Shalom Chaverim (Dear Friends),
This has been one of the more rewarding weeks of my 34-year (and counting) career in the Jewish non-profit space.
First, I was invited, along with a group of other Jewish community leaders, to meet with Michael Bailey, United States Attorney, District of Arizona and other key local and Federal Government officials to discuss what is being done to curtail and deal with acts of anti-Semitism in our state.
The very next day, I sat in the balcony of the Gallery at the House of Representatives at the State Capitol, next to co-author of HB 2682 Holocaust Education, Michael Beller and his wife and Federation Board member, Courtney Beller. Not far away sat co-author of the Bill and JFNA Young Leadership Cabinet member, Josh Kay. Michael and Josh traveled with me on a Jewish Federation men’s mission to Israel a year or so ago and look what they are accomplishing. It really warms my heart. This Bill will require mandatory Holocaust education in public school classrooms throughout the state of Arizona. It passed unanimously! And I was there. Representing all of you!! How blessed I am to be your President and CEO!
This week’s Torah portion is Mishpatim/Shekalim (Ordinances & Half Shekel) in the book of Exodus. The portion covers the rules governing the conduct of justice by courts of law. I am always amazed how our ancient wisdom always seems to line up so relevantly with what I and we are dealing with in the “here and now.“
This week I saw our local government officials in action and I have to say I am very impressed. They actually do care and are committed to ensuring the safety and well-being of our Jewish community. And in terms of the work of our two young leaders and others responsible for the Holocaust Education Bill…WOW!
I conclude with the words of the inimitable Eli Wiesel. “The opposite of love is not hate. It is indifference.” This past week, I was fortunate enough to have witnessed no indifference in our system of Legislature and that makes me quite proud to be here.
Light candles on Friday at 5:59pm. Shabbat ends on Saturday at 6:56pm.
President & Chief Executive Officer
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