As I have shared before… I love my job. Yes, it can be very challenging and at times it can be amazing. I love being able to help provide opportunities to not only engage and connect, but make lasting impact on the lives of our local Jewish community.
Let me explain what I mean.
As I have shared in previous columns here and in JLife SGPV, I have been developing a comprehensive security plan for our community in partnership with Secure Community Network (SCN). I have since shared this plan with the professional and lay leaders of our community partners (i.e. our local synagogues and schools). One aspect of this plan includes a series of security trainings to be run by SCN… the same organization that Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville, TX used to train its members and attributed their survival from the hostage situation that took place in January.
In addition to these trainings, yesterday I had a meeting with the FBI about how they might be able to participate with us in the implementation of our security plan. Not only did they agree to conduct a series of additional trainings around cyber-security/Internet Safety for Youth and Teens, and Financial Security (i.e. avoiding money scams) trainings, but they would also like to use our security plan as a model to share with other faith-based communities. (Further details about our community security plan will be shared in the August issue of JLife SGPV.)
Immediately following this meeting, I then got to spend the rest of my day at Camp Gan Shalom. I never realized how much I missed being at camp every day during the summer. Seeing the faces of the campers as they painted watercolors, and more specifically the look of pride they exuded as they showed their counselor their creation was unbelievable. Having a camper read my mind, doing my favorite magic trick for a group of campers, and even playing a few games of handball and shooting hoops with some campers reminded me of how important the experiences we provide through camp have on our community’s youth.
You may not be aware of it, but the Jewish Federation’s fiscal year ended a little under two weeks ago. And during this past fiscal year, the support we raised from the community for our annual campaign was the largest we have received in the last TEN years. It is the result of this kind of support that the Jewish Federation is able to work towards enhancing the safety and security of our community, providing lasting memories of fun experiences that take place in a Jewish camp setting, and so much more! This is the power of community… people giving what they can and all of those funds being pooled together to make incredible things and experiences possible.
Thank you to everyone who has helped make all of this possible!