Your Nov. 25 article titled, "Squirrel Hill Still Keeping Blight at Bay," does a good job of spotlighting the impact of 40 years of community organization effort aimed at strengthening this vital neighborhood in the city of Pittsburgh.
While the article appropriately calls attention to the role of the Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition and its advocacy efforts, I want to emphasize the part played by the Jewish Federation of Pittsburgh, not only at the time of the formation of the coalition when we offered leadership and support, but on an ongoing basis through our investment and reinvestment in all of the Squirrel Hill-based Jewish human service and educational agencies that the federation supports through its annual fund-raising campaign.
Beyond this operational funding, in the mid-1990s, the federation expressed its commitment to the future of Squirrel Hill when it launched its Renaissance Campaign, which with thousands of individual financial contributions and a major investment by the Jewish Healthcare Foundation raised over $50 million for the rebuilding of the Jewish Community Center, Jewish Family and Childrens' Service, Charles Morris Center for the Aging and its Weinberg Village and Weinberg Terrace, and our three day schools.
When the federation showed its confidence in a strong future for Squirrel Hill, it increased the comfort level of others to follow our lead, and follow they did.
Forty years of success doesn't happen by accident. It happens when a community pulls together and each of us does our share to assure a positive result.
HOWARD M. RIEGER
Pittsburgh Jewish Federation