Here I am, on the third night of Hanukkah, sitting next to a lit hanukkiah writing this week’s Shabbat message. This hanukkiah was purchased in 2015 when I participated in the Jewish Alliance’s mission to Israel. I would have never guessed at the time, that just two years later, I’d be charged with leading that same organization.
Hanukkah, as I explain it to my daughters, has its origins based on a miracle, and we honor this miracle by sharing its light. The concept of “sharing light” is easier for them to grasp as they get older, and their interpretation of its meaning grows more profound with each passing year.
My youngest daughter asked me how I intend to “share the light,” and I explained to her, in a very uncomplicated way: All of us at the Alliance work together to help make Rhode Island and the world a brighter place. Then, as any parent of a six-year-old could have predicted, she asked how.
This is not the answer I gave her but one I want to share with you.
We are making great progress for Rhode Island’s Jewish community and beyond. With input from our staff and invaluable guidance from lay leaders, we have completed a draft of a new strategic plan that will take the Alliance through to 2020. This plan includes five focus areas with specific goals for each, along with strategies to achieve them, and metrics to measure our success along the way. I look forward to sharing more about the plan with all of you in the coming weeks and months.
Additionally, we were recently awarded a $200,000 grant from the Champlin Foundation to continue renovations on the Dwares JCC-specifically in our programming hallway. The hallway is located off the upper lobby and contains staff offices along with our art studio, Eides Family J-Space After School program, Teen Lounge, and other multi-purpose spaces enjoyed by many. You can expect to see changes this spring with work being completed by the end of summer.
And we continue to raise money to reinvest within the community through our own programs and services and those of our partner agencies. I am proud to report that, with your help, our Secure Community Campaign is nearing its goal, and our 2018 Annual Campaign is trending a bit higher than where we were last year at this time.
I am beyond grateful to the staff of the Alliance, our board of directors, and each person who contributes their time, talent, and treasure to the betterment of our community. And to those who read this message who have not yet engaged with us, I invite you to take the first step. Reach out, learn more about what we do and what we offer, and know that there’s a place for you here.
From my family to yours, I wish you a Happy Hanukkah. And I thank you again for your partnership as we look to a future that is brighter for all of us.
Adam Greenman, President & CEO