Jewish Federation Annual Campaign
|Welcome to the world of Jewish Federation, where the values of compassion, charity, generosity and responsibility inspire us
to improve the quality of life for people in our community, in Israel and in over 70 countries every day.Whether caring for people in need or nurturing and sustaining Jewish identity for future generations, this is where our community comes
together as one. Where we, as a community, develop innovative responses to critical, often life threatening issues. Where anyone who needs
help can get it. Where an energized Jewish community grows and celebrates. And where everyone, including you, can make a world of
difference right now. Welcome.The Jewish Federation Annual Campaign is the most trusted fundraising vehicle in the world, raising nearly a billion dollars
every year to provide the basic infrastructure that supports the global Jewish community.By allocating your philanthropic dollars to ensure the greatest impact, your Jewish Federation has earned a reputation as a trusted,
effective charity that makes a real difference in your community and around the world.
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Together We do Extraordinary Things.
These were Steven’s opening remarks at the annual campaign event:
My name is Steven Shaffer. I am the President of the Jewish Federation of Peoria. You have just heard a number of stories from people right here in our community inspired by, helped by, and supported by the work of our organization. If you will indulge me for a moment, I would like to share my story with you as well.
In March of 2010, my wife, Tamara, had to undergo surgery to replace a valve in her heart. While the days ticked down before her operation, we wondered how we were going to manage a household with two children after Daddy would have to return to work, and Mommy would require extensive rest and be unable to lift more than a few pounds. Thanks to the federation network, we were able to locate a cadre of outstanding Bradley students to watch the kids for a number of weeks while Tamara recovered. These wonderful young women worked together in shifts throughout the day, enabling me to go to work without fear or worry. In addition, because of the Federation network, members of our community provided meals to us, giving us one less thing to worry about at this difficult time.
Had this been the extent of the support we received, it would have been sufficient for this organization to earn my gratitude as well as my support, but the week after Tamara retuned home from the hospital, tragedy struck. My father, who was living in Florida, suffered a heart attack and passed away unexpectedly. What had been a manageable challenge became suddenly a life turned upside down. As you can imagine, we were heart broken, and scared, and helpless to manage the situation. The federation network, however, immediately sprung into action, doubling the support we received. The community embraced us, grieved with us, supported us in so many ways, not the least of which was to help us find an emotional center and to see our way through the chaos. For this I will be eternally grateful to the federation and to our community. It is for this reason that I serve this organization so passionately today and support it as a major donor. It is why I have endowed my campaign pledge and am committed to ensuring the network’s sustainability well into the future.
You see, I realize all too vividly that each one of us is but one tragic moment away from being on the other side of the table, needing support rather than being able to provide it. I support Federation because Federation supports me. This is the power of the collective.
According to the most recent survey by the Jewish People Policy Planning Institute, there are approximately 13 million Jews living in the world today. 13 million. Think about that for a second. That’s less than .02% of the world’s population, or about one in every 457 people. That’s roughly equivalent to the population of the state of Illinois. 13 Million. Yet our contributions to this world, in the areas of art, science, law, politics, medicine, music, stage, screen, philanthropy, are so far greater than our number suggests. Why is this?
It’s because our values as a people and our strength as a community enable us to do extraordinary things together. We believe in the power of Chesed (Lovingkindness), Tzedakah (the obligation to provide for those in need), and Tikkun Olam (Repairing our Broken World). We place a premium on lifelong learning, on educating ourselves and our children. We offer our example of leadership for others to follow.
At Federation, we put these values into action everyday, doing as we are commanded, to become, a “light unto the nations.” We support Jewish education at all stages of life and levels of observance. We advocate on behalf of those who cannot. We reach out to those as yet unincluded. We offer a hand up to those who are down. We care for those who are in need. We sustain a strong, vibrant community for all to enjoy. And in so doing, we develop the leaders of tomorrow. And tonight, I am here to ask you to put our values into action in a very specific way.
