Shalom Chaverim (Dear Friends),
I got on an airplane to leave for New York on Friday and by the time I returned late Tuesday night, so many things had happened. Life really has gone into warp speed. I was in the big apple, along with Federation Board Chair, Howard Cabot, and National Young Leadership Cabinet Co-Chair, Rachel Hoffer, so we could attend The Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) Board meeting as well as an orientation for new Board Chairs and their CEO’s. And then the news broke about the sudden tragic death of Kobe Bryant, his daughter and all that were aboard that helicopter. That day will be etched in my memory forever, as several other such awful tragedies have a place in our collective memories. After the news about Kobe, as the meetings began, came the news of the proposed peace plan from President Trump & Prime Minister Netanyahu. My Shabbat message will not go into whether the plan is good, bad, or somewhere in the middle, but it did remind me of how unique it is being Jewish. Because we truly are the one group of people who are both a religion and a nation — the two are inextricably interwoven.
Photo Above: L-Mark Wilf, JFNA Board Chair | R-Rachel Hoffer, Young Leadership Cabinet Co-Chair
This week’s Torah Portion is Bo (Go) in the book of Exodus. And Howard Cabot, Rachel Hoffer and I did go to the JFNA meetings with the intention of learning about how our national system can assist us to continue to move our community in the Valley forward. Much of this week’s portion discusses the early beginnings of what has become our Passover holiday. The Israelites are finally released from their bondage and, in fact, are driven out of Egypt by Pharaoh. Where is the next stop for the Israelites after 40 years in the desert? The land of Israel, of course.
And this is the land that we continue to fight for and struggle with, in the context of how to make it a land of peace for all those who reside in and around its borders.
I wish you a Shabbat Shalom.
Light candles on Friday at 5:40pm. Shabbat ends on Saturday at 6:37pm.
President & Chief Executive Officer
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