407-645-5933 ext. 236 marisa.west@shalomorlando.org

What a community we have!

Anyone who has wondered about the level of passion, commitment and unity in the Central Florida Jewish Community had his or her questions answered this week.

On Monday, the Federation kicked off a 24-hour Focus on the Future campaign with the goal of eliminating the debt on the Jewish Community Campus following the sale of the vacant building. With only 24 hours to raise a significant amount of money, the community responded – loudly. The fundraising goal was not only met, it was exceeded!! The success of this campaign means the campus will be debt-free for the first time in a generation. And the retirement of that debt will have a significant positive financial impact on the Federation, The Roth Family JCC and the Jewish Academy of Orlando. The entire community will benefit, as these three agencies will be able to deploy more resources to support their core missions instead of making debt payments. Those who contributed to this 24-hour campaign – and to the larger Campus 2020 Debt Retirement Campaign – truly had a hand in making local history. Thank you!

Dayenu! It would have been enough. Yet it wasn’t.

On Wednesday night, The Roth Family JCC’s annual J Ball honored Jo Ann and Stuart Farb for their lifelong commitment to the J. Also in the spotlight was ‘Ms. Judy’ Galkin, honored for her 33 years of dedication to the JCC. In a wonderful evening with more than 325 people in attendance, both the Farbs and Judy spoke passionately about their lifelong commitment to the JCC and the Jewish community. They set an example for us all, and we are blessed to have them as our friends. (Be sure to check out our video tributes to the Farbs and Ms. Judy).    

Dayenu! It still would have been enough. Yet it wasn’t.

Coming up next Thursday, April 4, the Jewish Academy of Orlando and Central Florida Hillel are joining together for a special Casino Night, Poker Tournament & Lady Luck event. These two agencies are partnering to bring our community together once again for a night of fun and philanthropy. Seeing our community agencies work together for the greater benefit is both exciting and inspiring. That spirit of collaboration is definitely infectious.

Dayenu! Can there really be more?

There’s more. On Monday April 8, the Federation will host a special Women’s Passover Seder, led by Cantor Jacquie. This no-solicitation event is designed as the kickoff for the Federation’s new Women’s Division, an effort to create unity and bonding through meaningful programs led by and for our amazing Jewish women in Central Florida. This is a new initiative, and leadership positions are available.  

As I began, what a community we have! It is heartening to see and feel the passion that is fueling the growth of so many other amazing Jewish organizations in town. I encourage you to pick the things that interest you and get involved. You will benefit in ways you probably never imagined!


Thank you for an inspiring week.  

Shabbat Shalom,

Keith Dvorchik