A message from Scott Kaufman, Interim CEO & Avery Kaufman Jewish Silicon Valley Board Chair
Last week we traveled with Executive Committee Board member, Ruth Fletcher, and Chief Philanthropy Officer, Daniel Klein, to Washington, DC to represent Jewish Silicon Valley in support of Israel at a gathering of the top leadership of almost every major Jewish organization in America.
It was an historic day. We were honored to represent each of you.
During our time we heard from many important voices:
- We repeatedly heard from leaders from the Senate and the House from both parties – Senate Majority leader Chuck Schumer, Minority leader Mitch McConnell, House Majority Leader Steve Scalise and Minority leader Hakeem Jeffries – they were each unequivocal and steadfast in their support of Israel and that there was “no moral equivalency”.
- The Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas spoke about the rise in antisemitism and the need for continued support for security to our local Jewish institutions.
- We heard a heart-wrenching first-hand account from Noa Ben Artzi, an extraordinarily brave young Israeli woman, and a close friend of my niece’s college roommate. Noa survived the massacre at the Supernova music festival by hiding for hours in a shelter so crowded that she often felt unable to breathe. Please take six minutes and listen to her story.
Finally, we gathered with top leadership from across the country who shared their extraordinary commitments to the Israel Emergency Fund.
I (Scott) have attended many emergency fundraising caucuses since the second Lebanon war in 2006. The generosity displayed in this windowless conference room in our nation’s capital was beyond anything I had previously experienced.
Leaders and philanthropists from across our Federation system announced six, seven and even eight figure commitments to the Israel Emergency Campaign.
The campaign has already raised over $400 Million in less than two weeks.
People dug deep and it was particularly inspiring to learn of six figure gifts from non-Jewish individuals.
The fact that almost all of the funds raised were on top of commitments to local annual campaigns was also encouraging.
As in moments like this, it is clear that having a strong local hub and infrastructure for Jewish community and philanthropy, like Jewish Silicon Valley, is essential for a vibrant Jewish future.
While there are many organizations doing good work on the ground in Israel, our collective emergency campaign is probably the most efficient and effective vehicle to ensure resources get quickly to where they are most needed.
- We are partnering with a network of highly-vetted service providers.
- Experienced evaluators and planners in Israel have already deployed $70 million and will continue to make real-time allocations as the situation changes.
- All of the overhead is already covered; the money raised goes entirely to provide direct services.
We still need more, likely much more.
Beyond the urgent needs caused by the worst single day massacre of Jews since the Holocaust; massive call ups of reservist soldiers and the halting of tourism will damage the Israeli economy for many months if not longer.
Please donate to the Israel Emergency Campaign HERE.
Thank you for all you have done and will do for Klal Yisrael (the whole people of Israel). Our team at Jewish Silicon Valley has heard from so many of our friends and family in Israel who express appreciation for the messages and show of support they have received from so many members of us.
Every email you send to friends and loved ones in Israel, every rally you attend in your community, shows them that they are not alone – and that means more than you can imagine
We invite you to join in mourning the murders of our people at the hands of the terrorists and the loss of innocent people in Gaza who Hamas put in harm’s way. Wishing for a swift and decisive end to the war and peaceful days ahead.
With gratitude, Am Yisrael Chai and Shabbat Shalom
Interim CEO, Jewish Silicon Valley
Jewish Silicon Valley Board Chair