Recently, we have heard a lot of terrible news. The awful shootings at the Kansas City JCC. New attempts on college campuses to delegitimize and demonize Israel. Reports of Ukrainian Jews being ordered to "register" by the authorities, which turned out to be the work of rogue provocateurs, and of synagogues in Ukraine being firebombed, which turned out to be horribly real.
Since I am a leader in Chicago's Jewish Federation, and active nationally with the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, when calamity strikes, my friends ask me what is happening. What are we, the organized Jewish Community, going to do? Are we ready?
The good news is: Yes, we are ready.
Thanks to you.
Thanks to your loyal support of the JUF Annual Campaign, and your commitment to the global Federation system that it funds.
For years, we-and our parents and our parents' parents-have built that Federation system, a worldwide infrastructure to ensure that we can meet the challenges of future emergencies and opportunities. The system is at work on the ground every day, providing essential services from Buffalo Grove to Buenos Aires and Simferopol to Sderot.
That Federation system-that infrastructure-is sustained, year in and year out, through our gifts to the JUF Annual Campaign.
Now, "infrastructure" isn't a sexy word. Neither is "planning" or "preparedness." But we, the committed members of the Chicago's Jewish community, have strategically invested in this capacity building because it is so important for the security and vitality of the Jewish People.
And our community knows it. We have seen the Federation system in action, airlifting Jews out of harm's way, rushing aid to terror attack survivors, reaching across the globe anytime, anywhere a Jew is in trouble. We know that this is the benefit and beauty of a Federation.
While we are vigilant about potential threats and dangers, we are also investing in programs for your kids and mine-Jewish preschools, days schools, camps, youth groups and Hillels-that will enhance and enrich our community. We understand that infrastructure is what makes it possible to do both, to mobilize sufficient time and resources to prepare for rainy days and for better days. To meet challenges and maximize opportunities.
As we reach the height of the 2014 JUF Annual Campaign season, thank you in advance for your commitment to the work of this system and its values. For your generosity to the Campaign that makes it all possible.
Yes, we are ready.
Thanks to you.
Skip Schrayer is Chairman of the Jewish Community Relations Council and Immediate Past Chairman of the Board of the Jewish United Fund/Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago.