March 21, 2023

This is an exciting time of the year. Students are preparing for Spring Break, and high school seniors are getting college acceptance letters. Families are starting to think about summer plans. (Shameless plug…don’t forget to sign your kids/grandkids up for Camp Gan Shalom this summer.) Warmer weather should be on the horizon shortly. March Madness has hit the Sweet Sixteen, and the start of the baseball season is just around the corner.  


And, in the Jewish calendar, we are inching closer and closer to the start of Passover. Later this week (on Thursday), you will receive our annual Passover Holiday Resource Guide, so watch your inbox for it. But, before you receive it, I wanted to provide you with an update on the Jewish Federation’s effort to increase the availability, selection, and centralized purchase of Passover food at our local grocery stores. 


Following a request from a community member back in 2021 to try and get a better selection of Passover food, I have been working with four grocery store chains (Vons, Ralphs, Gelson’s (La Canada), and Stater Bros.) to do just that. Our goal is to help them better understand our community – where we live, and based on this information, where they should plan to have larger displays. And in one case (Vons), I have even been able to get them to stock kosher chicken at one of their Pasadena (Colorado/Sierra Madre) stores and waiting to hear if they could do the same at their La Verne store. 


With this in mind, our next Federation FOCUS should arrive in your mailboxes by the beginning of next week. In this issue, you will not only read about some highlights from the last few months but also go “behind the scenes” to see some of the critical work we do for the community that often goes unnoticed but is vital to ensuring that the community feels supported and that its concerns are represented. This triannual newsletter was born out of the information we continue to glean from the results and feedback from the Community Survey we conducted back in 2021. Other information is also being utilized as the Jewish Federation takes a strategic look at the programs and services we provide in and for our community.  


I also want to bring to your attention our next series of security trainings we are providing to the community next month, with the help of Secure Community Network. These trainings are being offered twice – once in the eastern part of our community at Temple Beth Israel of Pomona (Wednesday, April 19) and once in the western part of our community at Pasadena Jewish Temple & Center (Thursday, April 20). This in-person training will provide hands-on, real-life situation drills to better prepare all of us for when there is an active shooter threat incident, and we are there while it is happening. There is strong evidence that trainings like this CAN help save your life. So, please sign up and plan to attend either training. 


I hope you continue to have a good week, and we look forward to sharing our 2023 Passover Resource Guide with the community this Thursday! 


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