From mid-May to early June -- in rain and in sunshine -- sports and camaraderie combined with new projects to make country-club members score in a big way at the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia 2006 FAJA Country Club Days.
The money raised at the daylong events -- featuring golf, tennis, cards, cocktail hours and dinners at Green Valley, Meadowlands, Philmont and Radnor Valley Country Clubs -- helps support the Jewish community through Federation. Historically, going back as far as the 1920s and '30s, FAJA Country Club Days have raised significant amounts for Federation's annual campaigns.
For the second year, and in addition to their gifts to the annual campaign, country-club members were able to personalize gifts to "Adopted Projects." Green Valley chose the Jewish Relief Agency; Philmont's project was Federation's Mitzvah Food Pantry; Meadowlands' project funds will help purchase an armored vehicle for Federation's Partnership 2000 communities close to Gaza; and Radnor Valley also reached out to the people of Israel by contributing funds from their project to One Family, an organization that helps victims of terror.
Keynote speakers at FAJA Days dinners shared their knowledge of the turmoil in the Middle East, of the White House's war on terror, and the experiences of a trauma surgeon in Israel. Philmont and Radnor members heard Dr. Jeffry Kashuk, who lived in Israel for nine years and dealt with the treatment of patients in bomb explosions, and recently served as senior attending surgeon at Philadelphia's Hahnemann Hospital and assistant professor of surgery at Drexel University College of Medicine. Jay Bushinsky, who has been called the dean of foreign correspondents in Israel and is founder of CNN's Jerusalem bureau, spoke at Green Valley. Pedro Sanjuan spoke at Meadowlands; he is the president of the Institute of East-West Dynamics and a frequent TV and radio commentator.
All the clubs had a focus on family, with some golfers teeing off as second-, third- and even fourth-generation participants. Green Valley invited daughters for the first time. Women and men participated at Meadowlands FAJA Day. Philmont treated the younger crowd to a cocktail party with Miss Israel. Radnor members remembered one of their own, the late Arthur Uhr, by giving their gifts to their project in his name.
FAJA Day 2006 marked a day of fun, some serious considerations, many jokes and raffle prizes -- and a long tradition of caring about the Jewish community.
$2,467,626 -- Jewish Community Fund
$36,720 -- Jewish Relief Agency
$773,383 -- Jewish Community Fund
$21,720 -- Armored Vehicle Netivot/Sedot Negev
$1,202,384 -- Jewish Community Fund
$11,700 -- Federation Mitzvah Food Pantry
$445,568 -- Jewish Community Fund
$23,118 -- One Family--Big Brother/Big Sister Program for Young Israeli Victims of Terror