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Community members step forward to support Jews locally, in Israel and around the world

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In a testament to the strength and generosity of our community, the Jewish Community Federation of Richmond (JCFR) is on the brink of achieving its ambitious fundraising targets for the year.

With just a few weeks remaining until the end of March (at the time of writing this column) , we are poised to reach our goal, buoyed by the tremendous support received thus far.

At the onset of the Campaign, we set a goal of $3.6 million, comprised of $3.1 million for our Annual Campaign and $500,000 in supplemental giving opportunities. After Oct. 7th, our goal nearly doubled.

We took on the task of raising an additional $2.1 million to support the people of Israel, which was Richmond’s share of the $500 million goal set by the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA).

As of day 157 of the war, JCFR has raised almost $2.2 million, while JFNA has raised over $783 million.

While focusing on advancing the Israel Emergency Campaign during the early months of the war, concerns arose about its potential impact on our Annual Campaign. Despite raising substantial amounts for Israel, we consistently emphasized the importance of both campaigns.

Notably, 100% of every dollar raised for the Israel Emergency Campaign was designated to support the people of Israel, made possible by our Annual Campaign, which strengthens Jewish life locally and globally, and provides the infrastructure needed to run an emergency campaign of the scale needed to assist Israel.

We are pleased to report that we are outpacing last year’s performance, thanks to the dedication and support of our community. As of March 14, our community had pledged $3,040,702 to our Annual Campaign.

Our development team is committed to better understanding two key segments of donors: new donors to the Israel Emergency Campaign who have not contributed to our annual campaign before, and donors who have made substantial contributions to the Israel Emergency Campaign compared to their annual campaign donations.

While we inch closer to our Annual Campaign goal,  we have no intentions of resting on our laurels. While the war  in Israel has been horrific, it has created new rippling effects through our local, regional and Jewish communities nationwide.

These and other side effects of the war are demanding more effort to ensure safety and security in our schools, synagogues and numerous other new needs for our Jewish community.

We appreciate all those who have assisted in these endeavors and look forward to your future support. We also appreciate our new donors whom we hope will play an important role as JCFR continues its tireless efforts on behalf of Jews locally and abroad.

As we close out the 2024 Annual Campaign, our Allocations Committee is gearing up for its busiest time of the year. Local agencies and synagogues have submitted proposals for funding, and our Allocations team, chaired by David Galpern, is beginning to explore how we can best utilize community funds.

With the unwavering dedication and support of our community members, we are confident in our ability to achieve our fundraising goal and further strengthen our bonds within the community.

Together, we will continue to build and sustain a vibrant, inclusive, and welcoming Jewish community for today and tomorrow.

Richard Thalhimer, FRD Co-Chair

Brian Greene, FRD Co-Chair