Managing a successful Annual Campaign in conjunction with an emergency campaign is no easy feat, but several members of the community experienced, first hand, the interconnectedness during their recent mission to Israel. As was covered in the last issue, 2014 Annual Campaign Chair, Susan Goldman, was joined by Federation Director Meredith Dragon, Endowment Director Scott Kaplan, and volunteers Carol Engelson, Betsey Freedman, Estelle Lakritz and Fay Smith, who were participating in national Annual Campaign training missions when the current conflict broke out. All experienced the reality of finding cover in a very short time period while continuing to learn about the immediate needs of Jews in Israel and overseas.
Meet Sara, an 82-year-old woman suffering from severe hypertension. Thanks to the support of Federation’s overseas allocation, Sara is able to supplement her monthly fixed income to cover her rapidly increasing healthcare costs, while she continues to support her 50-year-old psychologically challenged son. Sara lost both her husband and two nieces to brain tumors in recent years. Simply put, Sara would be destitute without the Federation’s support. Even with our assistance, she finds herself without a phone and remains past due on her electric bill.
Because of the generous support of the Western Massachusetts annual campaign donors, the Jewish Federation is able to support countless Sara’s throughout the world. Together, with overseas partner agencies, the Federation provides food purchasing cards, medication and monthly visitor check-ins to Jews in need and righteous gentiles across the globe. In the words of Susan Goldman: “I’ve been a clinical social worker for over 40 years and I have seen Jewish poverty in New York and Springfield, so our experience today is not new to me. The difference is money and support systems. There are simply less resources. Everyone has been so appreciative of our visit, our willingness to bear witness to their struggles, yet stand in solidarity by pledging our continued support. It is an honor to be here.”
If you have not made your 2014 Annual Campaign pledge and would like to do so, and help countless Sara’s, Rachel’s, Saul’s and Seth’s, make your pledge online at www.jewishwesternmass.org OR try our new texting feature by texting JFWM to 51-818. For more information, please contact Amy Nee at firstname.lastname@example.org
or (413) 737-4313 x160.