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Marty’s Shabbat Message – February 25, 2021

Shalom Chaverim (Dear Friends),

You are receiving this email on the evening of the Fast of Esther. The holidays just keep on coming and flying by. Purim and Chanukah are two “later” established Jewish holidays that are not mentioned in the Torah. And it is quite interesting to note that while Operation Zur (Rock of Israel) is currently being conducted, (rescuing and reuniting Ethiopian Jews with their Israeli families), the Ethiopian community, believed to be one of the ten lost tribes of Israel, does not celebrate Purim and Chanukah because those holidays were introduced after their arrival in Ethiopia, where they were cut off from the rest of the Jewish family. Otherwise, their prayers, holidays and rituals are remarkably similar to what is practiced by the rest of world Jewry. Speaking of our connection to Israel, I am excited to invite you to participate in JFNA’s special virtual mission: Forward Focus, a 4-part series exploring religious diversity in Israel. This opportunity is open to all.  The virtual mission which will be taking place, March 4, 11, 18, and 25 at Noon EST (note: Daylight Saving Time starts on Sunday, March 14, 2021)will bring experts, religious leaders, and change makers from Israel and will take you on a journey of learning and exploration, celebrating the diversity of Jewish life in Israel.

Among the topics to be covered, include:

  • The power balance between religion and state
  • What Israelis are looking for when it comes to Jewish practice
  • The evolution of life cycle events in Israel
  • Shabbat programming and religious freedom
  • Working with Knesset Members and ministers on religious diversity
  • Russian-speaking Jews broadening the Jewish collective in Israel
  • LGBTQ community and Judaism
  • How philanthropy is powering change
  • Federation’s work to support and empower Israeli diversity

There is no fee for participation and Federation lay and professionals can Register TodayFor any questions or if you want more information, feel free to reach out to Rina Edelstein at

This week’s Torah portion is Tetzaveh (command), in the book of Exodus, the second in the Five Books of Moses. In this portion, G-d instructs Moses to receive pure olive oil from the Israelites, so that Aaron, the High Priest can light the “eternal flame” each day from evening to morning. The eternal flame concept continues to live on in our tradition these thousands of years later as the light that is “on” in front of the Torah ark in each synagogue. May our Jewish community here in the Valley, and Jewish communities everywhere, thrive and grow so that our traditions will continue eternally.

Wishing you and your families a “freilicha”(happy) Purim.

Light candles Friday evening at 6:05pm
Shabbat ends Saturday evening at 7:01pm

Shabbat Shalom.


Marty Haberer
President & Chief Executive Officer

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