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PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE


Jai Jinendra!

This is my last weekly newsletter as JAINA President with completion of my term 2015-2017. The last two years have been amazing and full of memories. The overwhelming response from our Community was very encouraging. When I look back, I am satisfied that my vision and goals for JAINA’s growth set at beginning of my term were fulfilled over last 2 years with your support.

JAINA has always been very close to my heart and I have always given my best to JAINA, and through these newsletters, I always feel connected to each one of you in North America and worldwide. Thank YOU for giving me the opportunity to serve our Community.


Sincerely,
Ashok Domadia
JAINA President & Chairman
San Francisco

MY JOURNEY IN JAINA

After migrating to US in 1980 and then settling down well in Silicon Valley by 2000 in engineering profession and as an avid Real Estate Investor, I had a desire to give back to Community . I initially served as Religious VP and Director in my local Jain Center of Northern California (JCNC) from 2000-2005.  As Registration Chairman for 2005 JAINA Convention in San Francisco, we brought innovation that led to no waiting in Reg. line. JAINA past President, Dilipbhai  Shah - Philadelphia, noticed the efficient Reg. process and gave me the responsibility of leading Registration for JAINA Convention-2007 in New Jersey. It gave me an opportunity to work with all Convention Committees across USA and Canada. It led to my role as Programming Chairman for 2009 JAINA Convention in Los Angeles.

I joined JAINA Executive Committee in 2009 as JAINA VP- West.  I was entrusted with JAINA Secretary position from 2011-2013 and initiated Jain Center Liaison effort.  I was elected as JAINA First VP for 2013-2015 term. I served as Convener for a memorable JAINA Convention-2015 in Atlanta. We brought many innovations to JAINA Convention – Atlanta and raised over $ 600,000.

My family consists of my 90-year old Ba, my wife Jyoti and two lovely daughters Mona and Shelly.

INDIA

I would like to share a small experience which really touched my heart. This experience taught me that organizations are bigger than individuals, and we may come and go but the organization remains. I attended Veerayatan Global Conference in 2016 at RajgirI. I had just stepped down from dias after my address. Few minutes later, one young boy came to me and touched my feet and greeted me with Jai Jinendra. I never knew this boy but he introduced me as a student of Tirthankar Mahavir Vidya Mandir, Lachuar. He told me that it was JAINA which sponsored his school in Lachuar and as a result changed his and his family’s life forever. He was so grateful to JAINA, and I was really touched.

USA

I attended YJA Convention - Los Angeles in  2016. It was an amazing experience to see the discipline of today’s youths. 600 youths of YJA not only preaching Jainism but also practicing Jainism in their daily life. Our Youths may not visit temple frequently but most/all are truthful, do not say or act to hurt anyone, volunteer at Soup Kitchens and cleaning park, polite and respectful. It was really a touching experience that how these small endeavors of JAINA – providing Pathshala books, YJA, and YJP play such a vital role in today’s life of youths. As a result, I now have full faith that Jain values are alive and well in 21st Century and beyond in North America as our Youths will pass on the Jain values to their children and grand children eventually.

MOST CHALLENGING PROJECT OF JAINA IN 2015-17

During my tenure, we embarked on a number of new innovative projects but one was close to my heart. The most challenging and interesting project was 24x7 JAINA Mangalam App. It was a long awaited dream of JAINA to have its own 24 X 7 App with a variety of content. JAINA Executive Committee, and Media Committee led by Dr. Mamta Shah worked tirelessly for a full year on App development, content,  technical challenges, approvals from Apple and Android etc.. On the eve of Mahavir Jayanti,  this 24x7 App was successfully launched. It was a marathon task to gather most/all Jain religious content in various sub- categories. We had lot of technical hitches to overcome. It is available from anywhere across the world and at any time. I feel this was our most challenging project in last 2 years.

 
 
 
 

JAINA GROWTH IN 2015-2017

It was for the first time that JAINA hosted an event at White House. 80 Delegates of JAINA attended the event. This event bought JAINA a step closer to its proximity to the corridors of power in USA. I also addressed the august gathering on the topic, "World Peace through Non-Violence".

At the Capitol Hill, for the first time Padmavati Pujan was organized followed by Raas Garba. JAINA also honoured Senator Richard Black with a shawl and a momento.

JAINA Newsletter format was innovated to make it colorful, interesting, weekly publication, rich with religious – social – youth – kids content and has received many kudos from all of you.

JAINA Social Media presence was established thru Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Blogs that reach 20,000 – mostly Youths. As a result, JAINA now reaches out to Adults and Youths alike.


