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Marty’s Shabbat Message – December 24, 2020

Shalom Chaverim (Dear Friends),

It seems like we have made it over the finish line and out of 2020. This is my last Shabbat message of the Gregorian calendar year. At the end of every year, I will have relatives and friends comment that they are so happy for the year to be over and for better days ahead. I have always taken exception to that. It’s just my way, but I look for the blessings that have come my way in any given year. And while this was a year like no other, with significantly overstated challenges with the pandemic, racial unrest and the extremely contentious election, I for one, am grateful for the many blessings my family and I had bestowed upon us in 2020.

And as we enter 2021, it is not surprising that NowGen will set the pace for positivity for our Jewish community as we start anew. NowGen is pleased to announce that the application for the second year of the Leadership & Advancement Series (L.A.S.) is now open. L.A.S. is a program that matches 22–45-year-old individuals with established community leaders who will provide insight and support, and provide personal experiences to their mentees. L.A.S. is an opportunity to strengthen ties with the community and experience professional and personal growth. The program runs from February to November. Mentors for 2021 include Steve Hilton, Bob Silver, Courtney Beller, Jonathan Hoffer, Steven Schwarz and Rachel Hoffer. Application deadline is January 15, 2021. Apply online by clicking here! Questions? Contact nowgen@jewishphoenix.org.

This week’s Torah portion is Vayigash (Approaches) in the book of Genesis, the first book in the Five Books of Moses. In it, Judah offers himself as a slave in Egypt in exchange for the release of his youngest brother, Benjamin. Joseph is moved by this brotherly loyalty and reveals himself as their brother as well. Jacob and his sons and their families, totaling 70 people, join Joseph in Egypt avoiding a great famine and prospering in Goshen in Egypt.

As we “approach” 2021, there most certainly will be challenges ahead in the coming year along with many blessings. As our tradition has been known to say  “mann trachts unt Gott lachs”(man plans and G-d laughs). As long as we face life’s challenges together, as a community, we certainly will overcome whatever may come our way in 2021 and beyond.

I wish each of you and your loved ones a happy and a healthy New Year.

Light candles Friday evening at 5:09pm
Shabbat ends Saturday evening at 6:08pm

Shabbat Shalom.

 

Marty Haberer
President & Chief Executive Officer

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