Skip Navigation LinksHome > Reach by Laurie Barnett, President 12-20-13


A Periodic Update for Ann Arbor's Jewish Community
From Laurie Barnett, President
            Mary 30, 2014                   

It continues to be a busy time at Federation! Our 2014 Annual Campaign is well underway, we just hosted a contingent of students from Nahalal for two terrific weeks, 16 Ann Arbor teens will be going to Nahalal in February and we are drawing large numbers of enthusiastic community members to our programs and events, including Super Sunday!

We have raised almost $1.1 million so far in our 2014 Annual Campaign! We have many new and increased gifts. At Super Sunday last week alone, we cultivated 40 new campaign gifts. Thanks so much to those who have already pledged. And thank you to our tireless campaign solicitors, captains and chairs! We are really working hard to bring the campaign back up to its pre-recession level. So many great things are happening in our community. Your increased gift would allow us to continue to do even more. If you haven't yet heard from us, don't hesitate to contact Mimi Weisberg (734-677-0100) or donate online.

NOT EVERYTHING WE DO IS ABOUT FUNDRAISING, BUT WE CAN DO AMAZING THINGS BECAUSE OF THE FUNDRAISING WE DO. To me, this really explains Federation! To this end, the Federation Board recently created this description of how we are working to add value to our community:

As Federation works as a community builder to enhance Jewish Life, we aspire to:
*Be a unifying force in the community; an umbrella.
*Be a communal fundraiser and distributor of funds.
*Be the connective tissue that binds the community together.
*Listen to all community voices and represent all segments of the Jewish community.
*Help engender a robust, vibrant and inclusive Jewish life.
*Have the most comprehensive view of community needs.
        *Manage an effective/transparent allocations process.
        *Objectively study community needs, without bias.               
        *Diligently work with local agencies to anticipate future needs.
        *Identify and act to fill gaps in services in conjunction with local agencies.
*Connect Ann Arbor to the Jewish community in Israel and around the world.

These values are helping us to set goals and prioritize our activities. You can see why there is so much happening at our Federation, and why so many new connections are being made. We welcome your input and involvement.

Federation received 12 “letters of intent” for a wide range of projects for our Jewish Community Impact Fund grants. We look forward to receiving complete proposals by January 20, 2014, which we will then post on our website for everyone to see.  Following community voting during the month of February, we will announce the winners on March 14.

Our Maimonides Society drew nearly 200 healthcare professionals and community members on Sunday, December 8, when it hosted four fabulous expert panelists to discuss the impact of the Affordable Care Act. The program was informative and lively and introduced a lot of new people to Federation.

With a goal of building connections with other Jewish young people, two groups of young professionals are creating programs to meet their interests. Saturday Night Learning (SNL!) provides a forum for learning and discussion for people 40 and under, while the Jewish Young Professionals provides social opportunities for people in their 20s. We are very excited these groups are coming together and look forward to seeing what they do next. If you or someone you know is looking for a Jewish connection in these age groups, please contact
Rabbi Ilana Baden at the Federation.

Information and feedback from you, our community members, direct our efforts. If you have ideas or comments for us, we want to hear from you.

Wishing you and your family a very happy and healthy New Year!

Want to reach me?
Please contact me by email or 734-972-3845.