Message From the President
Mobile, Alabama is such a warm and welcoming communiy and in my experience, that completely describes the Jewish Community! Although Neil and I live on Dauphin Island, we feel fortunate to actually have 2 homes now. One of the reasons I am so at home after only 2/1/2 years in L”A”, is the Mobile Area Jewish Federation. It was a very natural place for me to become an active volunteer as I have been involved in Federation activities in one form or fashion since 1988, at that time as a young mom with children who were enjoying community activities, and then as a community leader, serving as board member, numerous committee chairmanships, executive board positions including Board President and even Executive Director for 6+ years.
In this chapter, I find that my inspiration is not so different than it was in the early years. I am once again living in a small, southern Jewish community, rich in history and tradition.
We have strong congregations, but sadly, our numbers are small in comparison to the days of our parents and grandparents. We are described as an aging community. But the way I see it, every community is aging. That’s how time works! One of the most important issues I see for a Jewish Federation to address is the building of the community. We can and should be the bridge that brings everyone together, whether in celebration, remembrance or in the interest of education. For whatever purposes we gather, the important thing is that we come together.
As is the case for Jewish Federations all over the country, we have a duty to support Jews in need in our home communities, but also all around the world. Our Federation provides the sole support for our local Jewish Family Services. We also support the Jewish Children’s Regional Services in New Orleans, Gan Shalom preschool here in Mobile, and the Hillel chapters at both Alabama and Auburn Universities. To have the biggest impact in Israel and around the world, we work with the JFNA, Jewish Federations of North America. They help us to reach Jews whose lives are in danger solely because they are Jewish, to help feed those who are hungry, sick and alone in the world and to ensure that Mobile and Baldwin Counties always have a vehicle to connect us with our extended Jewish family.
Mobile has been fortunate to have strong leaders who stepped up, set the course and accepted the responsibilities therein. From my vantage point, it’s our responsibility to ensure their investment pays dividends. We must continue their good work and build the next generation of leaders. So as we look to the next 18 months, we plan to address moving forward in leadership development and volunteer involvement. When you receive a call from Kathy Lovitt, our tireless Executive Director, one of our board members, I urge you to get involved, to participate in the programming we are eagerly developing, and share your wisdom and creativity with us. This is YOUR Jewish Federation and it is our goal and our duty to represent your interests and meet your needs.
Thank you for your past support of MAJF, and if you have never been involved – I invite you to dive in now! We need your input and your support
Susan Mayer Sass, MAJF President