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Marty’s Shabbat Message – March 4, 2021

Shalom Chaverim (Dear Friends),

Here we are in the first week of March. Monday, March 16, 2020 is often considered the first official acknowledgement of when the pandemic began in Arizona, as the schools around the state officially closed. Last year at this time, we were about to have our Federation’s annual Mega event. Fortunately, on March 6, 2020 we were still able to draw about 400 people to hear from the inspiring Joshua Malina, of West Wing and Scandal, etc.…It was a really nice and successful event.

Sadly, this year, we have not yet returned to having in-person events. There is still so much uncertainty out there. A week or so ago, some friends of mine asked if Lori and I wanted to join them in Aruba this July. Our reflexive response was a resounding YES. We have received both our vaccines so let’s go have some fun. Lori’s cooler head prevailed when we thought further that Aruba is another country and getting back into the United States may become complicated. The other couple felt the same way and so the trip was cancelled. I’m sure many of you are experiencing similar frustrations. One thing that will get us back to “normal” is making sure as many people as possible get vaccinated. At least two of our wonderful Jewish local organizations are doing just that.

Smile on Seniors of Arizona was recently featured in the Arizona Republic for their work helping seniors get vaccine appointments. They were also written about in the Jewish News. They are happy to try to help seniors who have not been able to get their vaccine appointments.

On a totally different note: Chani Levertov was a featured panelist for the first Annual Virtual Jewish Fertility Summit. Fruitful is here for our community and had 2,000 people registered for this event! Here is the recording

Getting back to vaccine access, JFCS volunteers are also assisting community seniors needing COVID vaccine registration assistance. If you need help, please contact Kathy Rood at 602.762.7319 or

This week’s Torah portion is Ki Tisa (when you take) in the book of Exodus, the second in the Five Books of Moses. In it, the Israelites are all asked to give a half shekel of silver to contribute to the building of the sanctuary. This is where our concept of communal tzedakah springs forth and really becomes such a signature value for the Jewish people right up until today. It makes me think about the collective need for each of us to be vaccinated and we must do all we can to ensure that others receive their vaccinations as well. The defining mark of a “community” is understanding the power of the collective. That the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one.

Light candles Friday evening at 6:10pm
Shabbat ends Saturday evening at 7:06pm

Wishing each of you and those you love a Shabbat Shalom.


Marty Haberer
President & Chief Executive Officer

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