Campaign to Strengthen Jewish Identity Tops $14 Million
Zlatos, Bill, Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
The first phase of a campaign to strengthen the Jewish identity of local residents whose cultural ties have waned has raised more than $14 million.
"What it means for the Pittsburgh Jewish community is a chance to make us the very best Jewish community in the country," said Jeff Finkelstein, CEO of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh.
The federation will mark the beginning of the community phase of the fundraising campaign for the Centennial Fund for a Jewish Future during a ceremony at 5:30 p.m. Thursday. It will be held in the Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh's Katz Theater in Squirrel Hill.
The fund surpassed its initial target of $12 million and could raise millions more in its next phase to become the biggest fundraiser in the local Jewish community. Local Jewish leaders say the Centennial Fund could help make Pittsburgh a draw by attracting Jewish professionals relocating from around the country and strengthening Jewish agencies.
"A lot of agencies that are the beneficiaries of the Jewish community serve a broader community, and several serve a clientele that's mostly not Jewish," said Cindy Shapira, co-chair of the Centennial Fund along with her husband, David.
The couple and the Giant Eagle Foundation have made the lead gift to the campaign, but Shapira declined to disclose the amount. …