The mission of the Jewish Federation of Peoria is to serve the Jewish people locally, in Israel, and throughout the world through coordinated fundraising, community-wide programming, social services, and social- cultural-educational activities.
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Annette Small Jewish Federation of Peoria

Annette Small
President, Jewish Federation of Peoria

A Special Family

You may have heard about this family; however, I’ve been asked me to repeat my story so everyone can get to know this special family! 

I would like to tell you a story about a young Jewish couple who arrived in Peoria.  They were greeted by the Jewish Federation of Peoria and welcomed into the community.  Soon the family began to grow and the Federation delivered a baby basket to them.  Their young children were stimulated with the educational opportunities from the PJ Library to Federation sponsored Temple Sunday School and Hebrew Day School.  They participated in many Jewish holiday celebrations, like the annual Purim carnival.  The family attended several Jewish Federation sponsored programs in Peoria.  They were entertained by a Jewish comedian, loved listening to a Klezmer Band,  and enjoyed watching Israeli movies.  The family celebrated Israel’s birthday at our Israel Fair, right here in Peoria.  All of these activities were supported by the Jewish Federation of Peoria.

When the Jewish Federation of Peoria began sponsoring young Israelis as our ambassadors thru the Shaliach Program, the family welcomed our Shaliach into their home.  They learned about Israel, how to cook several Israeli dishes, and they began learning Hebrew too.

The parents attended adult education classes, while the kids enjoyed Jewish youth camp and joined PeFTY youth group.  Soon the kids were attending Jewish programs at Bradley Hillel.  Eventually the kids traveled to Israel on Federation sponsored Birthright Israel Programs.

The family remembers hearing many stories from Holocaust survivors at the Federation’s annual Yom Ha’Shoah program.

Now that the family has aged, the parents are enjoying senior programs including trips to historical sites, senior Chanukah dinners, mock Seders, and so much more, all sponsored by the Federation.

The family made a contribution to our “Special Campaign Request following the horrific tornado in Washington”.  It’s been over a year since the tornado, and the family knows that the Jewish Federation of Peoria is still assisting those recovering and rebuilding in Washington.  We have received several heartwarming thank you notes from those we have personally helped.

The family made a generous donation to the “Stop the Sirens Emergency Campaign” while Israel was bombarded with rockets from Gaza for 50 days this past summer.

This year the family also contributed to the “Special Campaign for Jews in the Ukraine”  at a time of military unrest, where 20,000 Jews were forced to leave their homes.

The family understands that they have a strong Jewish identity in Peoria, and they truly appreciate all that the Jewish Federation of Peoria does for them.

This family takes pride in knowing that the Jewish Federation and its partners the Jewish Agency for Israel, the Joint Distribution Committee, and World ORT continue feeding the hungry, supplying medical care, serving educational needs, and sheltering Jews all over the world.

The family quickly learned that their annual Campaign Pledge impacts Jewish life in Peoria, Israel, and 70 countries around the world, and how they are contributing to Tikkun Olam – Repairing the World.

Now,  this story is not of ONE Jewish family, however, it’s the story of MANY Jewish families right here in Peoria.  There is something here in this story that we can all relate to, especially knowing that we are all ONE family, with ONE history, and ONE destiny.

As I am writing this article, our Campaign Cabinet, and all the wonderful volunteers are trying to reach each individual member of our Jewish community in order to give you the opportunity to make your 2015 Campaign pledge.  Our goal is to reach the entire Jewish community by the end of February in order to continue planning great programs, and sponsor events into the future.

It is so important to understand that with each individual pledge, we as Jews are counted as individual supporters of Jews everywhere.  If you have not yet made your pledge, and would like to make your 2015 Campaign pledge, please contact the Federation office.  If you have already made your 2015 pledge, thank you joining me as we ensure a strong Jewish future for our community and all of our special families, here in Israel and around the world.

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