Scholar in Residence Weekend Coming Soon

September 12-14, 2014

The Jewish Federation of Grand Rapids, along with Congregation Ahavas Israel and Temple Emanuel, is pleased to welcome Dr. Yael Aronoff, Director of Jewish Studies and Serling Chair in Israel Studies at Michigan State University, to our community from Friday, Sept 12 through Sunday, September 14. Dr. Aronoff, an expert on U.S.-Israeli relations, will be addressing specific topics throughout the weekend regardng Israel's relationship with American Jewry. There will be ample opportunity for Q&A dialogue with Dr. Aronoff to find out 'everything you wanted to know about Israel, but were afraid to ask'.

For more information about Dr. Aronoff and the weekend's agenda, please click here. If you have any questions, you may contact the Federation office at info@jfgr.org or (616) 942-5553.

Support the Jews in Ukraine

Ukraine Assistance Fund Established

The Jewish Federations of North America has established a Ukraine Assistance Fund to help the more than 300,000 Jews in the Ukraine caught in the cross-fire of the escalating situation. While not outright targets of violence, our fellow Jews' basic needs for food and other goods and services are growing rapidly. Our international partners, notably the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), the Jewish Agency and World ORT, are on the ground providing support to the those in need.

Please click on Ukraine Assistance Fund to support this effort. Thank you.

Grand Rapids Jewish News

Shofar Newsletters

Purim Carnival 2014

    World News Headlines
    - from JTA

    What's Your "ish" Join the campaign that encourages young Jews of all stripes to share what being Jewish means to them - their #ish
    Visit www.whatsyourish.com

     

    Caring for the Elderly

    There are 35 million people aged 65 or older currently in the U.S, representing 12.8% of the general

    More than 19% of the Jewish community is over age 65.

    About 60% of those over the age of 65 are women

    35% of older women live alone, compared to 14% of men

    An estimated 40% of all elderly individuals will spend part of their lives in nursing homes

    Nearly a quarter of the nation's elderly population requires some assistance with activities of dail

    Elderly Jews utilize long term care facilities at 1.5 times the national rate

    By 2030, the number of people over the age of 65 in the general population will double to 70 million

    The fastest growing segment of the population is those over the age of 85

    In 1997, 40% of those over the age of 65 had income that was less than 200% of the poverty level

    A Call to 'Stop the Sirens'

    Federation's Emergency Campaign Appeal for Israel

    The Jewish Federation of Grand Rapids has joined Federations around the country in support of Israel's humanitarian needs during the current conflict with Hamas. We ask all of our community members to consider a generous gift to this 'Stop the Sirens' effort. To make a donation by credit card, click here, or send a check payable to JFGR to: 2727 Michigan NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49506, and note 'Stop the Sirens' on your check. Donations to this emergency campaign are tax deductible.

    Thank you for your support of our fellow Jews in Israel during this time of crisis. Should you have any questions, please contact the Federation office at info@jfgr.org or (616) 942-5553.

    The PJ Library is Open!

    New Program for Young Families in the Grand Rapids area

    The PJ Library is an innovative program that offers the gift of free, high quality Jewish books to children 6 months to 8 years old. These books help to celebrate important aspects of Jewish culture, values and tradition. We are grateful to the Ravitz Foundation, the Rosenzweig-Coopersmith Foundation and the Harold Grinspoon Foundation for underwriting this new initiative of Federation.

    Information about PJ Library and how to sign up, along with a sample book, is coming by mail during the High Holidays. Parents can also sign up their children by clicking here and, if you live in our Regions Covered, primarily Kent and Ottawa Counties in Michigan, simply click on the 'Sign up in this Community' button.

    You can learn more about PJ Library at www.pjlibrary.org. Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact the Federation office at info@jfgr.org or (616) 942-5553 and ask for Mike or Sari.

    Pew Study on American Jews

    Survey of U.S. Jewish Population Sparks Debate

    The Pew Research Center's study of American Jews released last fall has prompted a great deal of discussion and debate about the future of Jews in America. The Jewish Federation of Grand Rapids invites our community to participate in this discussion as we consider the information in the survey in regard to the future of the Grand Rapids Jewish community.

     

    A copy of the study entitled A Portrait of Jewish Americans: Findings from a Pew Reseach Center Survey of U.S. Jews can be found here. While a lengthy read at 214 pages, its many summaries, charts and graphs can be easily reviewed as time permits. Also, the Jewish Federations of North America has linked to much of the media coverage, and an analysis from a Brandeis University researcher offers further reading. Finally, JFGR's new partners at PJ Library prepared a letter in response to the survey that may be of interest.

     

    Please let us know your thoughts about the study and what local Jewish communal response to it may be appropriate. You may contact JFGR's executive director, Mike Presant, at (616) 942-5553, x207, or mike@jfgr.org.

    To Support Federation's Annual Campaign 2014...

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