Recognizing the power of our community

I have now worked in our Jewish community for over a year and a half—as my first job out of college, I came to the San Francisco Bay Area and entered my first “real job” with the kind of nervousness usually reserved for the first day of school, group presentations or performing onstage. I had no idea what to expect, or where I was going. My connection to the Jewish community growing up was slim to none, although my mother would sometimes light the menorah around Hanukkah.

A year and a half later, I have come to realize that I unknowingly entered a profound, caring and wonderful community by stepping into my position with the Jewish Community Federation. I feel that I made one of the best decisions of my life by choosing to be here and by working with such amazing people who have a strong desire to do good and to do tikkun olam - “repairing the world.” As an individual who cares deeply about people in need, I know that I have found my niche in the nonprofit world, and the Jewish community is one with such strong values and integrity, that I know I belong exactly where I am, and doing exactly what I am meant to do.

The power of who we are can be expressed not in what we say, but in what we do. I can think of no better example than of when I announced to my friends and colleagues that I would be moving to Berkeley. Immediately, I had offers of help, food, furniture, and anything I could possibly need. I can’t help but notice and compare this move with all of my other moves, when I had to bribe and beg anyone who would listen for assistance. There is a stark difference between this time, and all of those other times, because of the fact that I am in a community that consists of individuals who support each other. I would like to thank my associates, my friends, my colleagues, the professionals, lay leaders, and everyone in this community for making me a part of something wonderful; a community and a presence within the world that gives back what they receive and then some, with a desire to make the world a better place than when they found it. There is no greater strength, no greater power than to do good, and our Jewish community does just that.

-Jasmine Blanchard, Administrative Assistant, Early Childhood Education Initiative


July 13, 2009


The Federation