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President’s Annual Meeting Speech 2017
Good evening. We are here to celebrate the many accomplishments of Jewish Family Services of Silicon Valley in the past year and look ahead to bright expectations for the future.
As Mindy mentioned in her address, there were many noteworthy touchstones for JFS since our last Annual Meeting in June 2016. I’d like to give a nod of appreciation to a few people:
-- Susan Ellenberg who graciously accepted our invitation to handle the installation of Board members.
-- Members of the Board of Directors retiring from their formal positions, but who will undoubtedly provide support in the future: Susan Greenberg Englander, Elaine Blais and Marty Newman
-- People who recently joined the Board: Ruth Bareket, Susan Broockman and Haryl Pascal. Each of them brings a wealth of experience, knowledge, skill and determination to make sure JFS continues to fulfill its potential.
However, tonight, I’d like to focus on a group of people who help ensure our success. Where would JFS be without our volunteers? All 665 of them?
How Could We Do Any Less?
How could we do any less?
When people fled affliction and disaster during ancient times, we welcomed them into our tents.
When persecution by government and ignorance of the populace gave rise to pogroms and shtetls, we shared what little we had.
When economic calamity of the 1920s created disruption and authoritarian regimes in the 1930s, we comforted those in harm’s way and prayed for a miracle.
When outside forces threatened the state of Israel with intimidation and, at times, much worse, we spoke together in support.
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Walking In Each Other’s Shoes
We are the sons and daughters of refugees. Whether our grandparents, great-grandparents or a more distant ancestor came to the US from another country, few of us can lay claim to be natives. We’ve fled persecution for a better life since biblical times. Some family members came to escape pogroms in the late 1800s while others left the chaos of Europe after World War I and still others reached our shores mere steps ahead of Hitler’s war machine. Are we any different than people fleeing tyranny today?
JFS SV President