It's good when there are many good things to write about.
First of all, I am sending heartfelt congratulations to Federation President Rhonda Forest on the marriage of her daughter Haley to Nick Winant this weekend. Haley was the first "second generation" Bornstein Program graduate and has served on the Federation board. Congratulations to Haley and the whole family!
I am also very pleased to announce that Federation is again sponsoring a women's trip to Israel in collaboration with JWRP and JOIN Orlando. The trip will take place Nov. 7 to 14. To learn about the trip and to apply, visit www.jwrp.org or email us at Israeltrip@jfgo.org.
The two previous women's trips, in October 2015 and December 2016, generated a lot of excitement and interest throughout the community. I have seen that the women who participated in them are getting more involved in the Jewish community and Jewish life. The co-chairs of this year's Choices, Leigh Norber and Heidi Zissman, are both "alumnae" of the trip as well as the 2017 annual campaign co-chair Danielle Krise, who will be speaking at Choices on Feb. 9.
I would be remiss if I didn't mention a wonderful Lion of Judah event we had a couple of weeks ago. Thirty of our most charitable and caring ladies gathered at a private home to celebrate women's philanthropy and the magnificent sisterhood of the Lions of Judah who are transforming Jewish lives in Orlando, in Israel and around the world. Close to $87,000 was raised at the event! Women's philanthropy represents 57 percent or Federation's annual giving, and of that amount, the Lions of Judah contribute a lion's share, 67 percent. That's the power of the women that will be in full evidence at Choices in a few weeks. We have already registered more than 300 women (and a few men) for what promises to be a fabulous celebration of the power and beauty of the women in our Jewish community. Ladies, don't put off signing up.
Earlier this week you should have received an email asking you to contribute to a Campus Security Fund established by the four Maitland Campus agencies to help us implement important security enhancements, some of which are already in the works, as I mentioned last week. The response from the community has been outstanding, and we are very grateful for your generosity! If you haven't done so yet, click here to donate. Big or small, every contribution matters. 100 percent of every dollar raised will go directly toward enhancing the safety and security of the Maitland Jewish Community Campus.
As the owner and manager of the campus, there's nothing more important to the Federation and to me personally than the safety and security of our students, members, guests and employees. I was enormously pleased to see hundreds of grandparents this morning who came to the campus to celebrate Shabbat with their little ones. The parking lot was full, and that's how I love to see it and how it should and will be. I am confident of that and I thank you for your support.