Thursday, February 27, 2014

Unrest in Ukraine: Jewish Federation Update

What's happening in Ukraine, and what Federation is doing about it 

It started in November with peaceful protests against government actions to strengthen political ties with Russia instead of the European Union. It snowballed over the next few months into violent confrontations between police and protestors, resulting in dozens dead, hundreds injured, a fugitive ex-President, and scenes of destruction that have gripped the world. Russia is performing massive military exercises near the border and pro-Russia gunmen have seized government buildings in Crimea. And it’s not over.

 Although the estimated 300,000 Jewish residents in the capital city of Kiev and throughout Ukraine are not outright targets of violence, it has touched them like everyone else. Some Jews in Kiev live close to Independence Square, site of protest encampments and some of February’s deadliest clashes, and are afraid to leave their houses. On February 23, the Giymat Rosa Synagogue in Zaporizhia, 250 miles southeast of Kiev, was firebombed. There are concerns about deepening divisions in the country and the rise of the radical right. But Jewish Federations and our partner agencies, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), the Jewish Agency for Israel, and World ORT, are there. Since we’ve supported Jewish life and organizations in Ukraine for decades, we were able to step up when the need for help intensified.
  • JDC has activated its emergency response network to ensure continued home deliveries of food, medicine, heating and cooking fuel, and sustained life-saving care at home for the elderly. JDC has increased security at select Jewish communal institutions and Hesed social welfare centers. For updates, please visit JDC's Ukraine dashboard.
  • The Jewish Agency has tapped its Emergency Assistance Fund, started in 2012, to bolster security at Ukraine’s many Jewish institutions, including synagogues, yeshivas and community centers. For more on the Jewish Agency's actions, please see this update and the Jewish Agency’s website.
  • World ORT has launched a campaign to raise $200,000 to fund increased security at four of its schools in Ukraine. Each school has several hundred students, many of whom travel to class through now-dangerous areas; the father of a student at the Chernovtsy school was killed during clashes in Kiev on February 20. Plans include hiring additional security guards and installing closed-circuit TV and alarm systems on school grounds. For more information on World ORT’s Ukraine programs and needs, please read ORT’s Ukraine prospectusand school security plan.
  • Additionally, NCSJ is sending out frequent communication briefs informed by various governmental, non-governmental, and Jewish communal sources. To receive updates, please visit NCSJ’s website.
These efforts, and so many more, are being funded by Jewish Federation dollars. Thank you, for supporting this critical work.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Michael Oren On Israel

Federation Men's Event speaker Michael Oren was recently published on CNN sharing his opinion on today's Israel.

  • Michael Oren: Israel sits in a region bristling with conflict and hostile to its presence
  • He says one topic stirring attention is number of streets named for women in Tel Aviv
  • Israelis have always lived with the threat of war, and put it in perspective, he says
  • Support for a two-state solution is strong in Israel today, he says

Torah High School Presents: Casino De Paris

Tarbuton Presents: The Israeli Play for Purim

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Implications of the Silver Tsunami

Did you know that by 2030 California will be home to four million more residents over the age of 65, pushing the number of seniors to nearly 20% of the state's population?
JCRC and JFS in partnership with Seacrest Village Retirement Communities explored the economic and social consequences of this growing population in the second of its Community Connections Series.   A panel of three experts- State Senator Marty Block, Jack Christy, Senior Policy Advisor for LeadingAge, CA and Paul Downey, President and CEO of Senior Community Centers shared their thoughts and answered questions about the challenges and opportunities before us, federal and state legislation and the need for advocacy.

The audience of 60, including 27 community partner organizations, were encouraged to stay informed, be active and be timely in advocacy.  Please join us to help influence decision makers on issues of concern to our community. 

