Shalom Chaverim (Dear Friends),
This is my last Shabbat message prior to Thanksgiving, which falls on Thursday, November 26. So, I’d like to introduce a term that really has become a mantra for me. “The attitude of gratitude”. Of all the holidays, nothing is as synonymous with the “attitude of gratitude” like Thanksgiving. Just the name itself screams of gratitude. So, in 2020, in a year mostly filled with a pandemic the likes of which many of us have not seen in our lifetimes, a highly emotional and divisive Presidential campaign and an economy that has benefitted some but has devastated many others, why should we be grateful and for what exactly?
I can only speak for myself. I am grateful for my good health and that of my family members and friends. I do not take that good health for granted, having spent the year eating right, exercising and getting a better amount of sleep. I am grateful for the love and wellbeing of my two dogs, Marley and Nash. I am ever so grateful to continue to have a job and to continue to make a living doing the work I love and am passionate about and that my spouse, children and other loved ones in my life continue to have those blessings as well. And I am also grateful to be able to give back. To give to those who need and to not have to be a recipient of someone else’s giving. I am grateful to my incredible small but mighty professional team at the Jewish Federation of Greater Phoenix and of our remarkable and selfless volunteer leadership. What an inspiration they are to me and to us!
And most of all, I want to give thanks to all of you. It is you, our Jewish community members, who have made it possible to raise almost $3 million in this most challenging environment. In addition to that, $200,000 has been raised in COVID-19 Emergency money which has helped so many in dire need right here in our own backyard. We have raised an additional $800,000 in targeted dollars for a total financial resource development achievement of over $4 million to date. The campaign ends on December 31 and we have every reason to believe we will finish the overall campaign at over $4.2 million – no small feat during this pandemic. I rarely fundraise in my Shabbat message but this is the moment where I simply must ask; if you have not made a gift to the Jewish Federation of Greater Phoenix campaign this year, please take a moment now to do so.
Please go to the bottom of this message and hit the donate button and become part of the solution in making a dent in the needs of those in our community who are less fortunate than we may be.
This week’s Torah portion is Toldot (Generations) in the Book of Genesis, the first book in the Five Books of Moses. It emphasizes the lifelong competition and struggle between Isaac’s eldest son, Easu and his younger twin son, Jacob. Given the recent pernicious Presidential election, that relationship between the twin brothers made me think of the divisiveness we too have been experiencing recently in our country. Once again though, I am reminded this Thanksgiving to have an “attitude of gratitude” — for our democracy and for the visionary checks and balances created by the Founding Fathers of our country expressed in the brilliance of our Constitution.
Thank you so much to each of you who take the time to read my message. And thank you to those who give of your time, your talent and of your treasure to ease someone else’s discomfort.
May we all go from strength to strength!
Light candles Friday evening at 5:05pm
Shabbat ends Saturday evening at 6:02pm
Shabbat Shalom and have a happy, healthy and safe Thanksgiving!
President & Chief Executive Officer
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