September 8, 2023

“All of you” (Deuteronomy 29:9) is the reference in the opening verse of this week’s double Torah portion, Nitzavim-Vayelech, that sets the stage for why Jewish Federations across North America were first established. “All of you” holds immense significance in Jewish community discussions as it highlights the inclusivity and unity of all members of the Jewish community today, even though we entered Gd’s Covenant over 3,000 years ago. “All of you” transcends all social divisions, whether of wealth, age, political beliefs, or origin. “All of you” embraces both the wealthy and the poor, the young and the old, the politically left and right, the naturally born Jew, and the convert alike. “All of you” emphasizes that in the eyes of Gd, everyone is equal, and everyone’s commitment to the Covenant is equally important.

This principal belief carries profound relevance to the Jewish Federation of San Antonio’s (JFSA) mission, vision, and purpose. It signifies the unity and inclusivity that our community embraces, recognizing that its strength lies in bringing together individuals with diverse backgrounds and perspectives. JFSA plays a crucial role in bringing this vision to reality by fostering a vibrant and engaged Jewish community today, with a focus on building a promising future for tomorrow.

  • Inclusivity and Diversity: The Jewish Federation of San Antonio operates under the principle that “all of you” includes every member of the Jewish community, regardless of one’s age, economic status, religious denomination, or cultural background. We work tirelessly to ensure that every voice is heard, and every individual feels welcome and valued.
  • Education and Youth Engagement: Recognizing that the future of the Jewish community lies in our youth, JFSA invests in educational programs and initiatives. We strive to engage young Jews, teaching them about their heritage, values, and the importance of community involvement. By doing so, we are ensuring that our Jewish traditions and values are passed down to future generations.
  • Social Services and Welfare: JFSA understands the importance of caring for all members of the community, particularly those in need. We provide support to the elderly, the economically disadvantaged, and other vulnerable populations who require assistance. This commitment to social services reflects the “all of you” ethos, emphasizing the importance of looking out for one another.
  • Community Building: Through events, gatherings, and cultural programs, JFSA fosters a deep sense of belonging. We create opportunities for people of all ages and backgrounds to come together, celebrate our heritage, and build lifetime relationships. It is through these activities that we are able to strengthen the bonds of our community.
  • Support for Israel and Global Jewish Community: JFSA extends our reach beyond San Antonio by providing support for Israel and our united Jewish community across the world. Participating in these global Jewish initiatives highlights our commitment to the broader Jewish family, personifying the idea that “all of you” does not end at the gates of our community.

Throughout history, from biblical times to the recent past, when the Jewish community embraced its similarities and common understandings, we celebrated times of joy and unity. Conversely, when we focused on our differences and individual gains, we lived through times of pain and suffering. President Abraham Lincoln famously said, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” And just as the Israelites were reminded to “all of you” come together to strengthen our bond with Gd, so too must we now more than ever find a way to unite with a common vision toward a promising and enduring future.

To this end, and although we are living in a time of difficult partisanship and social division across our nation, JFSA believes that with our vibrant and unified Jewish community history of San Antonio, we have every reason to be optimistic and excited about our shared future.

We encourage you to join us in our mission and invest in this collective purpose. Please consider making your gift to this year’s Annual Campaign because we are…


Shabbat Shalom,