I would like to start with the dedicated and professional staff that make sure the day-to-day business of the Federation is accomplished. As with most non-profits, they work twice as hard as their for-profit counterparts and earn half as much, but for them their work is a labor of love more than a love of labor. They do what they do because they relish the variety of challenges that each new day brings and because they are making a real difference in people’s lives. Carrie Dietz, our Adminstrative Assistant, who makes sure the calls are answered, and the newsletter is published, and the pledge cards are printed, and the conference room is prepared, and the agendas are sent out, and on and on and on. You ensure all the myriad small yet critical details are addressed, which they invariably always are efficiently and effectively. Diane Wetchler, our Accountant, who ensures the books are kept and the bills are paid. You are the embodiment of the words integrity and responsibility, and a key reason why our federation has earned so much of our community’s trust and respect. Katherine Kennedy, who makes sure our Seniors have the quality of life they so richly deserve. You are an angel of mercy, and such a vital part of the work we do. Vered Karasenty, yet another in an increasingly long line of amazing Schlichim, who educate and inspire both Jews and non Jews alike in our community. You give such a proud, humble, beautiful, welcoming face to our homeland. And our Executive Director, Susan Katz, whose name has become synonymous with the Jewish Federation of Peoria. You are a beacon for so many of us, helping us ignite the flame inside our hearts by answering the call to serve. Thank you all.
Then there are all the lay leaders whose passion for our mission leads them to give so much of themselves to our organization. My executive board, Jennifer, Ruth, Chuck, and Michelle. You are the driving force behind the Jewish Renaissance taking place in Peoria right now. Our board of directors, who represent every conceivable Jewish Demographic in our community, and who chair our committees, and who ensure the quality of the service we provide is always top shelf. You are setting the bar for your peers in other Jewish organizations, and you can be deeply proud of the work you do on behalf of federation.
And finally, those who made tonight possible. Our campaign cabinet, chaired by Annette Small, for whom being here today is truly evidence of her dedication. Our men’s co-chairs, Bruce Dien and Eric Dilts, who pair an unparalleled knowledge and understanding of Federation with an unbounded source of energy and innovation. Our women’s co-chairs, Randi Smith and Jenny Mann, who embody the spirit of young leadership that signals a bright and sustainable future for our community. Thank you for stepping in to manage the process that provides the lifeblood for our federation. Thank you to Andy and to Chuck for producing the videos. Thank you to Sheldon for serving as technical engineer. Thank you to the Par A Dice for donating the room and to all the staff for making this evening so special.
And finally, thank you to all of you for coming tonight, and for helping us sustain the ability to deliver the services on which we all depend. As you consider your pledge, I ask you to please listen to your heart and give as much as is comfortable, and perhaps a little more. The guidelines on the card are only a start based on your previous contributions. If you are able, please join me and my family, and the rest of our executive board at one of our many major donor levels – Lion of Judah, Pomegranate, Ben-Gurion or Maimonides. And also consider endowing your campaign gift so your legacy continues well beyond your years. It is never too early to begin planning this, but once it is too late, the power of our network is unfortunately that much weaker. If you are interested in learning more about endowments, please be sure to let us know.
The world can be an uncertain place, and it is easy to focus on the problems. But please remember that there is a solution and it begins with each of us. Thank you.
Click the image to the right to donate online:
You may send your contribution by mail payable to: The Jewish Federation of Peoria
Mailing address: The Jewish Federation of Peoria
2000 Pioneer Pkwy. Suite 10B
Peoria, IL 61615
Leave a Legacy, include the Jewish Federation of Peoria in your estate plan:
Your presence is needed. For your family. For the Peoria Jewish community. For Israel. For the Jewish people. A planned gift to your Jewish community enables you to be present forever. Whether your gift is used to provide for the needs of the Jewish poor, to assist the elderly, to rescue Jews in need around the world or to fight Anti-Semitism — no matter where or when in the future, you can be there to help. To learn more, contact the Jewish Federation of Peoria 689-0063 or click here.
Another is by using the GoodSearch ™ toolbar in your Web browser.
When you add the Jewish Federation of Peoria toolbar to Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox, each time you shop at one of the more than 1,300 participating stores, a percentage of what you spend will be donated to us at no extra cost to you. And you can even save money as Goodsearch offers up coupons and deals.
The toolbar also has a search box and each time you search the Internet, roughly a penny is donated to us. No registration is required. Surf over to www.goodsearch.com for more information.