Shalom Chaverim (Dear Friends),
As we head into the stretch drive of April, a few interesting turning points have taken place in my life. My brother and I made reservations to visit my mom in Queens, NY. I haven’t seen her since January 2020 — almost a year and a half ago. I have also started going out with donors and prospects for meals, coffee and adult liquid refreshments the past couple of weeks, and what a joy it is to get back “out there.” I really have missed it so. I am a “people person” and admittedly this social isolation business has been very difficult on me. While I know that some of the changes we have all adapted to are here to stay, including Zoom meetings, etc., I am certain that nothing can replace actual human contact, and thank goodness for that. Today I had lunch with a long-time Federation donor who just completely recharged my batteries. She totally gets it. She knows that only Jewish people will take care of Jewish people, and knows that tzedakah/justice/giving as responsibility is what has kept the Jewish people on the map for thousands of years, while so many others have disappeared. The idea of (Kol Yisrael Arevim Zeh Ba Zeh) all of Israel is responsible one for the other, runs deeply in her veins.
This week I also had the opportunity to host some of my colleagues at my home. Of course, safely and socially distanced in my backyard. I rarely do this, and shame on me for that, but I do want to personally call out and thank my Campaign & Women’s Philanthropy Director, Sheryl Press, my NowGen Director, Shoshana Greenberg, my most trusted Executive Assistant, Joan Hosey, Federation’s Chief Administrative Officer, Liz Jorgensen, our Chief Marketing Officer, Melissa Markovsky, Juanita Gee and Cindy Tsang from accounting, and Kelsey Johnson and Tressa Heigel from marketing. Any success that I may have achieved these past six years for this Federation and this Jewish community would not have been possible without this current team as well as the colleagues who preceded them. I am blessed to work with them every day and I am grateful to know them.
This week’s double Torah portion is Acharei Mot (After the Death)- Kedoshim (Holy). In it we are told by G-d that “you shall be holy” and the way one moves towards being holy is by steering clear of idolatry, giving charity, recognizing equality before the law, honesty in business and recognizing the sacredness of life among others. As I reflect on my week with my major donor and the recognition of my colleagues, I am reminded of the beauty and holiness we are capable of as human beings. And I am so happy to be able to be physically present among these fine people once again. I truly look forward to seeing many of you in the coming days, weeks and months. What a privilege that is! I will never take that privilege for granted again.
Light candles Friday evening at 6:47pm
Shabbat ends Saturday evening at 7:45pm
President & Chief Executive Officer
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