The St. Louis Jewish Federation has declared this month Solidarity September, with the hopes that during the High Holiday season the community will pitch in to help the Federation reach the goals it has set to help the local Jewish community and the greater Jewish community.
Barry Rosenberg, executive vice president of the Federation, said the two major goals the Federation is looking to meet are to complete the special campaign for the Israel emergency and to meet or exceed the 2006 Federation Annual Campaign goal of $10.8 million.
“Over the next 30 days, we will be asking those who have not yet done so to make a contribution to the Israel Emergency Campaign, and those who have not yet done so to make their 2006 gift to the Federation Annual Campaign,” Rosenberg said.
Thus far the Federation has raised approximately $7 million toward its annual campaign goal, and has raised approximately $2.2 million toward its Israel Emergency Campaign goal, which is $2.5 million.
“We want to communicate to the community that though the war has stopped there is still tremendous need in Israel that we have to meet,” Rosenberg said. “We have tens of thousands of people who require counseling for trauma, we have an economy that needs to be rebuilt, and we have schools and community centers and libraries that need reconstruction … The needs are pressing, even though missiles aren’t flying.”
Rosenberg said the Federation has had a lot of success this year and has addressed a number of crises and emergencies successfully — listing among those the Israel crisis, the security situation, power outages, and Hurricane Katrina.
“We think that the Federation has done a good job in providing leadership and mobilizing the community around the crises,” he said, “but that has taken a lot time and has diverted some of our energy, and we need to refocus on the Annual Campaign at the same time as we finish the Israel Emergency Campaign.”
The Federation will be sending out letters to local congregations and agencies asking for their help in energizing the Jewish community to support the Federation’s ongoing services and special needs by bringing the message to their congregants and members during the holidays, and asking the community to help the Federation reach its goals.
Keren Douek is an assistant editor and can be reached at [email protected]