In the Spotlight

Signer Spotlight: Aidan Bloomstine

Signer Spotlight: Aidan Bloomstine Los Angeles, CA In January 2024, University of Southern California (USC) junior Aidan Bloomstine traveled to Israel along with fellow non-Jewish college students through a trip organized by the Maccabee Task Force. We caught up with Aidan to hear his experiences and perspectives. What inspired you, aN AMERICAN college student, to travel to Israel in January 2024 through the Maccabee Task Force? Through my Christian upbringing, I developed a reverence for Israel and the Jewish People. When I arrived as a Freshman at USC, I was invited to a Shabbat dinner. I showed up for a meal,

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Signer Spotlight: Danny Cohn

Signer Spotlight: Danny Cohn Mountain Brook, AL Danny Cohn is the CEO of the Birmingham Jewish Federation. What does the Jewish Future Promise mean to you? Hineni – here I am. I can’t ask anyone to do what I wouldn’t do; I have to give first. The Promise was something easy for me to stand up for, and then ask my community to join me in doing what’s right.   I believe that the most valuable thing that you own is your voice. Your word is your honor and your integrity. The Promise is simply signaling: “I’m going to do it.”

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Pledger Spotlight: Carolyn Siegel

Pledger Spotlight: Carolyn Siegel Encino, CA Tell us about your organization, If You Heard What I Heard When I was 8 years old, my grandfather, Moses Locker, a Holocaust survivor, told me: “Carolyn, it will be the job of your generation to make sure the world never forgets.” I was taken aback as a young child, but he then took my hand and said “no, you have to remember this happened, so it doesn’t happen again.” Fast forward 30 years later, a synagogue near my home was graffitied with “F** the Jews.” My grandfather’s concerns of history repeating were becoming a

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Signer Spotlight: Doug Ross

Signer Spotlight: Doug Ross Doug Ross serves as Vice Chair of Birthright Israel Foundation, a partner organization of the Jewish Youth Pledge. How do the missions of the Pledge and Birthright Israel align? The Pledge is an idea whose time has come. The Pledge and Birthright Israel are both trying to raise the collective consciousness of the Jewish people by bringing people together in tangible ways to powerfully impact our communities and the Jewish world, whether now (Birthright) or in the future (Pledge). Birthright participants are more likely to marry Jewish, engage with their Jewish communities when they return home are

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Signer Spotlight: Bernie and Joan White

Signer Spotlight: Bernie and Joan White Share your unique approach to endowment-based giving As the well-worn saying goes, “actions speak louder than words.” We wanted our giving legacy to be actionable. For this reason, our three children participate on the committee for the endowment we established through the Dallas Jewish Community Foundation. The “Joan and Bernard White Jewish Future Fund” endowment provides scholarships for Jewish summer camps, gap-year study in Israel, Jewish Day Schools, March of the Living, and other organizations that create a vibrant Jewish life for young people. Since our children serve as three members of the endowment committee,  they gain operational

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Signer Spotlight: Jane Schiff, Greater Naples

Signer Spotlight: Jane Schiff Why is it important to give Jewishly? I have always understood the need to take care of Jews, because no one else will take care of us. People will give to universities, hospitals, art museums, and theaters… but nobody takes care of the Jews other than the Jews themselves. I was born and raised to believe that this is my responsibility. I also realized that supporting [causes] on a collective basis, like through a Federation, allows you to touch a lot of people in a lot of places, even if you can’t be on the ground. Central

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Signer Spotlight: Marvin Blum, Texas

Signer Spotlight: Marvin Blum Marvin and his daughter Lizzy Savetsky signed the pledge this year. View their video of why they signed here. Why did you sign the Jewish Future Pledge? My grandparents came to America with nothing but the clothes on their backs and knowledge between their ears. They raised my parents and me with their strong values: a commitment to our faith, education, spirituality, and a determination to find meaning in life. I raised my kids with those same values, so Lizzy and her brother Adam grew up seeing the same example set for them about embracing your Jewish identity.

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Signer Spotlight: Amy Berko Iles, New York

Signer Spotlight: Amy Berko Iles, New York Why does the Jewish Future matter to you? Our people have an extraordinary past, and we would be remiss if we weren’t cognizant of ensuring we have a future. A Jewish future transcends politics or current affairs, as family traditions and values can be passed down from generation to generation in both traditional and unexpected ways. My parents and grandparents’ traditions helped shape me, and my own life experiences further helped define my personal values and commitments. I hope to continue the chain by empowering my own children and grandchildren to define a Jewish

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Signer Spotlight: Scott Arogeti, Greater Atlanta

Signer Spotlight: Scott Arogeti, Greater Atlanta DOES IT COST MONEY TO MAKE THE PROMISE? I love how The Pledge gets you thinking about the impact you want to have on the world. Whether it’s environmental, social justice, or politics, there are so many organizations within the tapestry of American Jewry that serve various needs of the Jewish community. There are so many different ways someone can define their Judaism, and The Pledge shows how you can custom-build your legacy based off the interests and issues you feel most passionate about. A special memory from the 2008 White House Menorah Lighting I

