Last night, Rabbi David Saperstein was confirmed by the U.S. Senate as ambassador at large for international religious freedom. The Jewish Federations of North America congratulates Rabbi Saperstein on becoming the first non-Christian leader to hold the position, created by President Bill Clinton in 1998. Nominated this past July by President Barack Obama, Rabbi Saperstein will head the State Department’s Office of International Religious Freedom, where he will work to monitor religious freedom abuses around the world. Rabbi Saperstein is leaving the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, an organization he has led for 30 years.
Washington, D.C. – Following the final passage of legislation declaring Israel to be a “major strategic partner” of the United States, American Jewish organizations celebrated the bill as furthering the ironclad commitment between the two countries. The Jewish Federations of North America hailed the importance of the bill, which would designate a unique strategic status for Israel and create a framework for increased cooperation in defense, energy and other sectors.
More than two dozen American Jewish communal leaders are currently touring communities in Southern Israel in an emergency solidarity mission of the Jewish Federations across North America (JFNA). The mission is an effort to visit locales directly affected by rocket attack and to demonstrate that the North American Jewish community stands alongside the people of Israel at this time.
In honor of Jewish American Heritage Month, the Senate passed with unanimous consent a resolution honoring the contributions of Holocaust survivors to the United States. The Jewish Federations of North America lauded the Senate for passing the resolution, noting with pride the work being done in coordination with the federal government to assist and provide for survivors living in need.
The Jewish Federations applauded the White House appointment of Aviva Sufian as the Department of Health and Human Services’ Special Envoy for U.S. Holocaust Survivor Services, while also unveiling a new national Federation effort to boost community programs for Holocaust survivors, led by veteran Federation philanthropist Mark Wilf of New Jersey.
The Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) welcomed Vice President Joe Biden’s announcement at the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee’s (JDC) Centennial luncheon to launch an initiative together with the Jewish community to address the needs of Holocaust survivors living in poverty in the United States. This announcement follows years of conversations between the White House, Members of Congress, and Jewish Federations and Jewish Family and Children’s Service agencies to address the social service needs of Holocaust survivors through fundraising and legislative efforts such as the RUSH Act.
Thousands of Jewish community leaders from across the globe are preparing to convene in Israel for the Jewish Federations of North America’s General Assembly, Nov. 10-12 in Jerusalem. With 140 speakers – half of them women – from the political, philanthropic, business, religious and cultural worlds, the GA will gather over 3000 participants from 93 different communities across North America, Israel and Europe – including the heads of the Jewish communities of France, Hungary, Greece, Lithuania, Poland, Belgium, Italy and the Czech Republic – to join the “Global Jewish Shuk: a marketplace of dialogue and debate.”
Jewish Federations’ planned giving and endowment programs grew dramatically in 2012, according to a just-released annual survey.
The Jewish Federations of North America annual survey of endowment development showed Federation/Jewish community foundation-managed endowments increased a hefty 7.6 percent from the prior year’s survey, underscoring charitable endowments and contributions have continued to play a major role in furthering Jewish philanthropic giving.
The Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) and the Ruderman Family Foundation are launching a groundbreaking initiative to promote the inclusion of people with disabilities in the Jewish community.