Shalom Chaverim (Dear Friends),
Not surprisingly, many have been captivated by the summer Olympics with new stars and favorites emerging and surprising declines for others. Needless to say, Simone Biles’ personal struggles at the games have taken center stage. It was inspiring to see her return to competition and possibly close out her Olympic career with a record-tying seventh Olympic medal capturing a Bronze in the balance beam final. I also take great interest and pride in seeing how our competitors from Israel are performing. It was very exciting to see gymnast Artem Dolgopyat become just the second Israeli athlete to ever win an Olympic gold medal and the first to medal in gymnastics after finishing first in the men’s floor exercise in the Tokyo Games this past Sunday. Israel has captured two bronze medals as well.
Speaking of winners, President Biden recently nominated Dr. Deborah Lipstadt, a professor of Modern Jewish History and Holocaust Studies at Emory University, and a former member of JFNA’s National Young Leadership Cabinet, to serve as the nation’s Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism. Naming a qualified individual for this position as soon as possible has been among Jewish Federations’ top advocacy priorities. This year’s Cabinet Kickoff will be held this week; and with seven new cabinet members coming on board in Phoenix this year. We cannot wait to see the next “Deborah Lipstadts” of our Jewish world emerge to lead our own community into the future.
This week’s Torah portion is Re’eh (See) in the book of Deuteronomy, the fifth and final book in the five books of Moses. In it, the mitzvah of charity is introduced, obligating a Jewish person to aid a needy person with a gift or a loan. There are many ways to “see.” We have recently seen the triumphs and tribulations of Simone Biles. We have seen the accomplishments of team Israel, winning their second-ever Olympic gold medal. We are seeing wonderful growth in our Young Leadership Cabinet participation. Lastly, we must open our eyes to see the suffering of our brothers and sisters. It is the concept of “tzedakah (justice/responsibility)” that has made the Jewish people a light to be seen by others as we have historically taken on the responsibility of caring for one another. May we continue to do so today and every day.
Light candles Friday evening at 7:05pm.
Shabbat ends Saturday evening at 8:02pm.
President & Chief Executive Officer
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