With Tremendous Gratitude

Nov 23, 2022

To the JEWISHcolorado community:

As I approach my last few days at JEWISHcolorado, I leave humbled and overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and support since the announcement of my departure from the organization. Thank you. It has been a tremendous honor to serve our community these past four years. Having grown up here, returning to Colorado as I did four years ago was a dream. Reconnecting with many of you, and getting to know so many others, has been a true gift. I feel incredibly proud of all that I was able to accomplish with a team of talented staff and dedicated lay leaders.

During these past four years, we have worked tirelessly to earn and honor community trust, we have completed our capital campaign and rebuilt the Joyce Zeff JEWISHcolorado building, hired and retained talented staff, and modernized. We also launched several new initiatives including the Regional Safety and Security program, the Israel and Overseas Center, Impact Capital and ESG investing, strategic grant-making, Design Philanthropy, and our Courageous Conversations leadership program.

We also earned the 2020 FBI Directors Award for Community Achievement, increased state-wide engagement, and passed two state bills in three legislative sessions, one with appropriations. True to our federation roots, we’ve also been able to respond to multiple, crises including: the Tree of Life massacre in Pittsburgh, the COVID-19 pandemic, the murder of a Yeshiva Toras Chaim student, the Marshall Fire near Boulder, the war in Ukraine, all while raising an additional $2.4 million in emergency funds for those in need.

These past many months have also been filled with personal challenges. Fortunately, I am well, and my immediate family is well. Others in my family need more support, and I am grateful to be able to be there when they need me most. I am stepping away to help with this care, catch my breath from a fulfilling and demanding four years of service, and pursue exciting new opportunities. Your ongoing support for this organization is crucial, as it is for all our Jewish institutions. It is the measure of the strength and vitality of what we have built together.

With tremendous gratitude,

Rabbi Jay Strear