During the Jewish Outreach Institute’s two decades of organizational history, we’ve been blessed to have visionary and dedicated volunteer leaders. We are thrilled that this trend continues with the recent election of Mitchell Shames to President, as reported by the Boston Globe:
Shames said he hopes to build on the institute’s work by spearheading a national campaign that will include partnering with more Jewish institutions and Jewish professionals, and also non-Jewish groups and institutions, and have more people at local levels act as welcoming guides towards Judaism. “We really want to be the national leader in this area,’’ he said.
As the article points out, Mitchell Shames has been a leader in creating a more inclusive Jewish community for intermarried families, both with his long-time service to JOI and also in his local Greater Boston community. He received the Young Leadership Award for his volunteer leadership with Combined Jewish Philanthropies (CJP), the Boston Federation. Friends of JOI know that we often point to Boston, and particularly CJP under the leadership of Barry Shrage, as a wonderful example for other communities interested in creating greater inclusion for all those on the periphery of Jewish life. At a time when many Jewish communities are fearful about shrinking numbers, the Boston Jewish community has grown in size, thanks to its prioritization of outreach, inclusive marketing, and tremendous educational and communal programming.
With Mitchell’s guidance and passion for our cause, we at JOI are confident that we’ll continue to encourage the larger Jewish community toward greater inclusion for all those who would be a part of our tradition, particularly intermarried families, and help more people find a way in. We are also grateful to retain the enthusiasm and expertise of our immediate past-President Alan Kane, who now serves as JOI Chairman, and our past Chairman Eugene Grant, who serves as Chairman Emeritus. We are thankful for their leadership.