To: Bryan Drowos, c/o The Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County
From: Richard Wexler
RE: Completing the Journey
I just watched the JFNA video of the Mission on which you participated -- as the final step approached to Completing the Journey for Ethiopian olim. (Although, seemingly as always, the title ought to be "the never-ending saga" as characterized by Haaretz earlier this month.) Your narration, your articulation of the emotions you felt, were extremely moving. Kal ha'kavod to you, to JFNA and to your fellow Mission participants.
But it's also time, past time, really, for you and other leaders of your Federation to take a careful look at how the Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County has, or, more correctly, has not participated in this great chapter in modern Jewish history. Yes, while other communities (not nearly enough of them) have made the historic connection between their financial resource development and this historic aliyah in which you participated, sharing vital resources to complete this incredible part of the journey, what has your Federation done? How much money has been sent to support this incredible journey? I think I know the answers to these questions; Bryan, you deserve to know those answers as well.
After your experiences in Ethiopia, on the journey itself, at Ben Gurion, and on the ground in Israel, I hope you have had the chance to share these experiences, not only on the beautiful, emotional and evocative JFNA video but with your fellow Federation Board members. And, then, ask those Board members to explain the extent of the Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County's financial participation in the totality of Ethiopian aliyah, in meeting overseas needs, in fairly sharing communal resources around the Jewish world, beyond the borders of the JFSBC with the JDC and the Jewish Agency..
And, then, don't stop advocating for communal financial participation in the chapters of Jewish history that you and your generation of Jewish leaders will write. You and those you brought to Israel are an important part of the Jewish future.