CEO Letter 1.15.21

By Jenn Ross



Each year, our nation honors Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with a national holiday, which many people spend the day in volunteer service and reflection. Dr. King had significant impact on civil rights, but as we witnessed last year, tragically, his work is far from done.


One of my prayers for 2021 is that our society continues to build upon the work of Martin Luther King, John Lewis, other Civil Rights era leaders, and more recent activists to attain racial equity and justice.  I participated in numerous virtual and outdoor socially-distanced programs in 2020 representing the Federation and will continue this effort in 2021. YAD, our Young Adult Division, began a dialogue with Harrisburg Young Professionals of Color.


Thank you to all of the community members who have worked towards this critical effort. If you are interested in learning more about our local community and getting involved, watch for additional opportunities in our Tuesday and Friday emails.


Amongst his many writings, Dr. King encourages us that “the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.” This quote inspired the title of a Martin Luther King Jr. Day Zoom panel collaboration between Beth El Temple, Rep. Patty Kim, and many black leaders from our community. The program will be held on January 18 at 7pm – visit for more information and to register.


The Edward S. Finkelstein Harrisburg Jewish Film Festival is hosting a special event featuring Shared Legacies: The African American-Jewish Civil Rights Alliance. A virtual screening will take place January 24-26 and a Zoom panel discussion will be held at 7pm on January 25.  Learn more at


An upcoming opportunity to connect and pray with brothers and sisters from the African American community and other neighbors is by attending the Annual Freedom Seder, which will be held virtually on March 30.  I have attended many of the past Freedom Seders and have found them to be uplifting, informative, and a great way to connect with others in our community.


I would love to hear what you are doing to help advance racial justice. You can connect with me about this or any other matters at 717-236-9555 x3104 or