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More than $2.4 million has been raised to kick-start a new era of innovative programs and varied giving opportunities.

Jewish Federation’s 2012 Community Campaign officially launches this month with the theme: A community Thriving. Together. The annual campaign is the St. Louis Jewish community’s largest ongoing fundraising effort. Funds raised support a family of 60 local, national and international agencies, programs, services and innovative projects that deliver programs and services for Jews of all ages and needs.

“To jumpstart the campaign, $2,450,000 has already been raised from board members, leaders and other community members,” announced Patty Croughan, 2012 Campaign Co-Chair with Lee Wielansky.

Domestically, Federation is stepping up efforts to enhance Jewish identity, build an exciting and engaging Jewish community – and care for our vulnerable. Internationally, Federation will continue to educate and advocate for a strong Israel and safe Jewish world, especially in the face of an Iranian nuclear threat. For the vulnerable our Lifeline Fund has granted nearly $700,000 in emergency cash and loans since 2008. Plus, Federation helps fund the Jewish Food Pantry. In our Israeli sister-city region we are also feeding people in need and offering after school and family enrichment programs. For seniors, there are food programs and programs for seniors in Israel and the Former Soviet Union. At the same time, Federation continues to support its traditional agencies and programs.

There are some new transformative projects: the Karen Solomon Young Adult Volunteer Initiative, Millstone Institute for Jewish Leadership and One Happy Camper $1,000 Jewish summer camp grants. And there is much more to come in 2012. To support this level of innovation, it’s important that the majority of our community members choose to make a donation – and experience the excitement this year. These include giving incentives in which each donation will be matched dollar for dollar. For example, there’s the new Sarah Kovenock and Brad Gross Challenge Grant for young adults and the Lester Miller Challenge for all donors who are new to the rolls or have not given to the campaign since 2010.

For full information about how Federation’s campaign supports our entire Jewish community, visit Federation’s Community Website.