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Shalom Chaverim (Dear Friends),

Is it possible that we are already at the last Shabbat in September? Can the season of apple cider, baseball playoffs, Yom Kippur, Sukkoth and Simchat Torah really be upon us? The Rolling Stones remind me that “time waits for no one, and it won’t wait for me.”

During this season, the call of the Shofar reminds us of the sound heard at Mount Sinai when the Israelites accepted G-d’s invitation to fulfill his commandments and to be His chosen people; apples and honey remind us of the sweetness of life. These are traditions that are especially meaningful for the age-advantaged members of our community. Unfortunately, many experience barriers that prevent them from aging in place and with Jewish dignity. This is why I am proud of the work Federation does to enrich senior lives.

One of the things we do is fund the JCFS Senior Concierge position to connect seniors with vital services. JCFS Senior Concierge Janet Rees was contacted last week by an 80-year-old woman in assisted living—I’ll call her Ina. There are so few Jews where Ina lives, that no holiday services or celebrations are offered there. She misses them terribly.

Janet arranged for a ride through our Federation Senior Rides program in partnership with Envoy America, to bring Ina and a few of her Jewish neighbors to the JFCS Center for Senior Enrichment at The Palazzo for a talk with a Rabbi about Yom Kippur. The afternoon includes a lovely lunch, social time with other Jewish seniors and an afternoon Tai Chi class. Needless to say, Ina is thrilled.

This is just one story of how Federation impacts lives through the generosity of our donors and one of the reasons I am so proud of what we do.

This week’s Torah portion is Nitzavim (You Stand Today) in Deuteronomy. It is very apropos as we prepare to stand before our Creator and reflect upon the way he have lived our lives this past year. The portion ends with G-d saying, “Life and death I have set before you, blessing and curse. And you shall choose life.”

Clearly, Janet has chosen life as has Ina. May we all choose a life well-lived. I wish each of you and your families have a Shana Tov U’mituka, a happy, healthy and sweet 5780!

Light candles Friday night at 6:00 PM
Shabbat ends at 6:54 PM

Shabbat Shalom.