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Nearly 30 Jewish organizations join forces to raise $30 million…so far

The Aim Chai Endowment Campaign has thus far raised $30 million, it was announced this week by the campaign’s co-chairs, Eric Zachs and Bruce Fischman .The amount includes $23,095,000 in cash pledges and $7,310,000 in legacy gifts, which are gifts that will be realized after a donor’s passing, they said.

Led by the Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford and the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Hartford, the goal of the Aim Chai Campaign is to ensure the long-term success of the Jewish community through endowment investments in agencies and synagogues, as well as funding for innovative ideas aimed at strengthening the community. The 30 campaign “partners” include synagogues, day schools, health care and social service agencies, student organizations, community programs and more.

“Raising $30 million is truly remarkable, but it’s just one indicator of what we are seeking to achieve,” said Fischman in announcing the Campaign’s achievement. “We are creating a culture of endowment across Greater Hartford, so that we ensure we not only have resources for our vibrant Jewish community now, but forever. That makes a powerful investment in our future.”

Zachs agreed. “Through Aim Chai, we are building on our shared aspirations for the future of this wonderful community,” he said. “We are working together with a profound sense of Jewish purpose.”

Fischman and Zachs attribute the Campaign’s early success to three major components that set it apart from the pack: 1) innovative philanthropy to solve problems and create new opportunities; 2) a focus on donors and allowing them to express what’s most meaningful to them; and 3) collaboration among the agencies.

“As a people, we have always understood that we are stronger together than apart,” says Howard Sovronsky, CEO of the Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford. “The collaboration in this campaign is truly remarkable, in terms of fundraising but also in terms of our ability to solve problems as a community and learn from one another.”

“The most obvious lesson in the campaign has been that, when we engage donors in substantive ways, we create philanthropy with a more ambitious vision of the future,” said Michael Johnston, president and CEO of the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Hartford. “When we give donors the opportunity to explore what’s most meaningful to them, we all benefit from the results.”

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