Shalom Chaverim (Dear Friends),
I can tell that summer is moving towards its conclusion because my calendar is filled with staff reviews, including my own. I take pride in the investment my management team and I make in our staff, exchanging feedback and making sure each staff person has the opportunity to learn and grow professionally and personally. It is an investment in our people, our organization and ultimately, our community.
I had the privilege this week of participating in the EVJCC Open Beit Midrash Speaker Series, where I spoke about the American Jewish Experience. It is an honor to share what I have learned in my career and in my life with others and I am often amazed by how much I learn from these groups as well. It’s what makes us a community… the coming together and learning from each other.
It is the work of Federation to build strong, vibrant communities for all Jews. It is in this vein that we have launched our Pride initiative to welcome and engage our LGBTQ+ brothers and sisters. We kick things off on Sept. 18 with Abby Stein. She will share her experience as the first openly transgender woman raised in a Hasidic community and the struggles and adventures of her two-fold transition. Please join us: jewishphoenix.org/abby.
This week’s Torah portion is Eikev (Because) in Deuteronomy. As the Israelites entered the Promised Land, G-d beseeches them not to begin to believe "my power and the might of my hand have gotten me this wealth," but to remember that G-d delivered them.
This parshe reminds me how grateful we should be for all that we are given in this life. It resonates loudly with me. So as we evaluate our performances at work, or in life for that matter… as we serve as teachers and as students… and as we hear Abby's struggles with transition, let us all remember that "there but for the grace of G-d go I."
Serving our community humbly and with humility is how I aspire to live my life. My gratitude to all of you who do the same.
Wishing you a restful Shabbat Shalom.
Light candles on Friday at 6:47pm. Shabbat ends on Saturday at 7:42pm.
President & Chief Executive Officer
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