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Marty’s Shabbat Message – April 8, 2021

Shalom Chaverim (Dear Friends),

It really is hard to believe that we have already celebrated Pesach this year. I certainly hope that each of you had a meaningful holiday. It is very strange to have navigated our way through two pandemic Passover seasons. Needless to say, the first was a major shock to the system. Very isolating and turning to Zoom technology in order to celebrate with family and friends. This second Pesach during the pandemic, many more of us were able to celebrate with immediate family. Nonetheless, travel was still very restricted and way more limited than in our pre-pandemic world.

Even during these challenging times and maybe even as a result of these challenging times, many of us have reevaluated our priorities and have refocused on what is most important to us.

One of the new programs that has emerged at your Jewish Federation since the start of the pandemic is the Phoenix chapter of Dignity Grows™, a program founded by the Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford’s Women’s Philanthropy. Dignity Grows provides girls, women, and individuals assigned female at birth, with the human dignity that comes from having their most basic feminine hygiene needs met, one month at a time. For as little as $10 you can donate a Dignity Tote, helping her to be more productive while safeguarding her dignity. Dignity Grows mobilizes volunteers to organize, assemble and distribute free, reusable zipper-top totes filled with a month’s supply of needed essentials that are not covered by Federal grant programs. After all, it’s the little things that make a big difference in people’s lives. To sponsor a bag, or two, or three or four, visit here and direct to Dignity Grows. For more information visit here.

Please remember that the Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance) commemoration will take place on Sunday, April 11 at 1pm. It is, of course, virtual and will be available to watch after that time as well. You can RSVP here.

The theme this year is Holocaust Education, Inspiring the Next Generation.  Representative Alma Hernandez is the keynote speaker, Honorary Shofar Zakhor Awards will be given to 54 Holocaust Survivors, an address by survivor Rise Stillman, and Shevet Shemesh Scouts will sing Hatikvah. Additional participants include Rabbi Jeremy Schneider (Congregation Kol Ami) and Cantor Dannah Rubenstein (Congregation Or Tzion).

This week’s Torah portion is Shemini (eighth) in the book of Leviticus, the third in the five books of Moses. In it, are some of the laws regarding ritual purity, including the purifying power of the Mikvah (ritual bath).

A differentiation is made between the pure and the impure. I would like to think, as we just completed Pesach, that many of us have had the opportunity to focus on the purifying power of our freedom but not to rest until all people are truly free. Our Dignity Grows program moves us closer to achieving that goal.

Light candles Friday evening at 6:37pm
Shabbat ends Saturday evening at 7:33pm

Wishing you all a Shabbat Shalom.


Marty Haberer
President & Chief Executive Officer

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