Why We Are Thankful for Our Jewish Communities

Rabbi Isabel de Koninck and family

As we welcome this season of gratitude, thank YOU for helping us care for, inspire and connect with our Jewish communities each and every day. Community is the Jewish way of life. It’s key to building strength, resilience and joy. As the hub of our region’s Jewish communities, the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia works tirelessly to build community and ensure a vibrant Jewish future for all of us.

Here are a few stories from fellow community members about what they’re thankful for this time of year:

As a parent and educator, I am grateful for Jewish Federation’s support of life-long Jewish learning. Because of this support, my children will have access to PJ Library books, that Jewish summer camp will be affordable for them and their friends, and that every Jewish student who calls Philadelphia home for college will be able to find connection and meaning through Jewish community. I’m thankful that Jewish Federation believes there is no one way to be Jewish and consistently supports a wide array of Jewish learning opportunities that affirm the value of the diversity of our community.”
— Rabbi Isabel de Koninck, Executive Director and Campus Rabbi of Hillel at Drexel University

Connecting the Whole Community:

  • 5,930+ children received Jewish-themed books and music
  • $835,000 invested in scholarships and grants to 843 day and overnight campers for the 2021 season
  • 7,400+ households participated in Jewish educational programming through Jewish Learning Venture, day schools, and more (during fiscal year 2020)


Rabbi Daniel Levitt and family

“Rabbi Sacks wrote, ‘Community is where our grief is halved and our joy doubled by being shared with others.’ We are so grateful to the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia for enabling thousands of Jews in the area (and beyond) to experience the immense benefit of being part of the Jewish community in so many ways.

-Rabbi Daniel Levitt, Rabbi and Executive Director of Hillel at Temple University

Strengthening Jewish Identity:

  • 26,000+ community members participated in programs that inspire Jewish identity
  • 76,100 children live in Jewish households in Greater Philadelphia
  • 72% of parents feel it is important for their children to be knowledgeable about Jewish customs and beliefs


Jonathan Yakubov

“RSJ Moishe House has provided me the opportunity to build a community that celebrates Russian life and to bring people together around Shabbat and High Holidays! Growing up Bukharian and being surrounded by Russian Jewish culture, I learned that helping others was important to me. It’s one of the reasons I got involved with the JRA in the Northeast. I want to thank the Jewish Federation for its generous support!”
-Jonathan Yakubov, RSJ Moishe House Resident

Fostering a Vibrant Community:


  • 2,000+ community members participated in neighborhood programming through our Kehillot initiative to build community
  • 26,500+ community members relied on Jewish Federation-funded programs for nutritious food, financial assistance and other social services
  • 288,000+ meals or food packages were delivered in Greater Philadelphia


Susan Schwartz

“Earlier this year, we used video technology to help nearly 50 seniors at KleinLife, including many Holocaust survivors, travel to Israel virtually. We found a creative way to bring Israel into the homes of homebound seniors, and give them something to look forward to each week.

-Susan Schwartz, Mission Committee Co-Chair

Inspiring Hope in Times of Need:

  • 3,700+ older adults participated in mentally, physically and emotionally rewarding socialization programs
  • 95% of those older adults said that participating in socialization programs helped them feel less lonely
  • 901 grants provided financial assistance to vulnerable Jews experiencing unexpected life events

From all of us at the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia, we wish you a very happy and healthy Thanksgiving!

Show your thanks by giving to jewishphilly.org/donate.


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