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The Jewish Federation’s work centers around five areas: convening local Jewish organizations to impact short and long term community-building strategies, efficient fundraising through a centralized annual campaign, funding programs that promise to improve Nashville and world Jewry, creating endowments to ensure a Jewish future for generations to come, and deepening connections between Israel and the Middle Tennessee Jewish community. The Jewish Federation sponsors and funds more than 70 programs and projects that touch Jewish lives ranging from Shalom Baby, which welcomes our newest members of the community, to Shalom Taxi, which provides highly subsidized taxi vouchers for our seniors. We are firmly committed to supporting formal and informal Jewish education at all levels. We provide grants to Akiva School, Nashville’s Jewish day school for children in grades K-6; we sponsor annual programs like the Global Day of Jewish Learning for adults, and we offer special incentive subsidies for teens and college-age students who want to study in Israel for a gap-year or semester-long educational experiences. We’ve also expanded our PJLibrary Program to include PJ Our Way, which provides free books and other Jewish learning media to children ages 9-11. The Jewish Federation also provides special grants to all of our local synagogues to allow them to offer Jewish enrichment and education programs that are open to all community members. Every Jewish organization in Nashville benefits from grants made possible by the Jewish Federation’s annual fundraising and unrestricted endowments, and the Jewish Federation encourages all of its local agencies and the congregations to offer innovative
More than 80 members of Nashville’s Jewish community representing all five congregations took part in the Nashville CommUNITY Trip to Israel in 2016, which was sponsored by the Jewish Federation. Shortly after their arrival, they paused on their way to the Old City to recite the Shehecheyanu, the traditional Jewish prayer celebrating a special event, and posed for a group photo wearing the blue t-shirts made especially for the trip.
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The Federation’s Welcoming Ambassadors Program holds quarterly receptions like this one for Jewish newcomers and those seeking to get newly involved in the Nashville Jewish community. (Photo by Barbara Schwarcz)
Welcoming Newcomers to Nashville
6 • The Guide to Jewish Nashville 2017
he Jewish Federation of Nashville and Middle Tennessee works with the local synagogues and other Jewish organizations and agencies to make newcomers feel at home in our Jewish community. We try to welcome every newcomer with a letter from the executive director along with a copy of the Guide to Jewish Nashville and other information about local congregations, agencies and organizations. In 2015, the Federation launched the Welcoming Ambassadors Program, an initiative aimed at improving the experience of Jewish newcomers and those seeking to get newly involved in the Jewish community through personal, face-to-face interactions. More than 30 individuals have volunteered to be welcoming ambassadors, hosting and attending quarterly gatherings for newcomers, meeting individually with them, and helping them find a place in their new Jewish community. If you or someone you know would like a welcome packet or more information about the Welcoming Ambassadors Program, contact Barbara Schwarcz at (615) 354-1630 or firstname.lastname@example.org. •