Have You Made Your 2012 UJA Pledge?
-by Mark Silverberg
Although the 2012 UJA Campaign (which concludes in May) shows a card-for-card increase as of February 2nd of $14,287 over last year’s 2011 Campaign (thanks to the continuing generosity of our Jewish communities), the nationwide economic downturn together with the deaths of several significant UJA Campaign contributors this year have combined to effectively cancel out this increase.
It is critical that our UJA Campaign closes at $885,388 – the amount raised as a result of last year’s 2011 UJA Campaign. As of February 2nd, our Annual Campaign stood at $764,696 and our records indicate that $124,412 in gifts received last year currently remain outstanding for a projected final Campaign of $889,108. This projection, however, assumes that each and every outstanding UJA gift made last year will close at the identical level this year – something that is highly unlikely to occur.
Closing these gifts and adding new contributors to our 2012 UJA Campaign while there is still time is critical if we are to avoid the trauma (and consequences) of reducing allocations to our many educational, cultural, social and recreational agencies and institutions in Northeast PA that provide our communities with so many important services.
Such a serious budgetary shortfall would result in the elimination of many programs, as well as staff reductions and a scaling-down of allocations to our agencies’, Hebrew schools’, and social welfare institutions across the board. No one institution, no one agency, no one Hebrew school would be exempt from this trauma.
Nor will we be in a position to fulfill our commitments to Israel and world Jewry as we have always done, and the consequences arising from the so-called “Arab Spring” make our commitment to and fear for Israel’s security at this moment in history even more acute.
Our communities were founded by those who believed in the continuity of Jewish life here, in Israel and around the world. It was their generation that contributed to the birth of the modern Jewish state, and supported Israel in its many wars against those who continue to seek its destruction.
It was their generation that built our educational and social welfare institutions and synagogues, established Hebrew Free Loan Societies to assist newly-arrived European Jewish immigrants in establishing their lives here, sent their children to our Hebrew schools, and understood very well that the seeds they were planting were for generations of Jews they would never live to see.
They are no longer with us. Now, it’s our turn to carry the torch of Jewish survival into the future.
As Jews, we are required both by history and tradition to secure our Jewish future in Northeastern Pennsylvania as much as we are required to preserve a strong, dynamic Israel. If there is to be a “next generation” here, it will be because we have willed it to be so – just as our parents and grandparents did for us so long ago.
So, if you have not yet made a gift to our Jewish communities’ 2012 UJA Campaign, but are considering doing so, I hope you will do so now. Learn more about donations here.
Please direct it to the Jewish Federation of Northeastern Pennsylvania, 601 Jefferson Avenue, Scranton, PA 18510 – MEMO: 2012 UJA Campaign gift.
Mark Silverberg, Executive Director
Jewish Federation of Northeastern Pennsylvania