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Interfaith Missions to Israel

22 Jun

For the past 4 years, The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee has invested in relationships with the Christian community through community programming and interfaith missions to Israel. This year, we had the opportunity to travel to Israel with another Federation community from the Heart of New Jersey. This unique trip consisted of clergy and leadership from Jewish, Presbyterian, Reform Church, Baptists and Episcopal communities. To read about this trip, click on this article

Below are quotes from two local leaders who traveled to Israel with the Jewish Federation on the mission highlighted in the article:

“Beyond the blessing of biblical locations and narratives coming alive in sight and context, the interfaith trip was a marvelous opportunity to explore deeper conversations and questions (even tough ones) about Judaism and Christianity’s heritage.  The trip also opened my eyes to the greater reality of everyday life in Israel – what it is and isn’t.  How refreshing to see and hear stories of hope and understanding – appreciating the effort to recognize and respect our common human dignity, regardless of background, and the desire we all have to make a better life for future generations.  I learned a lot and am forever grateful for such an educational and inspirational trip.”     – Rev. Michael Todd, Church of the Holy Spirit, Osprey, Florida

 

 

“Israel faces many complex challenges. So often in American mainstream media and around the world, Israel is painted in a negative light, despite the fact that they are daily confronted by an enemy that seeks to destroy their existence. Traveling there and getting to see and hear first-hand about these challenges and the strides Israel is trying to make, was such an affirmation of this bias in media. Truth matters – whether that’s here in America or there in Israel. We need to see both sides of the story and understand that what Israel is facing is complicated. One of the purposes of this trip was for us to see for ourselves what is taking place, to dispel the misconceptions we so often see.  I believe the trip accomplished this.” – Dixie Cline, Director of Development, CareNet Manasota, Bradenton, Florida

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100 Days of Impact: Learning

17 Dec

Religious School Scholarships

The Jewish Federation feels that a religious education can have a profoundly positive impact on our children and their Jewish identity. We help make religious school a reality for local children by offering need-based scholarship assistance for those in Sarasota and Manatee counties. As noted through the testimonials below, it is a much appreciated resource! Get the complete scholarship requirements from our website. Scholarships typically open in late July in preparation for the early September school registration!

 

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“A religious school education was an essential part of my upbringing. And now, the Federation scholarship program is making it possible for my son to receive similar instruction, and gain an understanding of his place in the Jewish community.”
David Abolafia

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“The Rosenstein family from Temple Beth El of Bradenton are very appreciative of the scholarship awarded from The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee. Since our religious school is not large it is especially helpful. Thank you.”

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“As a parent with older children, I realize that a vital part of a child’s upbringing is not just the education they receive in school, but the education they receive in Religious school. In religious school children are taught about their rich Jewish Heritage and Judaism. When children learn about their faith and their background at an early age, it gives them a sense of self, pride and a feeling that they belong and that they are important. The children can learn about the Faith which their forefathers have carried with pride throughout generations. Our family is grateful for organizations such as The Jewish Federation, who do everything they can to make sure that every Jewish child is given a chance to learn about their Faith and Beliefs, through their Religious School Scholarship fund. And from everyone in our family, we would like to thank all those who make it possible for our children to learn and grow!”
A.E.G.

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“We are very grateful, and appreciate the assistance we have gotten from the Jewish Federation now, and in the past to help her attend Camp Coleman. These life Jewish experiences are very important for our family, and we would not be able to provide then on or own for Mackenzie at this point in or lives, unfortunately. Thank you very much. Some day when our circumstances change we hope to be able to contribute to another child in need of religious schooling, and Jewish over night camp. Thank you!”
Sincerely,
The Dyrda family

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“My son is 6 almost 7 years old and he is going to his first full year of Hebrew school thanks to The Jewish Federation and their scholarship awarded to my son. I would not be able to send him without their help. We are so thankful and feel very blessed. He has already attended 3 classes and is loving it. He already knows the first 5 letters of the Jewish alphabet which honestly I can only thank Chabad of Venice for providing the classes for Hebrew School. Again Without this wonderful scholarship my son would not be able to attend Hebrew School since I put my priorities for food and clothing first for my three kids. After all bills are paid I have nothing left and anything else goes on credit card which is not good considering how high they have their interest rates. Thank you so much for your financial support, we are so very grateful!”

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“Our family had filled out paperwork for our last two remaining sons to continue their Jewish educations, but were not sure how we would be able to keep them within the Religious School family as we could not afford $950.00 per child. We are a family of five sons and one granddaughter. My husband had lost his job due to my being Jewish and I am a full time student. We were fortunate enough to have someone kind enough to take on our scholarship and allow our last two children. They are paying for our Jacob and Jaiden to continue their Jewish education, along with prepare Jacob for his Bar Mitzvah. How do you thank someone for not only that kind of money, but that kind of Mitzvah, and the on going pride of Judaism that will forever remain in the heart of both of my children? Hashem put whomever took our family on, in our path for a reason and we cannot thank you enough. If we could hug you, we would.”
Sincerely,
The Barrett-Murphy Family.

 

I love Jewish

 

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100 Days of Impact from The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee

100 Days of Impact from The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee

100 Days of Impact started on September 22 and will run through the end of 2014. Each week we will demonstrate the the collaborative impact that we and our donors make locally and globally.

MAKE A DONATION

You are the Jewish community. This is your Federation. Together, we do extraordinary things!

Interfaith: Mutual Honor & Respect

3 Dec

Heller IAI Interfaith MissionThis year, the Heller Israel Advocacy Initiative (IAI) will be led by our first ever Executive Committee comprised of 7 Jewish and 7 Christian pro-Israel leaders in our community. After celebrating our 18-month long Israel@65 festivities in 2013 which brought together thousands of both faiths we realized that so many people in the Sarasota-Manatee community share a love of the State of Israel – just like we do. Also in 2013, Heller IAI implemented an interfaith mission to Israel that included 18-members of the Christian community
Faith2faithWith friendship and partnership between our faiths we bridge religious gaps and come together on one of our core values; Zionism. This is demonstrated through our events. In 2014, we had a program called “Faith to Faith; Christians and Jews Working Together for Israel”. We had 5 panelists of both faiths in a rousing and energetic panel that enabled the audience to leave the room with solid ways to be pro-Israel in their daily lives. Another instance was our “Interfaith Passover Seder”. It became apparent to us that many Christians celebrate the Passover Seder as a way to commemorate their gospel that Jesus’ last Passover Seder was his “Last Supper”.

 

Interfaith Cross and Star“As a Christian, I have kept Passover for many years out of love and respect for my Lord and Israel, but this event was like nothing I have experienced. I was so touched by the honor and respect shown by the Jewish Community to us as Christians.” -Shirley Fenton, co-Chair of the Interfaith Passover Seder

 

 

 

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100 Days of Impact from The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee

100 Days of Impact from The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee

 

100 Days of Impact started on September 22 and will run through the end of 2014. Each week we will demonstrate the the collaborative impact that we and our donors make locally and globally.

MAKE A DONATION

You are the Jewish community. This is your Federation. Together, we do extraordinary things!

Feeding with All Faiths Food Bank

20 Nov

All Faiths Food Bank

 

All Faiths Food Drive

The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee granted $25,000 to the Campaign Against Summer Hunger this year. We wanted to show you in real numbers just how far donor dollars go.

“Our new mobile pantry grew by the minute! We served 250 children and families in just 2 hours. I will never forget the smiles on the faces of those children!”
~ Chuck Bonura, AFFB Mobile Pantry Coordinator

 

In the first 2 weeks of the program:
• 3,232 children were given backpacks with food for the weekend
• 1,300 children received snacks
• 2,102 children and 4,069 of their adult family members (6,171 total) received food from our mobile pantries

In addition:
• 14,419 breakfasts were served
• 29,406 lunches were served
• 3,000 dinners were served

Howard Tevlowitz, Federation Executive Director; Sandra Frank,  All Faiths CEO; Ilene Fox; Mark Harrison and kids from Wilkinson Elementry

Howard Tevlowitz, Federation Executive Director; Sandra Frank, All Faiths CEO; Ilene Fox; Mark Harrison and kids from Wilkinson Elementry

 

You are the Jewish community.
This is your Federation.
Together, we do extraordinary things.

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100 Days of Impact from The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee

100 Days of Impact from The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee

 

100 Days of Impact started on September 22 and will run through the end of 2014. Each week we will demonstrate the the collaborative impact that we and our donors make locally and globally.

MAKE A DONATION

We couldn’t do it without your generous support.

 

100 Days of Impact: Empowering

30 Oct

Temple Beth Sholom Schools Donates Harvested Garden Veggies
to All Faiths Food Bank Sprout Program

“As part of our Native American studies curriculum at TBS Schools, our Second and Third graders planted corn, beans and squash this season. We thought partnering with All Faiths Food Bank for this harvest would truly exemplify our service based initiatives here at the school, demonstrating to our students how important it is to give back to the community,” said Robin Sweeting, assistant principal at TBS Schools.

TBS Schools students with All Faiths Food Bank staff in front of the Sprout mobile food truck with their harvest

TBS Schools students with All Faiths Food Bank staff in front of the Sprout mobile food truck with their harvest

In addition to the corn, beans and squash, students harvested onions, kale, radishes, and several other vegetables that were full grown. Students picked the fresh veggies and loaded them onto the All Faiths Food Bank Sprout truck. The Sprout mobile produce program is the first of its kind in the area, which delivers fresh fruits and veggies to almost 5,000 families in Sarasota County. “We could not be more thrilled to see kids helping kids in the community,” said Sandra Frank, executive director of All Faiths Food Bank, who stopped by to thank the children personally.