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Signer Spotlight: Andre Tarraf, Brazil/Florida

Signer Spotlight: Andre Tarraf Brazil/Florida Why Are You Committed to a Jewish Future? L’dor V’dor – from generation to generation. I want my nieces and nephews to have the opportunities that I didn’t, and to keep the Jewish values and faith that have been passed down for generations. Without the commitment of generations before me, I wouldn’t even be here to sit in my great-grandfather’s chair. I’d like my future children or grandchildren to have the opportunity to sit in that chair as well. We are always looking forward despite any adversity. If we don’t do it, then who will do

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Signer Spotlight: Jackie Goldstein, Atlanta

Signer Spotlight: Jackie Goldstein, Atlanta Why did you take the Jewish Future Pledge? During COVID, I think we were frightened and thinking about our own mortality. That time was sobering, but in hindsight, lockdown gave me the luxury of downtime to really look at my legacy. The more I got into it, the more I wanted to figure out what my priorities were and how I wanted to deal with my valuables of money, wisdom and stuff. It motivated me to have conversations with people so they would be aware of what I wanted. Somewhere along the journey, I was told

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Signer Spotlight: Ken Chaim Fink, Minnesota/Israel

Signer Spotlight: Ken Chaim Fink, Minnesota/Israel Why did you sign the Pledge? It’s so simple and such an easy “yes.” It’s a way for people to engage in a conversation about purpose and legacy in a non-threatening, but powerful way. You want to look backwards so you can reach forward, and the Pledge helps us tie together our connection to Israel, Judaism, and Jewish causes into the greater conversation about the future of the Jewish people. The past too often hangs on a string, and the pledge lays the groundwork for important discussions with our family and friends. What is your

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Signer Spotlight: Ana Sazonov, Columbia/South Carolina

Signer Spotlight: Ana Sazonov Columbia, South Carolina Tell us about your volunteer mission to Ukraine through the Jewish Federations of North America A native Ukrainian, I initially feared my country might disappear and that like my Jewish ancestors, my identity could be thrown into question. I saw articles about Holocaust survivors not making it through this new war. Raising awareness and supporting crisis funds is critical, but I knew I had to do more. Through a volunteer mission coordinated by the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA), partnering with The Jewish Agency For Israel (JAFI) and the Joint Distribution Committee (JDC),

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Signer Spotlight: Isaac Frank, Atlanta

Signer Spotlight: Isaac Frank and the Frank Family What is one Jewish value you carry with you in your daily life? Most central to us is Tikkun Olam – repairing the world. It is important to do good every day, not only for the Jewish community, but for anyone in need. Overall, for us, Jewish values serve as a compass, a guide for how we live our lives. Judaism intertwines in our daily lives – our children attend Jewish day schools, we have relatives who are rabbis and live in Israel, and everything we do is through a Jewish lens. How can we

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Signer Spotlight: Nathan Bushnell, South Africa

Signer Spotlight: Nathan Bushnell What does Judaism contribute to your life, and what steps have you taken to engage with the Jewish community? I grew up in Durban, a coastal city in South Africa with a small yet mighty Jewish population. For me, Judaism served as a moral compass and created a sense of belonging. I highly value this community and have taken great steps to engage with my Judaism – going to university in Israel and, most recently, beginning my Aliyah process. Another step I have made to support the Jewish community is taking the Jewish Future Pledge. I heard

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Signer Spotlight: Joe Goldblatt, Scotland

Signer Spotlight: Joe Goldblatt What does Jewish identity mean to you? Once, a reporter asked my father, a first-generation Jewish American, “Do you see yourself as an American, a Texan, or something else?” He responded, “I see myself as a Jew. Judaism is a universal type of identity; wherever I travel, whatever country I claim as my home, I am first a Jew.” That’s how I feel. Even if there isn’t a Jewish community physically nearby, the shared Jewish history, the shared experience, and the Jewish rituals allow me to be a proud Jew no matter where I go. Why is

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Signer Spotlight: Aidan Bloomstine

Signer Spotlight: Aidan Bloomstine Los Angeles, CA In January 2024, University of Southern California (USC) junior Aidan Bloomstine traveled to Israel along with fellow non-Jewish

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Signer Spotlight: Danny Cohn

Signer Spotlight: Danny Cohn Mountain Brook, AL Danny Cohn is the CEO of the Birmingham Jewish Federation. What does the Jewish Future Promise mean to

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Signer Spotlight: Doug Ross

Signer Spotlight: Doug Ross Doug Ross serves as Vice Chair of Birthright Israel Foundation, a partner organization of the Jewish Youth Pledge. How do the

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