St. Paul Jewish Federation News

From the Desk of Ted Flaum, CEO,  St. Paul Jewish Federation

 

As we prepare for Passover, St. Paul Jewish Federation’s recently adopted belief statement, NO JEW SHOULD EVER FEEL ALONE takes on more significance. Again this year, many of us can’t gather together with family and friends. While we may sit without our loved ones, know that the St. Paul Jewish community cares and is here with you.

 

One reason I find Passover so meaningful is that its message resounds in every age. The Haggadah tells us, “In every generation, we are obligated to regard ourselves as though we were personally redeemed from Egypt.”

 

Today, we understand what it means to be visited by a plague and have suffering brought upon us. Now, as vaccines become more available, we also can see a time when we will be free from the bondage of this pandemic.

 

Even still, there are people who are hurting. We grieve with the families who have lost loved ones to COVID. We worry about those who have lost a job or a business. We’re concerned for students who lost connections to their peers and seniors who are isolated from their families. We are distressed about members of our community who don’t feel welcomed including Jews of Color, members of the LGBTQAI community and others who feel they do not belong.

 

Our demographic study of the Twin Cities Jewish community estimates there are more than 31,000 people living in approximately 12,000 Jewish households within greater St. Paul. Each person is a valuable member of our community.

 

Our Haggadah does not put a qualifier when it states “Let all who are hungry come and eat, let all who are needy come and celebrate Passover.”

 

What gives me the greatest hope is seeing the way our Jewish community came together this last year with profound compassion and generosity.

 

I’m grateful for the outpouring of support for Federation’s Yad B’Yad COVID relief campaign. You gave from the heart and helped us raise more than $400,000 to help those most in need and ensure that our community continues to thrive.

 

This Passover, I’m gratified that our community is strong and caring.

 

I wish you and your family a happy and healthy Pesach.

It Begins with a Conversation: Creating a Place of Belonging for Jews of Color

 
As Rafi Forbush talked with friends who are also Jews of color in the days after the murder of George Floyd, he realized that there was a need for Jews of color (and their families) in the Twin Cities to gather and support each other.
 
It spurred him to found the Multiracial Jewish Association of Minnesota (MJA), a Twin Cities-based organization that supports and uplifts the local multi-racial Jewish community including black, indigenous, Asian, Latinx, Sephardi, Mizrachi, and multiracial or interracial families who identify as Jewish. “We want to reach people who have never been reached before, who have not felt welcomed,” said Forbush, who serves as acting executive director. Read more.

 

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