Shalom Chaverim (Dear Friends),
I’m writing this Shabbat message from 51st Street and Lexington Avenue in the Big Apple, where I am attending a Jewish Federations of North America conference with fellow CEOs. I’m looking forward to bringing back some wonderful ideas for our Federation and our community.
Before I left for New York, I visited with the Sun Lakes Jewish Congregation in the East Valley to discuss the changing American-Jewish perceptions of Israel. As often happens in such situations, I immediately felt like I was at a family reunion – there were people in attendance who grew up where I did. The hour-and-a-half flew by in what seemed like 10 minutes… at least to me.
This week’s Torah portion is Mishpatim (Laws) in Exodus. In it, G-d promises to take the Israelites into the Holy Land but warns them not to take up the ways of the current inhabitants. This continues to be a challenge for us even today – how do we retain our Jewish identity with pride and dignity while living in the melting pot known as America?
This I know – when I left the Sun Lakes congregation, and as I sit among my colleagues who devote their lives to our Jewish communities, I couldn’t possibly feel more Jewish or more proud to be Jewish.
Chief Executive Officer
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