, Mor and Or Chen shared their thoughts about their experiences and impact as shinshinim. Many thanks to our shinshinim program partners, the Jewish Agency for Israel, Congregation Beth Shalom, Minyan Ohr Chadash, and Seattle Hebrew Academy. (Interview edited for length and clarity. You can read the full interview at


and personal bonds. To show Israel from a different perspective and how I, Mor, see Israel. My wish at the end of the year is to leave a mark and stay in touch with the community, who made Seattle feel like home. OR CHEN: I come from a family of Shlichim (emissaries),

Or Chen and Mor

the fifth generation. The importance of Jewish Israeli connections is something that I grew up thinking and caring about. This program is an opportunity to create those important relationships.

WHAT ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT IMPACTS THAT YOU HAVE MADE ON SEATTLE’S JEWISH COMMUNITY? MOR: Showing how diverse Israel is. One of the things that was important for me to share was a holiday

called Nove godine that is usually celebrated by people who did Aliyah from the former Soviet Union. For many members of the community, that was the first time they heard about the holiday, and it felt amazing sharing my story and culture growing up in a Balkan-Jewish household. OR CHEN: I can give 50 lectures and activities on all sorts of Israeli things, but the truth is it’s all about the

side conversations, the Shabbat meals, the relationships with host families, teachers in school, and of course, the students and chanichim (campers). So, I think my impact comes from those, the relationships and friendships that I’ve built. WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO STRENGTHEN CONNECTIONS BETWEEN ISRAEL AND THE DIASPORA ? MOR: With modern times and everything going

to technical, as an outcome, the connection can become loose. I believe that because of that we need the strength of the connection even more. Getting to learn from one another and work together for a better tomorrow.

OR CHEN: Israel is the one Jewish country. It doesn’t

matter if a Jew lives in Israel or outside of it, if you are a citizen or not, Israel is home, and we should all feel we belong there. What better way to feel you belong than to have a close friend?

UKRAINE CRIS Your Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle thanks you for your generosity in coming to the aid of Ukraine’s Jewish community in their time of crisis. One hundred percent of 585 donated funds that totaled $151,743 as of 3/16/22 will be used to help our international partners who are on the ground helping Ukrainians by providing critical services—delivering food and medicine, securing schools and other Jewish institutions, helping internally displaced people, housing people in transit, and much more. In addition, your Federation’s Board allocated $100,000 for emergency assistance to Ukraine’s Jewish community. All of these funds were sent to Jewish Federations of North American to allocate to our partners on the ground.


The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee

Volunteers serving hot soup to stranded Ukrainians Together, we are helping our mishpacha. Whenever any Jew is in danger anywhere, we are all responsible to come to their aid. We are praying for peace and helping those in need. Thank you for doing your part!

Everything was going well for Svetlana and her mother Ida. Until war came to Ukraine. Alarms. Sirens. Bombing. Every day, amidst the violence and chaos, they sat fearfully in their apartment. “We couldn’t have ever have imagined it,” Ida said.

Then, Svetlana and Ida received a phone message from the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee’s local Hesed center. Go to the train station at a set time. There, the family boarded a bus that took them to safety in Moldova. There, they received food, shelter, and refuge from the horrors of war. Svetlana and Ida are among the thousands of Jewish refugees who have fled Ukraine to safety through your Federation’s international partner JDC. You helped Svetlana and Ida escape from the war. You are giving them food, a roof over their heads, and best of all, a safe haven. Through your support of Federation, you are helping Ukrainian Jews in their hour of need. Thank you!



The Jewish Agency for Israel Natalia and her family were living in Kyiv when war broke out on February 24. Before dawn that morning, they heard the frightening noise of bombing. She and her husband Andrei swiftly gathered their children, jumped into their car, and drove 20 hours straight to Lviv in western Ukraine. Yet once they arrived, they were unsure what to do next … until the Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI) got in touch with the family and urged them to head for Warsaw. Natalia and her family decided they wanted to make Aliyah. You are making it possible for thousands of besieged Ukrainian Jews like Natalia’s family to find refuge in our Jewish homeland. Through your support of Federation, you are providing resources for our international partners like JAFI to come to the aid of Jews who need our help. Says Natalia, “I do not care that we have nothing here, no clothes and no belongings. All I want is for my entire family to be safe and together in Israel.” Natalia and her family will find safety and peace as they start new lives in Israel. Thank you for providing that helping hand and being there for our mishpacha.

Artyom and Lubov Gershtman You help Ukrainian Jews make Aliyah and build new lives in peace and security in our Jewish homeland. Artyom and Lubov Gershtman immigrated to Israel eight months ago and are now attending an ulpan (Hebrew school) run by our international partner, the Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI). The couple is very fearful for the safety of their parents and siblings who live in the war zone close to Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv. The ulpan staff are doing all they can to support Artyom and Lubov and attend to their needs. To further help immigrants with family still in Ukraine and Ukrainian Jews looking to make Aliyah, JAFI has opened an emergency hotline, available in Ukrainian, Russian, and Hebrew, to help Ukraine’s Jewish community and provide guidance on making the move to Israel. You are coming to the aid of Ukrainian Jews at this very difficult time. Whenever our mishpacha are in danger anywhere, we are here for them, because of your generosity. Thank you!


Your Federation is proudly administering the Seattle Jewish Community Ukraine Challenge, a community-wide collaboration, which will match your donations dollar-fordollar to meet the needs of Ukrainians oversees and refugees resettled in Washington State by Jewish Family Service (JFS). One hundred percent of your donation will be forwarded to our partners on the ground overseas and to JFS. Please donate today at:




You are bringing our community exciting experiences for learning and connecting.

With Rabbi Mishael Zion of the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America

Yom Ha’atzmaut Community Celebration Gili Yalo in Concert


In partnership with Stroum Jewish Community Center and Hillel UW

MAY 15


Other opportunities in our vibrant, thriving Jewish Community: jewishinseattle @jewishinseattle @jewishinseattle

A Night to Remember: Preparing for the Seder


Coming Home: The Next Chapter for Ethiopian Olim


In partnership with the Jewish Agency for Israel

Your Federation invites you to our 2022 Annual Meeting. Get caught up on the impact YOU make through your support of Federation!


Federation Annual Meeting