Passover Appeal 2022

I am writing to request that our community support your Jewish Federation by contributing to our Passover Appeal. As we celebrate our people’s freedom and work to ensure that the Jewish people, and others, can be free from economic deprivation, hate and fear, I ask you to consider the Federation’s central role in pursuing the goals of the Jewish community. In keeping with the eight days of Pesach, I will provide eight specific areas demonstrating that we uniquely make a difference in the lives of every Jewish person and Jewish institution in Western and Northwestern Connecticut. Here they are:

  1. We bring our community together and lift up our constituent institutions;

  2. We provide community-wide programs and events;

  3. We provide much needed financial support;

  4. We engage in legislative and political advocacy;

  5. We stand up for Israel;

  6. We combat Antisemitism and all forms of hate;

  7. We are taking significant steps to enhance Jewish security; and

  8. We rally our community and respond to crises in a manner that could not be achieved if there were no Federation.

  1. Elevating and serving the needs of all of our Jewish institutions. In everything we do, we work to support and highlight the achievements and value of the synagogues, day school and other Jewish organizations in Western and Northwestern Connecticut. We include our community Rabbis and Cantors in all of our major programs. We bestow annual Habonim awards to volunteers who make a difference to each our community’s institutions. And those honored volunteers are selected by organizations themselves. I could go further. However, as you read on you will see that supporting our community institutions is fundamental to all of the efforts of the Federation.


  2. Financial Support. We provide grants and allocations to support an amazing array of institutions and individuals in our Region: a) Every year, we provide financial support to synagogues and day schools who educate our community’s children. As a result, the Federation supports the Jewish education of approximately 800 students on an annual basis; b) The Federation provides campership funding for over 200 Jewish students on an annual basis; c) The Federation provides college scholarships to approximately 15 students on an annual basis; d) As part of our Partnership2Gether program, in conjunction with other Southern New England Jewish Federations, we provide funding for many social service projects in our sister region of Afula-Gilboa in Israel; e) However, we also provide additional funding for yet another 15 or so social service agencies in Israel and in the former Soviet Union; and f) finally, in terms of financial support, the Federation also provides assistance to Jewish community members in need and is proud to support more than 20 local secular charitable organizations meeting the needs of our friends and neighbors throughout our Region.


  3. Events and Programs. The Jewish Federation also provides Jewish education and social programs that offer enrichment, community building and just plain fun for all of us. Even during the pandemic, these programs flourished. Our Women’s Seder, our Yom HaShoah program, our Jewish Security program and our Campaign Kickoff event were all very well attended by clergy and community members from across our Region.


  4. Legislative and Political Leadership. The Federation furthers its mission through legislative and political advocacy and leadership. With the help of JFACT, the statewide organization formed by all of our State’s Jewish Federations, we make sure that the interests of the Jewish community and Jewish values are represented at the State and the Federal levels. In the past year, we have had Connecticut’s entire Congressional delegation speak to the Statewide Jewish community about the recent series of anti-Semitic attacks in our country. JFACT also helped to organize a very important and successful trade mission to Israel led by our Governor, Ned Lamont. This year, your Federation also worked with Senator Murphy and others to increase the available funding for Nonprofit Security Grant program, which is so important for the protection of Jewish community members and institutions.


  5. Support for Israel. The Federation takes a lead role in mobilizing Jewish community support for Israel and in helping others understand Israel and the challenges it faces from its neighbors. We were honored to have Ambassador Meron Reuben address our community as part of our Campaign Kickoff event. In addition, when Israel was attacked by Hamas in May and Israeli civilians were targeted with thousands of missiles, your Federation was quick to release a strong statement of support for Israel. That statement, which was sent to our entire community and picked up in a number of community newspapers, plainly explained the terrorist and genocidal nature of Hamas and helped people to understand that Israel had no choice but to protect its population. A number of community Rabbis were kind enough to take the time to thank us for the speed and the clarity of the message. In recent weeks, we have been horrified to see Israel has been hit with a number of gruesome terrorist attacks. Your Federation will always continue to work to ensure that our political leaders and our community are there for Israel.


  6. Combatting Antisemitism. Clearly, this has been a very difficult year in many ways, and especially as measured in the rise of Antisemitism. Hate crimes targeting Jews and Antisemitic incidents increased substantially. Our Federation, along with the other six Federations in Connecticut organized a “Shine a Light on Antisemitism” program to raise awareness of the growing threat of Antisemitism during the eight days of Chanukah. We were honored that Governor Lamont held a joint press conference with the Federations to show his support for the Jewish community. When swastikas appeared in our community in Newtown and Southbury, and when Jewish people in Waterbury faced harassment and ugly comments on their way to synagogue, we were there to represent the Jewish community and to work with political leaders and law enforcement officials. When UConn Hillel students were condemned and marginalized for having the temerity to tell the truth about Israel, we stand with the students and remind everyone that Jewish voices will not be silenced by bullies and haters. During last year’s Yom HaShoah commemoration, I spoke about newer forms of Antisemitism, which are often expressed as virulent and unreasoned hatred for Israel and for those who stand up for Israel. Unfortunately, we see more evidence of that brand of Antisemitism. We need a strong Federation to educate and mobilize our community and to work with our political and law enforcement leaders whose help we need to protect our students on campus and to fight the hate facing Israel and people like us who care about Israel.


  7. Jewish Communal Security. The Federation has a uniquely important role in enhancing Jewish communal security. Although Colleyville was a reminder that our community institutions and people are at risk, your Federation had addressed our security needs long before the hostage crisis in Texas. We can’t provide a thriving and joyful Jewish life when we do not feel safe. We have approximately 14 Jewish institutions with buildings in Western and Northwestern Connecticut. While the leaders of every one of our institutions recognize the need for better protection and training, it is not so easy for the leadership of each institution to know exactly what to do to accomplish that better protection and training. This is a classic scenario in which a Federation can provide unique help. And our Federation found a way to provide that help. Michael Shanbrom, a former Special Agent for the FBI, has been hired and trained by Secure Community Network to be the Regional Security Advisor for Southern and Western Connecticut. In fact, our Federation was one of the first small Federations nationwide that took on the responsibility of hiring a Regional Security Advisor. Mike has already provided security trainings and security assessments to almost all of the institutions in our Region. Bearing the cost of a Regional Security Advisor is not inexpensive. However, it is a service that the Jewish community needs and deserves. And it is a service that your Federation is honored to provide.


  8. Crisis Response. Your Federation is in the business of responding to crises, both locally and around the globe. We have the ability to raise and channel funding to the people on the ground who are responding to the crisis. This ability has been demonstrated by our response to the war in Ukraine. Our community knows that all of the proceeds provided as part of the Ukraine campaign go directly to supporting Jewish and other refugees. The Jewish Federation system has already raised over $40,000,000 in this effort. Just as important, through our relationships with the Joint Distribution Committee and the Jewish Agency for Israel, we have partners and colleagues on the ground working with the people who need the help. We are so thankful for the outpouring of support from our community, and very proud that you recognize that the Federation is the organization to go to in times of crisis.

I fully believe that if there were no Federation of Western Connecticut, it would be very difficult and, perhaps, impossible to replicate the good that has been and will continue to be achieved by your Federation. I thank you for your support and for helping us to fulfill our mission.

Click here to support your Federations Passover Appeal



If you have any questions or suggestions for the Federation, please contact me by email or phone at: or 203-267-3177 Ext. #304