Shabbat Candlelighting 4:15 p.m.                                                Friday, January 8, 2010/22 Tivet 5770

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2009 Federation Annual Campaign Update
After a flurry of year-end activity on the part of donors, we now stand at $7.3 million – less than 1% shy of our $7.35 million goal for the 2009 Federation Annual Campaign. Our campaign leadership is extremely excited about having reached this far, and especially about having generated more resources to meet Jewish needs than we were able to in 2008, despite the challenging economic environment. Although 2009 is now past, we are still hoping to reach donors who have participated in previous campaigns and are open to making a gift to help address our community’s increased need. It is not too late to make a difference!

Mark James to Head 2010 Federation Annual Campaign
I am very excited to share that Mark James has agreed to step up as chair of our 2010 Annual Campaign. Mark has a long history of involvement in our campaign, having worked as Major Gifts chair, Business and Professional Division chair, and having led a strategic planning effort for the campaign a few years ago. Mark has also distinguished himself in our community as past chair of the JCCGV Sports Dinner, and as one of the trio of community leaders who chaired the 2006 JCC Maccabi Games hosted here in Vancouver.

Dr. Larry Goldenberg Appointed to the Order of Canada
Dr. Larry Goldenberg was among 57 new appointments announced by Canada’s governor general, Michaelle Jean, to the Order of Canada. This honour recognizes a lifetime of outstanding achievement, dedication to community and service to the nation. Dr. Goldenberg is professor and department head of Urologic Sciences at UBC and director of clinical research - Prostate Centre at Vancouver General Hospital. He received the award for his "contributions to prostate cancer research and treatment, as well as for promoting public awareness of the disease." Dr. Goldenberg is world renowned for his prostate cancer research, and was recently honoured at a dinner jointly sponsored by Canadian Friends of Hebrew University and Vancouver General Hospital.

Jewish Family Service Agency Receives Enterprising Non-Profit Grant
A few months ago I reported on a workshop that Federation facilitated for our local agencies to learn about the Enterprising Non-Profit (ENP) grant process, an example of our capacity-building work with partner organizations in the community. ENP provides support to non-profit organizations for programs and initiatives that help them reduce costs or develop alternative sources of revenue. We were pleased to learn this week that JFSA, which participated in our workshop, just received a grant from ENP to support an evaluation to help improve the business side of their home support program. Mazel tov to JFSA!

Parashat Shemot
As we begin reading the book of Exodus this week, we transition from the narrative of the formation of the Jewish people from the line of Abraham. In Shemot we find the master narrative of the Jewish people as we read the story of our liberation from Egypt, and our encounters with God in receiving God’s laws. The descendents of Jacob are now living in Egypt under the rule of a Pharoah who “no longer knows Joseph”. The Hebrews have become a numerous alien presence, and the Egyptian people are fearful that the Hebrews might align themselves with Egypt’s enemies in the event of a foreign invasion. To prevent this, the Hebrews are subjected to slavery and degradation. But while their status diminishes, their numbers increase. In response, Pharoah orders the killing of all first-born males.

We first meet Moses in this parasha, and witness his transformation from an adopted prince of Egypt, to a fugitive guilty of the murder of an Egyptian taskmaster, to a shepherd tending his father-in-law’s flock, and ultimately to the humble and reluctant advocate of his people’s freedom. Moses is uncomfortable with his leadership role, and is not convinced of his ability to effectively win his people’s freedom.

There are, of course, natural-born leaders – people who seem from their earliest days to have the self-confidence and drive that leads others to follow them. Many effective leaders, however, grow into their leadership capabilities. Their capacity exists because it was nurtured and cultivated along the way, because of learning through trial and error, because the leader overcame his or her hesitancy. Moses is this kind of leader, and as we see his story evolve over the parshiyot to come, we will witness his growth and development, and recognize the enormous potential that lies within so many who we might not naturally think of as leaders.

Shabbat Shalom!

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