Letters week of June 4, 2015

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Federation Helps to ‘Create a Jewish Legacy’
Rabbi Gregory Marx’s article (Opinion, “Synagogue Endowments Help to Ensure the Jewish Future,” May 28) addresses the future of the Jewish community and the importance of endowment funds for synagogues. While our Jewish landscape is dynamic, and no one knows what our Jewish institutions will look like in the next generation, Marx states that “we must anticipate” needs and also “inspire people to think in larger terms and understand their obligation to the community.”
 
One of the basic tenets of Judaism is the emphasis on community. Kol Yisrael Areivim Zeh LaZeh: Each of us is responsible to each other and for preserving the future of the Jewish community.  
 
An endowment fund of a synagogue might pay for emergencies that arise, like a new roof. It could provide salaries for talented clergy and fund new innovative educational programs. An endowment fund will give the next generation the opportunity to be part of a vital and stable community.
 
Four years ago, the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia began a program to teach synagogue volunteers to solicit their members for endowment gifts. This program, now called Create a Jewish Legacy (formerly the Areivim Community Legacy Program), provides incentive grants for partnering agencies that reach their goals.
 
A new Create a Jewish Legacy cohort will be selected this month by volunteers who completed the program. Any synagogue interested in an application for Create a Jewish Legacy should call 215-832-0574 or email: [email protected].
Ellen Sklar | Senior Endowment Officer
Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia
 
A Wallenberg Survivor’s Stamp of Approval
As a child survivor of the Holocaust, rescued by Raoul Wallenberg, and an ardent admirer of Ilene Munetz Pachman, I commend the Jewish Exponent for publishing her important, beautiful article, “18 Years Later, Stamp Honoring Holocaust Hero Raoul Wallenberg Still Resonates.” (Headlines, April 16)
 
Having heard me speak about Wallenberg, the angel of Budapest, Ilene, with her great love of justice and humanity, was off and running — with a talent for inspiring others and a concerned mother, with an interest in providing real role models for her children and their peers,
 
Ilene ran an exhausting and often discouraging marathon. She was determined to gain symbolic recognition for Wallenberg and raise public awareness of his incredible heroism.
 
Ready to move heaven and earth, she embarked on a five-year odyssey. On April 24, 1997, her powers of persuasion, her persistence, and her ingenuity paid a fantastic dividend: the beautiful Raoul Wallenberg commemorative stamp.
Dr. Vera Goodkin | Professor Emerita
Associate, New Jersey Commission on Holocaust Education
 

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