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Marty’s Shabbat Message – January 16, 2020

Shalom Chaverim (Dear Friends),

And just like that, we are in the third week of January, out of the book of Genesis and beginning the book of Exodus, the second of the “Five Books of Moses.”  One of the really neat things about working for a Jewish Federation is that just as you fight so hard to hit your campaign goals for one year, the calendar turns and you get to start all over again from the beginning.

It’s kind of like Simchat Torah in that sense, where you celebrate the completion of the reading of the year’s weekly Torah portions and as soon as the last word is read in Deuteronomy, you get to start over again with Genesis and the words “in the beginning.” My sense is that there is an assumption here; with each new reading there is a deeper sense of understanding and maybe a new perspective to that which we have read before. I hope so anyway.

And so we begin our new 2020 Federation annual campaign. The needs are daunting; there is so much work ahead. “Ivdu et Hashem B’simcha” (Serve G-d with Joy), and do G-d’s work with joy. It is a great honor and pleasure to begin our work anew this year — and what better way to begin the campaign in earnest than with IGNITE 2020!

Federation’s annual Women’s campaign event, Ignite 2020!, takes place next Wednesday, January 22, and we will be welcoming Suzi Weiss Fischmann, co-founder of OPI Nail Products.  We will also be honoring community leader Alison Betts for her tireless work on behalf of PJ Library.  If you have not yet registered, please do here, it’s an event you won’t want to miss.

This week’s Torah portion is Shemot (names), in the book of Exodus. In it, Moses is born to Yocheved. Moses’ sister, Miriam watches as Moses is cast down the river and is saved by Pharaoh’s daughter, who raises him. Our greatest Jewish leader, Moses, clearly could never “be,” without the roles of these three women in his life. And we could not be the community we have become without the work of great Jewish women. And so we begin 2020 in the most appropriate manner possible, with our wonderful and generous women leading the way. I look forward to welcoming our guests at the event.

Light candles on Friday at 5:26pm. Shabbat ends on Saturday at 6:25pm.

Wishing you all a Shabbat Shalom.


Marty Haberer
President & Chief Executive Officer

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