Federation 2022: the year in review

By Reporter staff

The Jewish Federation of Greater Binghamton held 20 in-person and virtual events and programs during 2022, and began soliciting funds for a matching grant in order to increase security at local Jewish organizations. For the first time in three years, the Federation was able to hold its Campaign Kick-off in person with a brunch and speaker. It also held its first in-person film/dinner event since the pandemic began. In addition, it held its first L’Dor v’Dor – Next Generation event.

“It was wonderful to be able to hold events in person,” said Shelley Hubal, executive director of the Federation. “It’s been a rough few years with us only being able to hold programs online. However, the flexibility Zoom offered has allowed us to present programs in the winter without having to worry about the weather.”

Hubal added, “When I look back at this past year, I’m pleased and amazed at the variety of programs the Federation held. We aimed to present programs to reach people of every age – from children and families to seniors – and I think we succeeded. I am particularly proud that we had a successful program for those in their 20s and 30s, a group that many consider difficult to reach.”

Noting that she hopes to build on her successes, Hubal did say that help from the community is always appreciated. “The Federation board and its committees help make this possible,” she said, “but we can always use additional help and suggestions. If you are interested in volunteering, feel free to contact me at director@jfgb.org or 724-2332.”


Federation events and initiatives for 2022 included:

  • A live virtual tour of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration Camp on January 23. The program was offered in partnership with the Center for Holocaust Education of the East Valley Jewish Community Center, AZ. The tour of the death camp included historical footage, aerial photographs, drone videos and testimonies of survivors.
  • A webinar with Scott Richman, the director of the Anti-Defamation League’s largest regional office covering New York and New Jersey, on January 27 on Zoom. Rachel Coker, director of research advancement at Binghamton University, moderated the discussion. Thirty-seven households tuned into the event.
  • A virtual showing of the drama “Neighbours,” a film by writer/director Mano Khalil. The discussion of` “Neighbours” was moderated by Dr. Dina Danon, associate professor of Judaic studies and Middle East and North Africa studies. Fifty people signed up to view the film and 22 households tuned into the discussion. 
  • A virtual showing of a documentary “White Right” and the short film “Masel Tov Cocktail.” Stephen A. Lisman, distinguished teaching professor emeritus in psychology at Binghamton University, moderated a discussion of the films on March 3. Thirty-seven people signed up to view the films and 15 households tuned into the discussion. 
  • A “March Into Spring Family Get-Together” on March 6. The event was co-sponsored by the PJ Library program and Hillel Academy, and was open to family members of all ages. 
  • A vigil for peace in support of Ukraine at the Jewish Community Center on March 9 in conjunction with the Broome County Council of Churches. Ten clergy members from the Broome County area participated. 
  • A virtual showing of the film “Here We Are.” Shelley Hubal, executive director of the Jewish Federation of Greater Binghamton, and Dr. Jennifer Gillis, professor of psychology at Binghamton University, who studies autism spectrum disorders, moderated an online discussion on April 10. Thirty-two households registered to view the film and there were 16 households online during the discussion.
  • A virtual Yom Hashoah event on April 26. The virtual event included a live Zoom session with Holocaust survivor Aliza Erber. In addition, there were readings by local rabbis. Twenty-seven households tuned into the events; others viewed the event from a screen in the Temple Concord sanctuary. 
  • An in-person security seminar for faith-based organizations in conjunction with the Broome County Council of Churches on May 12. Representatives from public safety agencies discussed ways the faith-based community can protect its houses of worship and keep its members safe while sustaining an open and welcoming environment. More than 30 people attended.
  • A L’Dor v’Dor – Next Generation event at the Beer Tree Factory on June 16. Twenty-four people attended the event. 
  • An active shooter training on June 23 at Temple Israel. More than 75 people attended the event. 
  • Sponsoring a day at the Rumble Ponies on July 10. More than 30 people attended the event. 
  • Beginning to solicit funds for a LiveSecure matching grant for security funding that will continue over several years.
  • A Campaign 2023 Kick-off Brunch on September 18. Rivkah Slonim, associate director of the Rohr Chabad Center for Jewish Student Life at Binghamton University, spoke on how “Giving tzedakah is a sacred duty.”
  • A “Stop the Bleed” program on September 19 in conjunction with Temple Israel’s Safety and Security Committee. 
  • A memorial service at the Holocaust Memorial Monument in the Temple Israel Cemetery on October 2. The service was led by area rabbis. 
  • The in-person showing of the documentary “Fiddler: A Miracle of Miracles” on November 6 at Temple Israel. The evening included a kosher dairy dinner. Larry Kassan, who has directed productions of the musical, facilitated the film discussion.
  • Sponsoring the local Global Day of Jewish Learning program with Temple Concord, Temple Israel and Beth David Synagogue in person and on Zoom on November 13. This year’s learning theme was “Rebuilding” and the rabbis from the three synagogues spoke. 
  • “Tea and Talk” meetings for seniors, held in conjunction with Chabad of Binghamton. “Tea and Talk” began as a monthly hour-long gathering for local Jewish seniors who are looking for “a meaningful conversation.” The program has been so successful that it will now be held twice a month.
  • A virtual showing of the documentary film “The Automat” in conjunction with the Ithaca Area United Jewish Community. A discussion with the film’s director and producer, Lisa Hurwitz, took place on Zoom on December 11.
  • The Community Hanukkah Celebration, co-sponsored with Jewish Community Center on December 22.