Shabbat Shalom Chaverim (Friends),
It has been an incredibly beautiful and mild May here in the Valley, so the feel of spring remains in the air. There are flowers blooming and new life everywhere to see and enjoy.
This week, I received wonderful news that three of our local young leaders have been accepted on the Jewish Federations of North America’s National Young Leadership Cabinet. In addition to their generous donation of their time and talent to the Federation movement and Jewish life, membership in this highly esteemed society requires a minimum contribution of $5,000 annually to our local Federation campaign for the next six years. This is quite a commitment! It moves me and reminds me why we do what we do and why it matters. We have only to glance at the headlines to see that there is still persecution, injustice and dire need. Many say that our Jewish community, our very identity, is waning with each generation. These amazing young people, and the many others who are being raised in our community’s Jewish preschools and day schools, who participate in youth organizations such as BBYO and NFTY, who advocate for Israel on our college campuses, who bring vibrancy to the community through Moishe House and participate on our NowGen board – they give me hope that our Jewish life and identity continue to grow and to flourish. So, thank you to our new Cabinet members for keeping the hope alive for our community and for Jewish life everywhere.
As I reflect on this week’s Torah portion, one of the major themes is Sh’mitah (a sabbatical year from working the land), it reminds me, and all of us, to be patient and to give the land time to replenish. Many times in our lives, we seek immediate gratification for our efforts, but this can sell us short in the long run. By nurturing and engaging our young people, we are replenishing the leadership of the Jewish community and ensuring a vibrant Jewish future. It’s worth the wait.