TBS Schools look forward to expanding their student service learning projects for the 2014/2015 school year with a generous grant from The Jewish Federation of Sarasota–Manatee. The grant, “Family, School, Community, The World!” will provide an opportunity to expand the connections already developed, as well as foster new service learning projects with additional organizations in our community.

TBS School Kids

In addition to working with All Faiths Food Bank, the students have provided technology training to seniors at the Kobernick House, led craft and cooking activities for young adults at Easter Seals, tutored children at Everyday Blessings, and baked goods, created Thanksgiving decorations, and donated clothing and household items to the Salvation Army Family Shelter. Now with the support of The Jewish Federation of Sarasota–Manatee, they will be able to impact our community in an even greater way.

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100 Days of Impact from The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee

100 Days of Impact from The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee

 

100 Days of Impact started on September 22 and will run through the end of 2014. Each week we will demonstrate the the collaborative impact that we and our donors make locally and globally.

MAKE A DONATION

You are the Jewish community. This is your Federation. Together, we do extraordinary things!

100 Days of Impact: Engaging

23 Oct

The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee provides programming for young Jewish adults that gives a sense of community for an age group which isn’t very well represented here. By gaining access to career and social networking these young adults are able to make friends and sometimes even find jobs with fellow Jews.

Scotty FelsenfeldScotty Felsenfeld is a young man you moved to Sarasota from Michigan hoping for a fresh start. His family recently moved here so he had a foundation. 3 days after the big move he came to one of our YAD (Young Adult Divison) happy hours. He got to know many people, who he calls friends to this day and someone else very important. As a video editor he was concerned that he would not have many job opportunities here on the suncoast but he met someone who was a producer at the HUB.

“Being a part of YAD has brought on incredible experiences for me. I’ve met wonderful people, I’ve seen awesome places around town and at my first YAD event, days after moving to Sarasota, I connected with someone who got me my dream job! I look forward to meeting more interesting and fun people” – Scotty Felsenfeld.

YAD Young Adults Division

YAD provides opportunities for personal growth and community activism, while building strong relationships in the Jewish world.  Join us for an upcoming social event! Visit the YAD page or contact Len Steinberg at 941.552.6301 or lsteinberg@jfedsrq.org for more information.

100 Days of Impact: Protecting

22 Sep

As of today, there are just 100 days left of 2014.

100 Days of Impact from The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee

100 Days of Impact from The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee

Each week, from now through the end of the year, The Jewish Federation will highlight different ways our donors impact the lives of others in the Sarasota-Manatee community, in Israel and around the world.  These stories each week will depict the ways in which your donations benefit others and bring meaning to their lives.  It is fitting, that we start our 100 Days of Impact as we begin the Ten Days of Penitence during Rosh Hashanah.

 

Week One: Protecting

Operation Lifeshield

Operation Lifeshield

One way The Federation has demonstrated its commitment to its mission of ‘saving Jewish lives’ is by supporting projects like Operation Lifeshield.  This program provides Israel’s threatened communities with protected air raid shelters they so desperately need.  Through an Overseas Grant in 2014 for the project “Concrete Protection for Ashkelon Children,” The Jewish Federation invested in a large, double-portal, 70 ton Lifeshield shelter, capable of safely protecting over 60 students and staff during rocket attacks from Gaza. The school that received the new Lifeshield shelter is very unique.  Five days a week, children come from schools across Ashkelon to learn.

 

This is but one example of the many projects our Federation supports, and now that need is greater than ever. Between television, social media and internet coverage, we can all see, firsthand, the struggles that Israel faces every day and how its citizens so desperately need our help. Our Federation will continue to make contributions to assist Israeli citizens now and in the future. For more information about this project or other important initiatives we support, please contact Marty Haberer at 941.552.6303 or mhaberer@jfedsrq.org.

Learn about the numerous ways we help the community here.

To support the Federation via an online gift, click here.

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THE IMPACT OF A DONATION:

$18 Provides two meals for All Faiths Food Bank
$36  Provides PJ Library media
$75  Women’s Day Ticket
$118  Day of community education
$250  Trains EOD teacher
$500  Sends a kid to religious school
$750  Interfaith program in Sarasota-Manatee
$1,000  Grant for 1st year camper
$2,500  ‘No Place for Hate’ to one school
$6,000  Sends one student on March of the Living
$10,000  Brings Israeli culture to college campuses
$18,000  Holocaust staff JFCS
$25,000  Bomb shelter

 

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