Shalom Chaverim (Dear Friends),
You are receiving this Shabbat message on the evening of the fifth day of Pesach. We have all experienced our Seders and are likely ready to give up the matzah for bread in another three days! I hope you all enjoyed your Seders as much as my family and I did. We really did take the time to acknowledge the many blessings we have received in the stark reality of the pandemic we have been living with for 13 months now and counting. Upon my first day back to work, I had the privilege and honor to receive a call from an 84 year-old Holocaust survivor who shared with me that her son was homeless, likely in real need of assistance and living on the streets somewhere in Phoenix. I was so grateful to be able to comfort her, honor her as a mother, a Holocaust survivor, and as a Jew during Pesach time when “all are welcome.” I was so happy to know that one of the professionals at JFCS was calling her just as my call was ending. This is why I chose to do this type of work. I’m so grateful.
Speaking of connections to the Holocaust, I was asked to spread the news about a new Facebook group called “Jewish Culture and Holocaust Remembrance,” which is designed to spread Jewish culture and Holocaust Remembrance on a global scale. The group can be found here. You are most welcome to help build a global platform around everything Jewish and #neverforget and #weremember.
Also of great importance this spring is our fourth community blood drive since the beginning of the pandemic. Blood Supplies are Low – Giving Blood is Safe: Healthy Donors Needed Now! Thursday, April 8 | 2-7pm – Social Hall on the Ina Levine Jewish Community Campus 12701 N. Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale, AZ 85254. Sponsored by the Jewish Federation of Greater Phoenix, in collaboration with Ina Levine Jewish Community Campus and the Martin Pear Jewish Community Center. According to the CDC, the risk of contracting the illness is currently low. And giving blood is safe. Vitalant and other blood banks follow FDA-regulated procedures and staff adhere to rigorous safety and disinfection protocols. What’s not safe? Not having enough blood. Patients in hospitals need healthy donors to donate so sick patients can get the help they need. Click here to schedule an appointment. (Sponsor Code: JCCVOS)
This week’s Torah portion is Shivee Shel Pesach (the seventh day of Pesach). We read how on this day during the very first Passover, the sea split, allowing the Israelites to cross, before closing upon and drowning the Egyptian army that was pursuing them, as the Israelites sang the “Song of the Sea” upon making it across to safety. It is my deepest hope for all of us that we have made it across the “sea” of COVID-19 and that in the months ahead we too will be singing songs of gratitude to our maker for delivering us out of the hands of this deadly plague.
Light candles Friday evening at 6:32pm
Shabbat ends Saturday evening at 7:28pm
Wishing you all a continued Chag Pesach Sameach!
President & Chief Executive Officer
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