The Leichtag Latest – July 2014

Dear Friends, Neighbors, and Partners,
As we experience a beautiful summer here in Encinitas and advance exciting programs and developments in each of our strategic areas and at the Ranch, our minds and hearts are also deeply attuned to the situation in Israel and Gaza, and especially to our friends and partners in Jerusalem. While there is much despair, hand-wringing and certainly a sense of heartbreak and helplessness, we’ve also been proud and encouraged by the rays of light that exemplify the importance of civil society in the city. Like the Jerusalem Botanical Gardens opening itself as safe and sacred space for those fleeing rocket attacks in the South of Israel and for those from both West and East Jerusalem to come together to enjoy the bucolic natural setting. And the anti-violence demonstration attended by more than 1,000 people organized by some of our closest partners in Jerusalem just days after the painful and emotional funerals of the three young Israeli boys as well as a young Palestinian boy.
This weekend at the Ranch, we observed the iftar after the Ramadan fast—a program collaboration between the Jewish Food Justice Fellowship and the Pacifica Institute, a group founded by Turkish Americans striving to build connections and shared narrative. Even as our hearts break, we come together with a sense of genuine willingness to explore shared narrative. We hope and pray that these kinds of activities will help gird us in future tough times.
We’re honored that the legacy of Toni and Lee Leichtag continues to guide us and inspire us every day and in every way. The Leichtags looked at the possibilities rather than the problems and believed in the power of diversity, creativity and disruptive thinking to really make a difference. Their vision is our roadmap.

Jim Farley Charlene Seidle
President & CEO Executive Vice President

Read the rest of the newsletter here.