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The Jewish Press of Tampa and the Jewish Press of Pinellas County are Independently- owned biweekly Jewish community newspapers published in cooperation with and supported by the Tampa JCC & Federation and the Jewish Federation of Pinellas & Pasco Counties, respectively. Copyright © 2009-2018 The Jewish Press Group of Tampa Bay, Inc., All Rights Reserved.


 

May 4, 2018  RSS feed
Rabbinically Speaking

Text: T T T

Gulf Coast agency is real community treasure

By RABBI GARY KLEIN Temple Ahavat Shalom, Palm Harbor

My purpose in writing this column is to remind you of our community’s good fortune in being home to Gulf Coast Jewish Family & Community Services. I am very familiar with this wonderful agency; having served on its board of directors for 21 years until I left that board a couple of years ago, and having served as an officer of the Gulf Coast board for about a half dozen of those 21 years.

In that capacity I had the opportunity to interact with several gifted and devoted executive directors, many capable members of Gulf Coast’s administrative professional staff, and numerous board members whose commitment to the Jewish concept of “Tikkun Olam” always served as an inspiration for me.

Gulf Coast serves thousands of Jews and non- Jews around our state every year. It’s programming includes individual and family counseling, foster care and post foster-care assistance, child warfare management, numerous programs for Holocaust survivors, teen mother support, violence prevention programs, programing for survivors of torture who have come here from other countries, refugee settlement, non-custodial parent employment, elderly services, substance abuse treatment, services to the mentally ill, a food pantry, and other services.

Gulf Coast’s utilization of its approximate $34 million annual budget is an example of ultimate efficiency. The agency functions with only 12 percent overhead. Furthermore, in a study conducted last year by a respected social service agency monitoring organization, Gulf Coast Jewish Family& Community Services ranked fifth highest in satisfaction of any social service agency in the United States of America.

Gulf Coast’s funding comes from state, local, and federal government sources, as well as from donations, many of which are contributed by members of the Jewish community who are aware that we best worship God when we work as God’s partners in improving the lives of our fellow human beings. I hope that all of us become even more generous than we have been thus far, in our support of Gulf Coast Jewish Family & Community Services. Supporting such a wonderful organization should be viewed by each of us, not only as an obligation, but also as privilege.

The Rabbinically Speaking column is provided as a public service by the Jewish Press in cooperation with the Pinellas County Board of Rabbis. Columns are assigned on a rotating basis by the board. The views expressed in the column are those of the rabbi and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Jewish Press or the Board of Rabbis.


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