Shalom Chaverim (Dear Friends),
While the temperatures in the Valley continue to hover around 100 degrees, the pace of events and activities in our Jewish community have taken on a fall, post-High Holy Days, frenetic feel. There is something for everyone going on just about every single day. I feel very blessed to live in such a vibrant and robust Jewish community.
I was particularly delighted to attend a Valley Beit Midrash event this past week at Temple Chai featuring Rabbi Dr. Irving “Yitz” Greenberg. I have been privileged to see Yitz many times over my 31+ years in Jewish communal service.
Among his many accomplishments, Yitz was a founder of SAR Academy, in Riverdale, New York, where I grew up. He also started the Center for Life & Learning. He is an innovator and a pioneer and I was honored to receive a signed copy of his latest book, A Torah Giant, edited by our very own Rabbi Dr. Shmuly Yanklowitz, one of Yitz’s students and disciples.
This week’s Torah portion is Lech Lecha, in the book of Genesis. In it, G-d commands Abram to “go to the land that I will show you.” With no instructions as to what that land is called or how to get there, Abram with his wife Sarai and nephew Lot, journey to the land of Canaan. There, Abram educates the people about the one G-d and G-d informs Abram that from him will be made a great nation. The nation that ultimately becomes known and named by other nations as “the people of the book”.
It is so wonderful and comforting to know that all these thousands of years later that we, the Jewish people, continue to value education. We in the Valley are so fortunate to have organizations such as the Valley Beit Midrash, that carry out this legacy with excellence.
Here are some upcoming community events. Please avail yourselves to these offerings.