2020 in Review: Turning Challenge into Opportunity

In so many ways, 2020 has been too much, and we definitely have too much news to fit into one email, so we've divided it into three. Beginning with this one, each week until the end of the year, we’ll send a different set of success stories, including programmatic highlights and our vision of hope for the future. We're Here For You and Here For Good—today and tomorrow. 

2020 in Review: Turning Challenge into Opportunity

As we conclude another Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights, along with this year of darkness and challenge, I am struck by the dramatic change we have witnessed in our world in such a short time. But I also feel gratitude—for the resilience of our Jewish community in Dallas, Israel, and globally, as well as the extraordinary dedication of our Jewish Federation family of donors, lay leaders, and staff.

Though the events of 2020 have impacted us in significant ways, your Federation has continued to serve, innovate, and execute. We have been thrown into a turbulent ocean, and we have not only stayed afloat; we are still swimming. As I have said many times in recent months, the Federation system was made for this—to care for Jews in times of crisis and in times of plenty. For this, I offer my humble, heartfelt thanks.

On that note, as I look back on 2020, I would like to share some programmatic highlights and points of impact in our struggling community. It’s just a fraction of what we’ve accomplished, but I invite you to take it all in—and perhaps, forward this email to a friend or colleague who might like to join us in this meaningful and important mission. 

In the meantime, please visit our website for more information on ways you can participate, engage, give—and keep swimming with us. Here are some recent highlights:

Lighting the Match to Make Every Dollar You Give Go Further:
Have You Done It Yet?

We are in the home stretch, and our eyes are on the prize. Make a new or increased gift by December 31, 2020, and the Human Services Relief Matching Fund of the Jewish Federation of North America (JFNA) will match it at 50%. Our goal is $520,000, and we’re at about $317,000, as of this writing. Help us cross the finish line before we toast the New Year. We don’t want to leave $260,000 in matching dollars on the table. Just imagine how it can support and expand the essential programs that serve as a safety net for our Jewish community.

GIVE NOW. Make your best gift-for today and tomorrow.

Securing our Community: Keeping Us Safe

Our Community Security Initiative (CSI), led by CSI Director Bill Humphrey, continues to prepare and equip Jewish organizations in the greater Dallas area with training and educational resources to maximize our safety and security.   
                                                             
Update on Anti-Semitic Vandalism in Downtown Dallas

In response to two swastikas painted on the abandoned Reunion Tower parking garage on October 24, the CSI Advisory Committee, chaired by Sherry Goldberg and Bill Humphrey, called for a meeting with Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson to discuss the city’s response to all anti-Semitic activity, current, and future. Mayor Johnson and Assistant City Manager Jon Fortune expressed deep concern for the safety of our Jewish community and understood the significance of calling out anti-Semitism in the City of Dallas. CSI will now have standing meetings twice yearly to review crime and security concerns within the Jewish community with the Mayor’s office. The swastika Investigation continues with the FBI and Dallas Police to identify those responsible for this crime.
                                                      
Community-Wide Communication Platform Implemented

Teaming with our communications vendor Everbridge, and our national partner Secure Community Network (SCN), CSI is launching a new, fully integrated communications platform to optimize emergency response. This new system will enable all our partner organizations to be immediately notified should an imminent emergency occur which affects our Jewish community.
 
FEMA Grant Application

The Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas’ CSI would like to remind all our partnering agencies of the upcoming 2021 FEMA Nonprofit Security Grant (NSGP) application process, beginning in just a few short weeks. If your organization decides to apply for the 2021 FEMA NSGP, please let us know. Email communitysecurityinitiative@jewishdallas.org, and we will support your application process.

For more information, please visit us at Community Security Initiative (CSI).

Just the Beginning . . .

Look for the rest of the story in the coming weeks. Your Federation was made for this—more than 100 years ago, but we are just getting started.

Even as we face agency, donor, lay-leadership, and professional fatigue, we keep getting rejuvenated by every hurdle we clear and every rock we overturn. We are buoyed by the emails of appreciation and praise for our efforts and by the results we produce. That’s what keeps us going.

We are moving quickly, pivoting wisely, and responding intentionally, and above all, we want you to be aware . . . to be informed and filled with pride. Because at the end of the day—and at the end of the year, you fuel everything by participating, giving, volunteering, and leading. So, stay tuned . . .


Shabbat Shalom,