Shalom Chaverim (Dear Friends),
I just returned from a wonderful and overdue visit to my daughter and son-in-law’s new home in the Kirkwood section of St. Louis. We were celebrating my wife Lori’s birthday. We had a wonderful time despite the cold, the rain, a bit of snow flakes and generally dreary skies. Helps one appreciate what we have here in the Valley of the Sun. As some of you know, my daughter married a wonderful man she met while attending law school, who happens not to be Jewish. Just last week I was at a Herzlian dinner where the topic was interfaith relationships. During that discussion, it was revealed that 72% of Jews in America, who are raised in non-observant homes, end up intermarrying. I make no judgment on that statistic, I just state what the data tells us. And, not surprisingly, based on those numbers, my family is now a contributor to them. One of the nicest parts of the visit was the excitement exhibited by my son-in-law and daughter to install a second mezuzah in their house, affixed to the door of the new guest room where Lori and I stayed. We said the prayer for such an occasion. And, I had brought that mezuzah and kosher scroll back from Israel when I was there for our Federation’s men’s mission this past November. Dani and Colin affixed the first mezuzah themselves when they moved into their home, on their bedroom door post. So when one comes to the top of their staircase one clearly sees both mezuzahs as well as the beautiful ketubah that hangs prominently in the hallway. It is becoming quite visible that a Jewish home is developing there.
Speaking of Jewish futures, the NowGen Leadership and Advancement Series (L.A.S.) is a program which matches 22-45 year-old individuals with Jewish community leaders who provide insights, support, and personal experiences as an opportunity for the participants to strengthen ties with the community and experience professional and personal growth. The program runs from January to November and there are 56 participants and 6 mentors (Steve Hilton, Steven Schwarz, Jonathan Hoffer, Bob Silver, Joel Kramer & Beth Jo Zeitzer). Again, we see a strong foundation developing for a bright Jewish future for our Federation and our community.
This week’s Torah portion is Yitro (Jethro), in the book of Exodus. In this portion, Yitro, Moses’ father-in-law, advises Moses to appoint a group of magistrates and judges to help him with the task of governing and providing justice to the people. It gives me great pleasure to witness our Jewish traditions continue enthusiastically in my daughter and son-in-law’s home, through the work of our NowGen L.A.S., and at our Herzlian dinners, to name just a few.
I wish each of you a restful, meaningful and peaceful Shabbos.
Light candles on Friday at 5:53pm. Shabbat ends on Saturday at 6:50pm.
President & Chief Executive Officer
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