Shalom Chaverim (Dear Friends),
After yesterday’s barrage of Giving Tuesday emails, if you and I weren’t aware before that the end of the year is quickly approaching, we certainly are aware now. With Thanksgiving still in my rear view mirror, I continue to feel a sense of great gratitude for what has been a wonderful year both personally and professionally. Even with all of the “stuff” we see and deal with day to day, both here at home and all around the world, we really do need to take the time to recognize how wonderful this great country of ours is and be thankful to have been afforded lives which enable us to live as its citizens.
This came to mind for me once again last evening while attending the Jewish National Fund’s (JNF) Annual men’s event at the Clayton House. I was quite proud to be among the 300 men in the announced attendance, from very diverse and varied backgrounds. Federation types like me, leaders from all the many Jewish organizations in the community, Rabbis who lead local congregations representing all different Jewish movements, and last but certainly not least, so many of the young leaders that are making significant gifts of their time, talent and treasure to our local community, were very noticeable among the attendees.
There was no evidence of “zero sum gain” or parochialism. Just a large, full room of men who were noticeably proud Jews expressing their support and pride in our great Jewish homeland of Israel. It was really quite something to see and to be a part of, and I am quite honored to have been invited to attend.
This week’s Torah portion is Vayeitzei (Went Out) in the book of genesis. This is the puzzling portion where Jacob dreams of a ladder connecting heaven and earth with angels climbing and descending on it. Last night at JNF’s most successful event, we heard from speaker Charlie Harary, who was very motivational. He spoke of finding the “hero within ourselves” as the Maccabees did during the miraculous Chanukah victory over the Greco Syrians all those years ago. Congratulations to JNF on an excellent men’s event. The completely “turf less” vibe brings us close to Jacob’s ladder, where human and the heavens come together to perfect and improve the world. Tikkun Olam.
Light candles on Friday at 5:01pm. Shabbat ends on Saturday at 6:00pm.
Wishing you all a Shabbat Shalom.
President & Chief Executive Officer
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