They came from all over; Boston, Broward County, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Northern New Jersey, Philadelphia, Spartanburg, S.C., St. Louis. A group of 15 who gathered in Jerusalem Sunday evening for a 48 hour Mission - to show solidarity with the people of Israel and educate participants in the work of the Federation system.
Planned only within the past ten days, no one knew the Mission's day one (spent in Ashkelon) would turn out to be the first in months with not a single missile fired from Gaza.
The Mission was sponsored by the UJC and is a part of their Breakthrough programs - an initiative designed to inspire, educate and motivate a cadre of new high potential mega-donors, men and women in their 30s and 40s, to be more involved in the Federation community. Or as Danyelle Neuman, the Mission coordinator and UJC's Director of NextGen initiatives told me, "to make you fall in love with your Jewish philanthropy."
At the invitation of the UJC, I joined the group Sunday evening and will be traveling with them for the duration. Stay tuned and you will hear first hand how the Federation system is delivering needed services on the ground to those in Southern Israel.
-- Dan Brown