Shabbat Greetings from Meredith Dragon

At some of the most pivotal moments in history, collective leadership and collaboration lead to the most positive and successful outcomes. This certainly holds true in our ancient texts. In history and in our traditions, we see that the ability of leaders to partner, recognizing that no one person has all of the traits necessary to accomplish everything, yields the finest results.
Moses, who is credited with bringing the Israelites from slavery to freedom, needed his siblings, Aaron and Miriam, to complement his strengths and fill in his weaknesses.  All three were able to flourish in his or her own way, enabling Moses to successfully lead the Jewish people.
Theodor Herzl established the World Zionist Congress, recognizing that the dream of reestablishing a Jewish state would require tremendous collaboration in order to become a reality.
Even our most basic of practice, prayer, cannot happen without ten people, a minyan, recognizing that we are stronger when we are together.
Collaboration is at the heart of who we are as a people, but sometimes working together may seem counterproductive or even scary.  The examples above are about individuals, but I believe organizations and our community function better when we work collaboratively, too.
Last September when I spoke at our Federation opening event, I explained that I subscribe to the philosophy that rising tides raise all boats.  We are only as strong as our weakest link, and our institutions succeed and fail, together. It has been incredibly gratifying to see the many wonderful collaborative programs and events that have happened successfully in our community this year.
Next week there are two collaborative programs happening that I would like to share. On Monday, June 26, Azafea: A Spanish Odyssey - Music From the Sephardic Diaspora will be performing at Temple B’rith Kodesh at 7 pm. What makes this event particularly special is that eight of our local synagogues worked together to make it happen. Click here for more information.
The following evening, June 27, I am incredibly excited that our community will be holding its first combined annual meeting of four of our Jewish agencies: The Jewish Federation of Greater Rochester, Louis S. Wolk JCC, Jewish Family Service and Hillel Community Day School. This evening gives us the opportunity to highlight the important work of each agency and showcases that we are indeed stronger together when we work in partnership for the greatest good of the Jewish community. It truly will be a celebration of all that we are able to accomplish together.  An added benefit is that we are saving community time and money by working together!
The meeting will begin at 7:15 PM and each agency has 15 minutes on the agenda to honor the work of the organization and our dedicated volunteers.  Click here for more information. Please come!
I think one of the greatest collaborations in our community is our Federation’s annual campaign.  Each donor who provides support ensures that he or she is creating a strong Jewish future in Rochester, Israel and around the world.  The cooperative and collaborative efforts of thousands of donors make our future brighter than any one person can individually.  In that spirit, we need everyone’s strongest level of participation in order to thrive.
Our campaign is closing June 30. If you have not made or considered a pledge this year, I hope you will be inspired to do so. We need you. Our community needs you. Together we can build a strong Jewish future for all of us. Please click here to give.
Thank you so much for your collective support this year. The collaboration between our partner agencies, our volunteers, our generous donors and our staff inspire me every single day and I am truly grateful.
Shabbat Shalom. 



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