Next Year in Israel


A Message from Arlene Miller, President & CEO

In just a few days, we will be welcoming a New Year in our secular calendars. I consider this fortuitous as it gives me the chance to consider my New Year resolutions twice. Traditionally, on Rosh Hashana, individually and collectively, we resolve to make the next year better than the last – to realize our potential, to be more aware of our responsibility for others, to live our values more deeply. As the secular New Year approaches, we tend to prepare personal laundry lists of must-dos, should-dos, and do-betters.  

What I love about both New Year observances is that they both inspire me to take time to reflect. As I think back on 2017, the most meaningful experience I had was visiting Israel – twice.

In January, I travelled with a cohort of CEOs from Jewish Federations across North America. We struggled for ten days to better understand the history and trajectory of our diaspora’s relationship with Israel. Then, this past July, along with our JFFS Board Co-Chair, Lori Schwartz, I saw firsthand how the dollars we raise have a profound impact on Israeli civil society. 

A few months ago in Orange County, we hosted David Brown, the national Israel & Overseas Chair of Jewish Federations of North America, who reminded us that nothing substitutes experiencing Israel firsthand. 

So I’d like to ask you this question: When was the last time you went to Israel? 5 years ago? 20 years? I invite you to change that answer and next year be able to say. “I just went!”  Join me to feel the power of this special place, to reflect and renew, on our JFFS Israel Mission celebrating Israel’s 70th birthday this coming October. Chaired by philanthropists Roz & Elliot Vogelfanger and Barby Schwid, the JFFS mission will be a rich journey into our past, present and future. 

Open your calendar and mark the start date of October 25 for nine days of rich, meaningful, uniquely Israeli experiences and insider views that will leave you inspired, proud, and with a renewed sense of connectedness to your Jewish identity and our history.

More information and a registration link will be forthcoming in January.

Shabbat Shalom, Happy New Year, and Next Year in Israel! 


P.S. In the meantime, please help us reach our goal for the 2017 Annual Campaign. Your gift cares for people in need and strengthens Jewish community here in Orange County, in Israel, and around the world. Give generously at




Jewish Federation & Family ServicesMission Statement: We care for people in need and strengthen Jewish community in Orange County, Israel, and around the world.

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