Shalom Chaverim (Dear Friends),
I’m not sure whether it will surprise you or not, but I am a fan of The Grateful Dead’s music. One lyric that comes to mind this week is “what a long strange trip it’s been”.
And so far, at least for me and my family, 2021 has been just that. Testing positive for COVID-19 literally on New Year’s Day is not something we will ever forget. Since then, the days have been a blur moving with incredible speed, not necessarily due to brain fog. My birthday has passed and today, the day I am writing this message, happens to be Lori’s birthday.
This past weekend, almost in the blink of an eye, Lori and I were accepted to volunteer at the State of Arizona vaccination POD at State Farm Stadium. I helped with hospitality and Lori was registering the volunteers. There was a shortage of volunteers likely because it was Super Sunday. I tell you this for a few reasons. First, because of how proud I am of how our state is handling the vaccination process. Very efficient from my vantage point. In fact, President Biden was scheduled to be on a Zoom call toward the end of our shift to observe the process as State Farm Stadium is considered a “best practice” vaccination site.
Second, I want to share how important meaningful engagement and impactful work is for volunteers. Lori and I got there at 9pm on Sunday and left Monday morning around 6:30am. Admittedly, we hadn’t done an all-nighter in 35 years or so. And yes, it did take about two days to recover from the fatigue. The experience, however, was incredibly meaningful and something we will never forget. We will remember we were part of this history making time we are living through and that we made a contribution of our time and effort.
A wonderful organization making an impact in our beloved Israel is JNF. The Jewish National Fund Invites You to a Virtual Men’s Event: Travel & Tourism in a Post-COVID World, Hosted by Desert States on Tuesday, February 16, 2021 | 7pm (ET) and 7pm (MT). Dust off your passport and join them for an inside look at travel in a post‑COVID world. Keynote speaker Bob Diener, Co-Founder of hotels.com and getaroom.com, will highlight the financial impact on businesses and the future of tourism around the world. This event is open to everyone and highly encouraged for those interested in future travel and the hospitality industry. Register here! Zoom Link will be provided upon registration.
This week’s Torah portion is Mishpatim (ordinances) in the Book of Exodus, the second in the Five Books of Moses. Altogether, there are 53 mitzvot (good deeds), 23 imperative commandments and 30 prohibitions.
If you have the opportunity to volunteer at any of the sites where COVID-19 vaccinations are being given in the Valley, I strongly encourage you to make that Mitzvah. You will be glad that you did.
Light candles Friday evening at 5:52pm
Shabbat ends Saturday evening at 6:49pm
Wishing you all a Shabbat Shalom.
President & Chief Executive Officer
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