The unsettling rise of antisemitism in our country has shaken many in our community, leaving people wondering how to fight the oldest hatred.
On Tuesday, in Washington, DC, we took concrete steps to answer that question.
250 Cabinet Members and Alumni from across 50 communities answered a call for action, gathered in the nation's capital, and made a commitment to respond to the growing threat of antisemitism.
The Cabinet Activation was not just a convening, but the start of a long-term commitment to advocacy efforts, including the launch of the Jewish Federations' Advocacy Corps to mobilize on urgent issues and advocate for policies that address the needs of the Jewish community.
At the event, we secured a commitment from the Biden administration to fill the role of Ambassador to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism at the State Department in the coming weeks, and met with top Congressional leaders who are spearheading the fight against antisemitism. We also announced that the competitive process for the 2021 Nonprofit Security Grant Program, which Federations worked hard to make accessible to vulnerable nonprofits around the country, resulted in roughly $115 million in security aid to the Jewish community.
As part of part of our LiveSecure campaign to ensure the safety of every Jewish community across the country, we continue to advocate strongly for Congress to double the NSGP to $360 million next year.
In coming together, we redoubled our commitment to call out antisemitism, fight to meet the needs of our community, and exclaim unequivocally that we are proud to be Jewish.
Kol Hakavod to our new Cabinet Co-Chairs Lindsey Glantz and Aron Karabel, our outgoing Cabinet Co-Chairs Marisa Polin and Ari Ackerman, and our National Young Leadership Strategic Growth and Alumni Engagement Committee Co-Chairs Rachel Hoffer and Adam Miller for the incredible work they did on this event.
Speaking to the crowd, poet Tova Ricardo inspired us with the reminder of how Jews have always overcome adversity.
"The greatest revenge," she said of Jews facing down hatred and enmity, "is to be more Jewish every day."
The activation was particularly poignant following our two consecutive Israel solidarity missions, which were resounding successes.
During that time, we were among several JFNA and Federation leaders, including National Campaign Chair Julie Platt, who attended the swearing-in of Isaac “Bougie" Herzog as Israel's new president.
In one of his first official acts as president, Herzog attended the dedication of the Amigour Joseph Wilf Home for the Elderly, named for Mark's late father.
The missions, and the wonderful events with President Herzog, were beautiful and poignant ways to be reminded that we are indeed one people, and that, through highs and lows, we stand together united.
This Shabbat is Shabbat Chazon, the sabbath of “consolation.” Shabbat Chazon immediately follows Tisha B’av, the day set aside for mourning the destruction of the Temples and for remembering other major disasters in Jewish history.
There cannot be a more appropriate time to say loudly and clearly that we will never allow these tragedies to be repeated. We will not allow our Jewish community to be threatened by antisemitism nor our beloved Eretz Yisrael demonized. Federation leaders are rising up and showing the way. The true consolation for this Shabbat is that our organized Jewish community is strong and ready for whatever may come.
Shabbat shalom and Am Yisrael Chai.
Mark Wilf, Chair
Eric Fingerhut, President and CEO