Upcoming Events: 
April 25, 2014 (2:00-4:00pm) Local Advocacy Training with JPAC Lobbyists
May 12-13 JPAC Advocacy Day in Sacramento

Saturday, February 22, 2014

YAD Bowls for Israel

On February 6th Federation's Young Adult Division teamed up with the Israel and Overseas Center to welcome four extraordinary teens from Sha'ar HaNegev to San Diego. The teens are all from Kibbutz Nahal Oz, which is located one mile from the Gaza Border. They face the same struggles and challenges that teens in America face but with the additional stress from attacks from Gaza and the mass exodus of families from their Kibbutz.

The teens of kibbutz Nahal Oz made a film about their struggles and it was featured in the San Diego Jewish Film Festival. YAD got a sneak preview of the film at the event. After the film, YAD took to the bowling lanes to strike down pins to raise funds to send to Israel. Each lane was sponsored with a donor pledging 15 cents a pin for every pin knocked down on their lane. Individuals also had the opportunity to pledge for every pin they knocked down. There was over $1,100 raised for the teens to use in their Youth Program on the kibbutz.

Check out great pictures of the event, here.

If you are looking for fun ways to make a difference, don't miss the Superhero 5k on April 6th! Proceeds will benefit the One Happy Camper scholarship fund.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Ukraine Crisis - Latest Update

Federation partner, The American Jewish Joint Distribution Commitee (JDC) is on the ground, helping the Jews of Kiev. This morning, we wanted to share the latest with you on JDC's response to the continuing unrest in Ukraine.

Below is a real-time account of how we're bringing vital aid to homebound Kiev Jews, inx` areas where dozens of people have been killed in clashes between protesters and security forces in recent days.

We are sharing this information broadly and encourage you to please do the same among your networks.

JDC's Alena Druzhynina entered the tense Independence Square area to bring a package of food to Mihail Solomonovich, an 82-year-old pensioner who has been homebound since the worst of the violence began.

"When Mihail received food package provided by Kiev Hesed, he said it was one of the most long-awaited and bright visits he ever had," Druzhynina wrote from Kiev. "[Solomonovich] lives alone in a one-room apartment and barely moves around, but his eyes were full with pride and gratitude," she added.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Federation Chesed Home in the News!

Jewish Federation innovation grantee Chesed Home was covered in San Diego Jewish World this week, in an article highlighting the importance of this unique facility in San Diego.  Chesed Home has been granted three years of innovation grants from Federation, and has thus far, used that seed money to leverage more than $250,000! Chesed Home opened it's doors to provide care for adults with mental illness more than 6 months ago, and we're proud to say, has continued to thrive!

Read this exciting article by Don Harrison, editor SDJW, below.

Friday, February 7, 2014

San Diego Jewish Academy Launches jBid

jBid Goes Live

February 6, 2014             
6 Adar 1, 5774

Dear SDJA Families and Friends,

jBid is now LIVE!

jBid is San Diego Jewish Academy's online auction benefitting the Every Child Campaign. The auction will run for two weeks and is scheduled to close at 11:59 pm on Thursday, February 20th.

Please check jBid often as we are still receiving new auction items to add to our already exciting lineup of sporting events, awards shows, concerts and more.

This year we are auctioning off tickets to the Primetime Emmy Awards in Los Angeles, the MTV Video Music Awards in New York and the One Direction concert at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena!

We also have vacation packages including a penthouse apartment in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, vacation stays at Los Veneros in Puerta Vallarta and Las Ventanas in Los Cabos, and a couple of "staycation" packages in San Diego's Gaslamp district.

There's art, jewelry, unique experiences, dining, and much, much more! Click here to see for yourself!

jBid also features two special events: A fun-filled evening of Adults-Only Dodgeball right here at SDJA and a very special Donor Appreciation Event:

Film Forward in association with Museum of Photographic Arts
  is partnering with San Diego Jewish Academy to Present: 

A Private Screening of Dancing in Jaffa to be held at the
San Diego Museum of Photographic Arts (MOPA)
including a Private Reception and Q & A with the Director - Hilla Medalia.
Thursday, March 6, 2014, 6:30 pm Reception / 7:15 pm Screening. 

Reserve your seats through the Event listing at jBid.  
We only have 200 seats available, so reserve your complimentary seats now!

Thank you for your support.