By Reporter staff
There are people in the community who have no idea what the Jewish Federation of Greater Binghamton does. That came as a surprise to Federation Director Shelley Hubal. “It’s so easy for those of us who have been involved with the Federation to understand the importance of our Campaign and how we help the community,” she said. “But we need to make sure everyone understands.”
The Federation website notes that its purpose is to serve “the local Jewish community as a financial, cultural, educational and unifying resource. We solicit, collect and allocate funds. We support and promote Jewish identity and welfare locally and globally. We believe each individual and each organization is a thread that strengthens the rich tapestry of Jewish life.”
The 2021 local beneficiary agencies included Hillel Academy, the Jewish Community Center, Jewish Family Service, The Reporter and Hillel at Binghamton. The Federation supports the PJ Library, which provides free books and recordings to local Jewish children. It also give funds to support the Jewish Federation of North America.
In addition to this support, the Federation also runs its own programs, including the International Jewish Film Fest of Greater Binghamton, the Holocaust memorial service (see the photos on page 5 of The Reporter's September 24, 2021 issue here) and the Day of Caring. During the pandemic, it has sponsored outdoor holiday programs for Hanukkah and Shavuot, online services of caring with local rabbis and outdoor programs for families with young children. The Film Fest moved online during the pandemic as have other educations programs, including author talks and lectures.
“We are looking for more programming for families with young children to help them feel welcome,” said Hubal. “We not only want to connect with these families, but to give them an opportunity to get to know each other, no matter which synagogue they belong to, or if they haven’t yet joined a synagogue.”
Hubal noted the difficulties of running a second pandemic Campaign. “It’s not easy when we can’t gather in one place,” she said. “But I’m certain our wonderful community will once again prove it is a strong and caring community.”