The death of George Floyd and the protests across the world continue to be a reminder of how deep the pain is in our society. We are reminded of the universally applicable Jewish value to love your neighbor as yourself.
As your Evelyn Rubenstein JCC President and your Chief Executive Officer, we would like to take this opportunity to share some important updates and insights about the current state of the J as we look to the future.
Fall 2016: Vision and Planning
In the fall of 2016, our Board of Trustees completed a visioning process which resulted in the creation of a master plan for the J. Elements of the plan included significant renovations and updates to our 50-year-old building and the approval of a capital campaign. From January to August 2017, J leadership embarked on a fundraising initiative which raised 50% of our goal. We were preparing to share these exciting plans with the community in September 2017.
As we approach Thanksgiving, we want to give special thanks to the dedicated volunteers that made this year’s Ann and Stephen Kaufman Jewish Book & Arts Festival a success. Our Festival volunteer core, 160 people strong, put in more than 550 plus hours to make meaningful programs and an outstanding book store happen. If you happened to be at the J during the Festival, you saw packed audiences listening to authors, enjoying films, music and theater, shopping in the book store and connecting with friends.
What is Giving Tuesday?
Giving Tuesday is a global giving movement. Celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving and the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday, #GivingTuesday kicks off the charitable season, when many focus on their holiday and end-of-year giving.
This year it falls on Tuesday, Nov 27.
We’d like to share with you two ways you can show support for the Pittsburgh Jewish community. First is a way to share what a “Window of Hope” means for you through social media. Second is a virtual 5K that the Pittsburgh JCC is conducting that you can participate in right here from Houston.
In the spirit of solidarity and claiming public spaces for positive expressions of unity, we invite you to participate in the Evelyn Rubenstein JCC’s Windows of Hope project.
From Nov 4-11, we encourage you to #standwithpittsburgh and use your windows to create messages of hope for all groups being targeted by hate including anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, xenophobia, homophobia, racism….
On behalf of the J, I would like to extend the best wishes to you and your family for a happy and healthy 2018!
It was great to see many of you this past Sunday at the Jewish CultureFest at Evelyn’s Park in Bellaire. The weather cooperated so we could all enjoy the live music, great food and the many great activities. Special thanks to the City of Bellaire and Evelyn’s Park staff for assisting with the festival and to Rabbi Samantha Safran for coordinating the festival.
Thank you for your patience as we continue to move forward with building repairs and work to resume as many programs and activities as possible. I wanted to provide you with a number of important updates and announcements.
Thank you Jewish Federation of Greater Houston
I was informed earlier this week that the Jewish Federation of Greater Houston made a grant of $1 million to the J to support the repair and renovations costs for all of our facilities. More than $17 million has been raised to support Hurricane Harvey and relief efforts, and we are grateful to the Jewish Federation for its partnership and to all of the donors that have contributed to the fund.