Shalom Chaverim (Dear Friends),
I write this Shabbat message to you hours before I depart for my first visit to New York in over two years. It is very difficult to fathom how much has changed in those two years. Even how much I have changed. Never in my lifetime has so much happened so quickly. From the continuing impact of the pandemic to climate changes to business practice changes, these two years feel like a lifetime. The purpose of my visit is to see my mom, who I haven’t seen in 19 months, along with my brother, who is coming to NY from his home in Colorado. So much to do…so little time.
Speaking of time, the Bureau of Jewish Education is proud to celebrate its 50th Golden Jubilee Year, with special milestones and anniversary programs throughout the year. Since 1971 the BJE has touched thousands of lives, with the goal of building a Jewish future by promoting Jewish learning and enhancing Jewish literacy in our community. BJE continues to provide innovative programs for high school students, i.e. Hebrew High Care-A-van, JBU for expectant parents, and its new Center for Wise Aging for active adults. Jews of all traditions and levels of observances, as well as people of all faiths, continue to be welcomed and embark on the enduring Jewish journey. The special yearlong series of events for the BJE@50 will commence on Sunday, September 12, 2021, with a Brunch ’n Learn program, Lox in a Box delivered to homes or picked up earlier in time for the creative and most interesting Zoom morning from 11:00 to 11:50 a.m. Learn a unique Lox Recipe for your Break-the-Fast meal along with a most informative presentation on the Jewish People’s Journey with Fish by noted educator Chaim Lauer plus a tour of a lox factory in Brooklyn. This is a special morning not to be missed. Go to www.bjephoenix.org to see the monthly events. There is something for everyone.
This week’s Torah portion is Shoftim ( Judges ) in the book of Deuteronomy, the 5th and final book of the 5 books of Moses. In it, Moses instructs the Israelites to appoint judges and law enforcement officers in every city. The concept Tzedek Tzedek Tirdof “justice, justice though shalt pursue”, is introduced here. In the last couple of years the focus on the appointment of judges to the supreme court as well as how to police and suggested changes including funding have been front and center in our country. It is amazing how timeless the Torah concepts are. As we grapple with them every day. In New York, my brother Stefan and I will do our best to “honor my mother”. Here in the Valley, BJE continues to do the timeless work of building a Jewish future.
May each of you live in the moment and use your precious time wisely.
Light candles Friday evening at 6:58pm.
Shabbat ends Saturday evening at 7:54pm.
Wishing you a Shabbat Shalom from Queens, NY.
President & Chief Executive Officer
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