Tucson J President and CEO, Todd Rockoff will serve on the inaugural advisory board for a new organization called Global Jewry, joining a coalition of 225 prominent Jewish thought leaders from all over the world.
Global Jewry is a grassroots effort to broaden and strengthen the ties that bind the Jewish people to one another by highlighting shared values, celebrating shared history and working together to chart a shared future. Its mission is to provide a platform that fosters unity, support, and celebration of Jewish heritage.
Among the advisory board members are JCC Association of North America President and CEO, Doron Krakow and a handful of other JCC CEOs; as well as other prominent voices like Linda Altshuler, Founding Director, The Hadassah Foundation; Robert Bank President and CEO, American Jewish World Service; Dean Bell, Ph.D., President and CEO, Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership; and Rabbi Angela W. Buchdahl, Senior Rabbi, Central Synagogue.
“We are fortunate Todd has agreed to help us achieve our critical mission of strengthening the ties that bind the Jewish people. He brings a wealth of knowledge, years of experience and an unwavering commitment to our efforts to forge deeper connections between and among Jewish communities from Tucson to Tel Aviv, and every place in between,” said Global Jewry Founder, Sandy Cardin.
The organization’s goals are aligned with the J’s ongoing work to augment outreach and engagement around Jewish Peoplehood through it’s Arts, Culture, and Community department and via its association with the Weintraub Israel Center, a partnership between the J and Jewish Philanthropies of Southern Arizona.
Over the last several years, the Tucson J has intentionally deepened its focus on Global Jewish Peoplehood and its ability to explore what it is to have a vibrant local Jewish community while increasing opportunities to strengthen connections in Israel and across the Jewish diaspora. Over the last two and half years, the J has brought renowned speakers and experts on Jewish life and culture including Noah Tishby, Sarah Hurwitz, Dara Horn, and Amanda Berman to campus for community-wide conversations, and welcomed Jewish musicians including Ladino singer-songwriter Sarah Aroeste and Israeli Jazz trumpeter Itamar Borochov. To celebrate Israel’s 75th Anniversary of statehood, the Weintraub Israel Center drew a crowd of over 1,000 for the Israel at 75 Festival, giving participants a chance to engage with the 70 faces of Israel.
In addition to these larger events, micro-communities of people playing mahjong, studying Torah, learning Krav Maga, and cooking Jewish dishes from across the globe have formed, creating opportunities for people to build relationships over shared cultural interests. Cultivating a strong concept of Jewish Peoplehood is also an internal initiative at the Tucson J, with opportunities for staff participation including a partnership with a sister JCC in Athens, Greece through JCC Global and a virtual tour of the ANU Museum of the Jewish People in Tel Aviv.
“A key part of Global Jewry’s vision is to put inclusion at the forefront of our efforts by broadening the tent and embracing Jews of all backgrounds, affiliations, and levels of observance – something we’ve been doing here at the Tucson J since our founding. The opportunity to serve on the inaugural advisory board of this incredible new organization is a natural progression of our work at the J and speaks to the high level of work we are doing through our Jewish Life and Engagement Department to create meaningful ways for people of all kinds of Jewish backgrounds and identities to connect to their local and global communities,” said Rockoff.