Shalom Chaverim (Dear Friends),
Is it safe to say that the speed with which our world and lives have changed these past two weeks is unprecedented in most of our lifetimes? I have always considered myself an optimist and even “happy go lucky.” I pride myself on living a life of gratitude. Yet, even I have experienced feelings of concern, fear, and admittedly some anxiety over what may be down the road we seem to be headed toward. And if I feel that way……..
So it was especially comforting to receive the following note from a colleague and friend today. “Hi Marty, I’m just checking in on some folks I love. Thinking of you. Are you feeling okay? Do you need anything? Sending you all my love & blessings…” I cannot tell you how much this brief yet special note meant to me. I felt my batteries recharge.
Please know that I and the Jewish Federation of Greater Phoenix are here for you today and tomorrow, as it always has been. 24/6 (we don’t roll on Shabbos).
Needless to say, it is not business as usual. My assistant Joan and I continue to work out of our campus offices, at least for the time being. The remainder of our team is mostly working remotely. Many face–to-face meetings are being rescheduled as Zoom meetings, phone calls, etc., and we are settling in to utilizing technologies such as “Teams” etc. More than ever, we are committed to being available to you, our donors, community members, organizations and congregations. Please do not hesitate to reach out to any professional team member at their usual phone #’s and/or email addresses.
And as you may be looking for ways to continue to experience a sense of community, I share with you some of the great work being done online by my colleague and friend Nachum Erlich and the Israeli American Council (IAC).
The following are some amazing online free interactive activities for all ages!
IAC Mishelanu: A nationwide pro-Israel leadership network on 94 campuses, comprised of first and second generation Israeli-Americans who bring the spirit of Israel to campus: click here!
IAC Keshet (ages 2-9): connect as a family and community through the Hebrew language, Israeli culture, Jewish heritage and a strong connection to Israel: click here!
IAC Eitanim (ages 12-18): brings together the next generation’s Jewish-American and Israeli-American for an immersive, innovative, project-based learning experience which strengthens participants’ Jewish identity, builds their connection to Israel and ignites their “Israeliness”: click here!
Gvanim Limmud: is an arena for in-depth and dynamic discussion in which the community members study together texts from the wealth of Jewish and Israeli culture: click here!
IAC EDGE: is a national cutting-EDGE membership-based community of young professionals, ages 22-42, who are passionate about Israel and seek extraordinary networking opportunities and professional development: click here!
This week’s Torah portion is Vayakhel-Pekudaei (assembled-accounts), the last chapters in the book of Exodus. In it the people continue to give generously, the materials to build the Mishkan (Tabernacle) where G-d’s essence would reside in the desert. In fact, Moses has to tell them to STOP GIVING.
During these turbulent times, when we can see out a few months ahead, where people may very well be losing jobs and people will need assistance, it is my hope that our Jewish community here in the Valley, will continue in the tradition of tzedaka (responsibility/justice) and give as generously as they possibly can until they are told to stop giving. That is my wish for our Jewish community today and in the future.
Please stay safe and healthy and share your toilet paper!
Light candles on Friday at 6:22pm. Shabbat ends on Saturday at 7:17pm.
President & Chief Executive Officer
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