Friday, August 19, 2011

August 25: Special JCRC lunch. ISRAEL UPDATE with remarks from the Rabbis

--  Please make an effort to attend this important program, open to the community. --
Special JCRC Event in light of yesterday's tragic terrorist attack on Israel from the Sinai
                 * Thursday, August 25, 2011 *  12:15 pm  at Tifereth Israel Synagogue
                                                           ISRAEL UPDATE  from JCRC
with remarks by Rabbi Leib Bollel, Rabbi Steven Edelman-Blank, and Rabbi David Kaufman
                                                                 followed by discussion.
For your convenience, those wishing to order a parve, dairy, or vegetarian lunch from Palmer's Deli can place their order through
Thank you for your interest.  To facilitate set up, RSVP to
Note: This program replaces the previously scheduled JCRC Current Events lunch on Thursday September 1st.  The topic for September 1st will be re-programmed.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Jewish Federation: Stand with Israel against contractors of terrorism

Statement from The Jewish Federation of Greater Des Moines      August 18, 2011
The Jewish Federation of Greater Des Moines condemns the multiple cross border attacks by Arab terrorists today on southern Israel from the Sinai.  We join with the people of Israel in mourning those whose lives were taken by the terrorists, including the two children ages 4 and 6.
We stand with Israel as it seeks to protect its citizens from further attacks. 
 Israel is committed to negotiating peace with the Palestinians.  It is prepared to make hard concessions to provide for a two state resolution, recognizing Palestine as the state of the Palestinian people.
 But to do so, the Palestinian leadership must speak with one voice for peace, for acceptance of Israel as the Jewish homeland and for a permanent end to the conflict.  
Make no mistake about it: Such attacks as the ones today are intended to encourage others to weaken and eliminate Israel -- in this case, by establishing a southern front, once secured by the peace treaty with Egypt.  There is already a northern front, threatened by Hizballah.  There is the western front, threatened by Hamas.  And there is an overall threat by both alQaeda and the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary regime.  None of the above named bodies -- under any conditions, no matter what conciliatory policy Israel adopts in the West Bank-- accepts the concept of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state.   The attacks on Israel, including attacks on its civilians  from Gaza or Sinai are designed to displace Israel, not change its policies.
It is important, therefore, that Americans stand with Israel against the contractors of terrorism and that Americans demand that the Palestinian leadership speak with one voice for peace.
Mark S. Finkelstein
Director of Community Relations
Jewish Federation of Greater Des Moines
33158 Ute Avenue
Waukee, IA  50263
Send comments to
cc:  Barbara Hirsch-Giller, President
       Elaine Steinger,  Executive Director
       Steven Schoenebaum,  JCRC Chair

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

A Partnership Revolution: new brand, new resources, new people.

A Partnership Revolution: new brand, new resources, new people.

The Jewish Agency for Israel's Partnership Unit officially launched the new ‘Partnership2Gether(P2G) brand during the 5th Partnerships Conference in Tel Aviv this summer. The new name replaces Partnership 2000 / Partnership with Israel, which had been in use for the past 15 years in 550 communities and 45 Partnerships.

Along with this new brand, dynamic changes are taking place in our Western Galilee/ US Central Area Consortium Partnership. Our P2G Co-Chairs, Zoe Riekes (returning U.S. Central Area Consortium Chair) and David Laron (Western Galilee Chair), said to ensure a flourishing future we will strive to expand our network, impact, awareness, and support – all of our activities – by 10 times within the next 3 years. For example, if we currently have 500 teenagers engaged in our programs both in the US and the Western Galilee, by 2014 we will strive to multiply that number by 10 to have a total 5,000 teenagers involved. Woah - that’s a big multiplier, right?

Even in the best of times how can we expect that type of growth to happen? How do we achieve this when we are dealing with tightened budgets, leadership changes, and a complex system of connections, programs, and communities? Both Zoe and David agree this will not be an easy task but they know that we have a highly professional staff and lay leaders in place who can initiate a strategic plan to execute our goal. Based on a recent GAP analysis survey of our Partnership, our focus will shift to three critical challenges or ‘gaps’ and in doing so we will be moving ourselves into position to achieve the WG/Central Area Consortium P2G x10 Goal.

Challenge 1: Engage & Utilize Communication Platforms - Inform, Enlighten & Inspire

Partnership is about building people-to-people connections; obviously we should be the best at communication, right? David Laron said, based on our GAP analysis results, we have under-utilized our communication resources. Too many are stuck in old ways of communication; there is a lack of initiative in exploring and using new technologies and online networks. It is critical to our Partnership’s future success that we effectively communicate.

A central communication platform will be launched that will allow our communities to be instantly connected and updated. This new platform will increase productivity, initiate collaboration, build on our connections, increase dialogue, and strengthen our engagement and commitment. In addition, we will actively harness the power of social networks to create a synergy of connection allowing anyone at anytime, no matter where they may be, to tap into the flowing stream of current Partnership information – to be informed, enlightened, to inspire and to be inspired.

Challenge 2: Expansion of Lay Leadership & Volunteers – Involve, Network & Grow

Once the new communication tools are initiated and used, we will have a well-oiled support system in place to expand our people resources. As Zoe states, our Partnership is a model for others, we are considered pioneers of the Partnership organization and should be proud of all we’ve accomplished to this point. To continue the success and momentum of our best practices we need to build upon the passion of our current pool of lay leadership and volunteers and expand our people resources. This will involve creating specific programs that target recruitment initiatives. We will be actively planning and introducing new programs focused on involving and growing our team of talented and passionate people.

Challenge 3: Expansion of Financial Resources & Relationships with Partnering Organizations – Stabilize, Secure, & Strengthen

During the next year we will develop a strategic plan for fundraising in Israel while simultaneously seeking new cooperation with organizations to establish a stronger financial base. This is big news – we are planning to expand upon the current funds that come from our Federations Partnership allocations, and begin to create additional avenues of revenue to support our programs for the future.

Zoe and David spoke for all of us when mentioning the tremendous appreciation we have for our US communities continued support, and they agree that it is time to initiate additional creative approaches to ensure a strong financial platform for a flourishing future. Our Partnership mission is focused on creating and promoting mutually beneficial endeavors - forging relationships through programs that build Jewish identity and strengthen connections. To fully realize our mission we will initiate a balance in our fundraising efforts – we’re in it together, we’re intrinsically connected, and we have the potential to grow exponentially because of it.

Our programs have proven to be successful and are life-changing for our participants. We have touched over 30,000 people’s lives in the past 13 years. Just as we’ve seen other revolutions taking place around the world, we will face our current challenges directly and with a keen focus, knowing that we have great momentum behind us and even more amazing potential for our future. The time is now to start our WG/Central Area Consortium P2G x10 Revolution. Join us, connect and make a difference today.

For more information on Partnership2Gether programs contact your local Jewish Federation and visit: