World events continue to be on everyone’s mind…from the Middle East which is engulfed in turmoil and tumult…to Mother Nature wrecking havoc in New Zealand. We truly are one people, a world-wide network of solidarity. The earthquake in Christ Church was devastating in terms of human life and property, including its impact on the Jewish community. Reports are that one Israeli tourist was killed and that the Chabad House was heavily damaged along with a local synagogue. The damage and loss of life could have been much worse. The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) has been in touch with both the New Zealand Jewish Community and the Israel Embassy who expressed their appreciation for support but indicated that the local Jewish community would be able to meet the current challenges posed by the earthquake.
Tal Brody-Israel Sports Ambassador
This past week our Jewish Federation helped to arrange for the visit of Israel basketball hero and legend, Tal Brody, to visit our community. Brody, a great spokesperson for Israel, held clinics organized by the Jewish Community Center at the Adelson Educational Campus and Desert Torah Academy for students at both schools; as well as a clinic for adults and other meetings with Israelis living in Las Vegas. He also attended our community’s annual AIPAC dinner.
Consul General’s Media Tour
Jacob Dayan, Israel’s Consul General from the Israeli Consulate in Los Angeles, was also in Las Vegas for the annual AIPAC dinner. The Jewish Federation helped to arrange for Consul Dayan to meet with the Editorial Board at the Review Journal. The newspaper has invited the Consul General to write an op-ed piece for publication in the Review Journal as a result of our meeting. Dayan also appeared on the Alan Stock radio program on KXNT and addressed current events in the Middle East and their impact on both Israel and the United States.
Major Gifts Reception
This coming Thursday our Jewish Federation is proud to host renowned columnist and commentator Dennis Prager as the guest speaker at the Major Gifts Reception on behalf of the 2011 Jewish Federation Campaign. Reservations are still possible for this important campaign event. Please contact Dana Yavitz at 732-0556 or Dana@jewishlasvegas.com .
TribeFest Is Here!
More than 1,200 young Jewish adults from all over the United States will be coming to Las Vegas for TribeFest , the National Young Leadership Conference sponsored by the Jewish Federations of North America and hosted by our Jewish Federation at the Mandalay Bay. An exciting and dynamic 3-day conference program is well in place; including a special Saturday night, March 5 “Welcome Party” at Surrender at the Encore hosted by our Jewish Federation’s Jewish Emerging Leadership group. More than 45 Las Vegans are registered for TribeFest…and there is still time to register. Don’t delay…please contact Stefanie Szlamkowicz at 732-0556 or Stefanie@jewishlasvegas.com .
JFNA Silverman To Visit
Jerry Silverman, President & CEO of the Jewish Federations of North America, will be here as part of the exciting TribeFest program. Our Jewish Federation is pleased to host a special Leadership Brunch for Silverman at which time he will update us on current challenges facing the Jewish Federation movement and system. For more information or to make a reservation for the brunch please contact Dana Yavitz at 732-0556 or Dana@jewishlasvegas.com .
Special Israeli Guests To Visit Las Vegas
We will be honored to host the visit of two special guests to Las Vegas from Israel towards the end of March and early April. Tzipi Livni, a Member of Knesset and leader of the Opposition, will be in our community to address the Rabbinical Assembly Convention of Conservative Rabbis. The RA Program Committee, Chaired by Rabbi Felipe Goodman, has graciously offered to open Ms. Livni’s presentation to the entire community. Please watch your email for the program announcement and details for obtaining tickets.
In early April we will also host a visit by Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon, who will be coming to Las Vegas to participate in a meeting of the National Republican Jewish Coalition.
Invitations “hit” your mailbox this week for this year’s Women’s Philanthropy United Luncheon on behalf of the 2011 Jewish Federation Campaign. This is by far the biggest and most exciting event benefiting our Jewish Federation Campaign. Please make your reservation today. For more information please contact Lisa Kaplan at 732-0556 or Lisa@jewishlasvegas.com .
Calling All Super Sunday Volunteers
Super Sunday , our Jewish Federation’s annual Phone-A-Thon, is Sunday, April 3. It’s not too early to sign up and register for one or more telephone sessions! Help us to raise vitally needed funds for our Jewish community. All volunteers are needed and welcome! No experience necessary! Just a desire to do a Mitzvah and help us to build a strong Jewish community. For more information or to register please contact Rob Festenstein at 732-0556 or Rob@jewishlasvegas.com .
Yitzhak Shavit z”l – Guardian of Israel
My dear friend and colleague, Yitzhak Shavit, passed away this past week. Itzik, as he was lovingly called by family, friends and colleagues, was Senior Vice President of Communal Advancement at the Jewish Federations of North America. I could write pages, as many others have done in emails and in blogs, about Yitzhak, his life, career and achievements. Trust me…there were many and their impact on Israel and the Jewish people are enormous and will be a lasting legacy to his dedication, commitment, care, concern and compassion for Klal Israel…the Jewish People. Yitzhak was a professional’s professional, confidante, colleague, chaver and mentor…to me and quite literally thousands of other professionals, volunteers and donors.
I will always hold Yitzhak’s memory in a cherished place in my heart…and hope that his many accomplishments and contributions will always serve as a source of blessing and inspiration for his beloved family, each of us, the Jewish People and Israel.
Zecher Tzadik L’Vracha.