15 Jainism Chairs were established in U.S. Universities to bring Jain values to main stream American Community over last 2 years Jain Community has now invested over $ 25M in this noble effort to share Jain Values with non-Jains. These seeds will hopefully translate into a Kalpavruksh in the future and bring world peace.

Online Pathshala was launched at start of this year by Youth wing of JAINA – YJA.  It ensures that every child and his/her parents have access to Jain Pathshala content globally at anytime.

Master Schedule of all centers of JAINA has helped the frequent travelers to attend various events of of other centers in between their travel schedule.

On Financial side, JAINA work was outsourced to India, which saved $ 150,000 over last 2 years while tripling JAINA staff. For the first time, Jain Digest became self-sufficient in 2016 with ad revenue – saving $ 50,000 per year. These systemic innovations will save JAINA General Fund $ 200,000 every year – thus ensuring robust finances for JAINA in the future.

COMMUNITY TESTIMONIALS

I have received innumerable feedbacks from the members of community on various issues of JAINA and am sharing with you few of them. These were my source of inspiration and encouragement.

On Weekly Newsletter

"Since you have taken the responsibility, the quality/content of newsletter has improved 100 fold. Thanks for your dedication and sacrifice."
- Piyush Shah

"Proud to be Jain. Great job and achievements. Cheers to all JAINA committee members."
- AdhirShah

"The quality of JAINA's communication has gone up a few notches lately. Commendable work and excellent ideas."
- Nikunj Mehta

"JAINA Newsletter gives us much information than we know. We are very happy to know that you all people are carrying such nice activities in such countries where Jain Saints are not able to reach. Though I am staying in India, I regularly read news/other information on your website."
- Jagdish Shah, India

"I am very pleased and would like to convey my Anumodna for doing such a wonderful, inspiring and well-crafted newsletters."
- Mahendra Shah

"The JAINA newsletter has become really informative these days. Congratulations!"
- Manish Modi

On Paryushan/Das LakshanaNewsletter

"I enjoyed reading your email on each day of Paryushan with amazing stories giving valuable message to help me understand what Paryushan is all about! Truly very inspiring. Great job."
- Rita Ajmera

"Superb story! I shall use it in one of my lectures."
- Manish Modi

On BOD Meeting

"Congratulations! Excellent and productive meeting and fantastic progress on building a stronger foundation for JAINA."
- Rajeev Pandya

On BOD Meeting e-Invite

"Wow very colorful – impressive!"
- Kamlesh Mehta


MESSAGE TO YOUTH


Today’s young generation is one which sometimes makes me dream that what my life would be like if I was born 40 years later! You are one of the most powerful generations as you have access to the world on your finger tip. You are the torch bearer of Jain religion in this part of the world and the Community has high aspirations from you.

Please do attend YJA and YJP activities in your area and do make a point to attend YJA and JAINA Conventions. These Conventions give you a lot of energy, new friends, bigger network and above all a feeling of pride in being a Jain. Jain Milan is created for you to potentially meet your life partner with similar values as you . So, please consider attending Jain Milan events.

As you eventually move into parenthood, please note that kids with religious parents are better behaved and adjusted than other children. They tend to have better self-control, social skills and approaches to learning than kids with non-religious parents. Religious networks provide social support to parents and can improve parenting skills. Children who are brought into such networks and hear parental messages reinforced by other adults may also take more to heart the messages that they get in the home.

By the way, there is a lot that I still have to learn from you

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

I thank my entire team of EC for working with me in tandem for last two years. JAINA Board of Directors, which is spread out all over USA and Canada, has always responded positively to my clarion call. I really thank you for this support. 22 JAINA Committee Chairs really make me proud as each Chair has reached a landmark in his/her field. All their efforts together led JAINA to reach its pinnacle. Hats off to Committee Chairs for your dedication and commitment to JAINA. Past Presidents are like guardians of the organization and I was lucky to have their guidance and support in all of our accomplishments.

I would like to recognize India team members, Dhimen Vora - Ahmedabad and Priyanka Mehta – Mumbai, for their 24x7 dedicated support to JAINA over last 2 years. They are the backbone of JAINA and helped me translate many dreams into reality.

Special thanks to my wife Jyoti. She has consistently supported me in giving time to JAINA by increasing her involvement in managing our myriad real estate investments and family. My two daughters – Mona and Shelly – are my world and have always encouraged me in this Community work. Mona is happily married to Suraj and lives in Philadelphia. Mona is in 2nd year Residency in Internal Medicine and Suraj is in 2nd year Residency in ENT. Shelly is a 4th year Medical College student at University of Southern California (USC) and just got engaged to Aneesh, an Electrical Engineer.

The back bone of our home is my dear Ba – Manoramaben. At age 90, she is hale and hearty and lives with us in Silicon Valley since 1989. She has always been our source of inspiration.

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