Shalom Chaverim (Dear Friends),
I hope you all had a wonderful Hanukkah and as the temperatures have dropped for our winter (what a machaya, relief), the Festival of Lights definitely warmed my soul. Speaking of warming the soul, I was so happy to see more than 40 mothers and their daughters gathered for our new Tikkun Olam Together program. It provides cultural learning and togetherness opportunities for mothers and girls grades 6-9 as they work to improve the world – Tikkun Olam. It is an initiative of our Women’s Philanthropy and NowGen divisions.
Each session is modeled after the character traits of a Jewish matriarch, contains a service component, and an activity meant to bond the group. The ladies made Hanukkah candles, heard from the mother of a Marine and gathered donations for Kosher Troops. The next program is February 8. Contact Kelly at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
This week’s Torah portion is Vayigash (came near), the penultimate chapter (I have always wanted to use “penultimate” appropriately) in the book of Genesis. Judah comes before Joseph, not knowing it is his brother and pleads for the release of their youngest brother, Benjamin. Judah further pleads that he would take Benjamin’s place as a slave. Joseph is so moved by this act of brotherly love that he reveals himself to Judah. All is forgiven and their father Jacob brings the family of 70 to Egypt to prosper during the drought in Israel. Tikkun Olam Together shares a similar familial bond, that between mother and daughter, with the intention of improving the world.
May we and our families, our local Jewish community, and our extended family in Israel and in 70 countries around the world continue to embrace the bonds that draw us together and bind us as people and as a light unto nations.