Shalom Chaverim (Dear Friends),
In recent weeks, I have made mention of the fact that I have experienced a bat Mitzvah, the wedding of a colleague and even a Bris, on Zoom. How quickly the world has changed! I joked that fortunately, the one Jewish life cycle event I had not experienced virtually was a funeral, and I was fine keeping it that way. Unfortunately, I and I’m sure many of you, have now experienced this as well.
Just days ago, we in the Greater Phoenix Jewish community, learned of the tragic and untimely passing of Rabbi Micah Caplan, spiritual leader of Congregation Or Tzion. Micah was only 44 years old and leaves behind three children (Brianah, Julia and Avi). It has been incredible, witnessing through the tears, how many people from all over the world have expressed their admiration and love for this man. He certainly leaves this world with the ultimate Jewish goal – a (very) good name. Another Jewish man who passed at the age of 44 was a gentleman most of us are familiar with; Theodore Herzl. It was Herzl, the father of the modern day State of Israel who said, “Im tirzu, ein zo agadah.” (If you will it, it is not a dream.) In his own way, Rabbi Micah Caplan willed his dreams to come true as well. The dreams of family and of community. For the past 10 year’s Micah was the guiding light in leading his congregation, Or Tzion, to new heights and not very long ago, into a new building. He will be sorely missed by many. May his memory be for a blessing always.
We would like to invite you to join JFCS for their 2020 virtual Backpack Drive, from June 15-July 8.
Did you know that the average family spends around $670 a year on school supplies and clothing alone? For low-income families, this is nearly an impossible task without the support of organizations like Jewish Family & Children’s Service. This year JFCS anticipates needing more than 1,800 backpacks for the children in our community: Children served through their health care clinics, foster care programs and domestic violence programs.
Due to COVID-19, JFCS is doing things a little differently. The health and safety of you, volunteers and their staff is of the utmost importance, so they would love for you to join them virtually! You can help a child in need right from the comfort of your own home.
By donating $50 to JFCS through the Jewish Federation, you can sponsor a child for 1 backpack; a backpack filled with supplies for him or her to utilize throughout the upcoming school year!
Your donations and gifts make a world of difference, and we appreciate your time and efforts to make sure the children in our community are well prepared for school!
This week’s Torah portion is Shlach (Send) in Bamidbar, the Book of Numbers, the fourth of the five Books of Moses. In it, Moses sends the 12 spies to the land of Canaan and they confirm that while the land is fertile and rich, it is also filled with giant warriors, who they believe would defeat the Israelites. Only Caleb and Joshua insist the land can be conquered as G-d has commanded. In the five years that I got to know Rabbi Micah Caplan, Z”L, I met a giant of a man with a giant heart who invested himself completely in the lives of his congregants and community. I like to believe, if he were one of the meraglim (spies), he would have sided with Caleb and Joshua, and that like Herzl, Micah willed a life of service for which he has been blessed with the love of and admiration of many. It was not a dream but a life well lived.
Light candles on Friday at 7:22pm. Shabbat ends on Saturday at 8:24pm.
Wishing all my fellow fathers out there a happy, healthy and safe Father’s Day, spent doing your very favorite things with your favorite people. Mine will include my hammock…
President & Chief Executive Officer
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