Shalom Chaverim (Dear Friends),
Our tradition teaches us the world stands on three things: on the Torah, on work, and on acts of loving kindness. This week, I spent three days in Houston and I must confess that I was stunned to see the extent of the damage at the JCC there. I was also blessed to be a part of 100 Federation professionals from around the country who went to see how the community is coping in the aftermath of last year’s devastating hurricanes. During our time there, we spent four hours at the Houston Food Bank putting together food packages to help feed the 800,000 people they feed each year.
It was a tremendous honor and privilege for me to personally get my hands dirty as a representative of our Greater Phoenix Jewish community and to help our brothers and sisters in Houston where our community generously sent $40,000+ for emergency relief.
This week’s Torah portion is Terumah (Offering or Gift). It describes in detail how the mishkan (G-d’s dwelling) should be constructed so that the Israelites could assemble and resemble it as they journeyed through the desert.
It was indeed a gift for me to serve and, in turn, have our efforts be a gift to the community. It is gratifying to see that our centuries-old tradition of building and rebuilding vibrant Jewish community continues today in Houston and around the world.
Chief Executive Officer