Shalom Chaverim (Dear Friends),
I am writing this Shabbat message after spending an exhilarating hour+ with 13 wonderful, passionate and caring Jewish leaders of the present and the future who have committed themselves to our LAS (Leadership Advancement Series). There are five such cohorts with a total of about 60 participants. And, this is year two of the program. We already have produced members of JFNA’s National Young Leadership Cabinet, NowGen and young leaders in other organizations such as the JNF Futures group. Just imagine what these incredibly talented and motivated Jewish people are going to contribute to this community in the coming years – it is really exciting.
A year ago today the Dow Jones crashed 3,000 points, a stunning 13% decline ultimately bottoming at 18,592 on March 23. The index has bounced back in unprecedented fashion and is up a staggering 77% since then. Certainly, in Jewish life, we have seen much more serious bottoms, the worst of course being the Shoah, the Holocaust, which was only about 80 short years ago. It cost us 6 million Jewish lives and 10 million human beings.
This year, the Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance) commemoration will take place on Sunday, April 11 at 1pm. It is, of course, virtual and will be available to watch after that time as well. You can RSVP here.
The theme this year is Holocaust Education, Inspiring the Next Generation. Representative Alma Hernandez is the keynote speaker, Honorary Shofar Zakhor Awards will be given to 50 Holocaust Survivors, an address by survivor Rise Stillman, and Shevet Shemesh Scouts will sing Hatikvah. Additional participants include Rabbi Jeremy Schneider (Congregation Kol Ami) and Cantor Dannah Rubenstein (Congregation Or Tzion).
This week’s Torah portion is Vayikra (And He Called). The first portion in the third book of the Five Books of Moses. In it, G-d communicates to Moses the laws of the “korbanot,” the animal and meal offerings brought into the Sanctuary.
One of the great aspects of being Jewish is that each of us is “called” upon to perform many mitzvoth. The two referenced above, remembering and commemorating the loss of those precious souls during the Shoah, and then taking the mantel of leading our community forward, as this powerfully motivated LAS group has committed to doing, truly exemplifies the circle of life and the essence of why our Jewish people continue to thrive after thousands of years.
Light candles Friday evening at 6:21pm
Shabbat ends Saturday evening at 7:17pm
President & Chief Executive Officer
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