I'm Thankful for Giving Back

A Message from Arlene Miller, President & CEO

It’s difficult living in difficult times, and while all times are challenging, these past few weeks have been particularly traumatic. Sometimes I can barely wrap my mind around all the heartbreak. 

Next week is Thanksgiving, and in light of everything going on around us—the horrific fires here in California, the loss of three Jewish camps, rocket fire in Israel, the tragedies at Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh and Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks—it can be hard to take a step back and be grateful for what we have. But that is exactly what I propose we do.

In addition to being thankful for the blessings in our own lives, we can also focus on how fortunate we are that we have the opportunity to do good in our community. I’m grateful that through my work and the work of Jewish Federation & Family Services, I am helping to give back to those in need and supporting the OC Jewish community.

If you are receiving this email, you are also giving back—whether through philanthropy, leadership, volunteering, or caring for our community in other ways. Below are just some of the ways that our Jewish community is doing good through Jewish Federation & Family Services of Orange County:

Seven-year-old Brandon and his younger sisters learn about the miracle of the Chanukah lights with free Jewish books delivered to their family’s doorstep.


Linda, a single mother who lost her job, receives emergency assistance with rent and utilities while getting back on her feet.

David & Selina, a newlywed couple, will experience Israel for the first time through the Honeymoon Israel Orange County trip.

Rachel, a Holocaust Survivor living alone, enjoys weekly lunches with a “Meal Partner” and receives rides to the doctor and social gatherings.

Thanksgiving is a time to come together in compassion, in community, in love, and to reflect on the many ways we can give thanks. This Thanksgiving, think about the ways that you are grateful and how you give back (or pay it forward).

Happy Thanksgiving and Shabbat Shalom,

Arlene Miller Black.jpg
Arlene Miller

P.S. Any day is a good day to give back to our community, and between now and November 27, any day is a great day to give, thanks to a match from a generous donor. Any new or increased donation to the JFFS annual campaign will be matched dollar for dollar, up to $25,000. You can learn more here.