Letter to the editor February 5

Letter to the editor February 5

Jewish learning, inspiration for everyone

Thanks for your inspiring story about Mike Feinberg, the student whose Birthright Israel trip through J’Burgh inspired him to become a trip leader himself (“Birthright a soul-stirring experience for local youth leader,” Jan. 15). As the chair of the Community Building Committee for the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh, I am proud that we are able to fund this position at Hillel JUC to enable more young adults to experience this kind of transformative experience.

The Israel engagement coordinator position has metrics in place as part of Hillel’s Comprehensive Excellence program to ensure that the program grows, but the human aspect that you highlighted — the story of how Mike’s experience in turn inspired Emma Raszmann, who in turn inspired her brother — reminded me how important this inspiration can be in continuing Jewish traditions. That purpose is at the heart of the Centennial Fund for a Jewish Future, an endowment within the Federation’s Jewish Community Foundation that provides funding to make quality Jewish learning and experiences available to everyone.

Thanks for reminding all of us how much impact Hillel and J’Burgh have on Pittsburgh.

Meryl Ainsman

Chair, Community Building Committee

Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh