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Marty’s Shabbat Message – October 8, 2020

Shalom Chaverim (Dear Friends),

In the beginning…. It is my privilege, as President and CEO of the Jewish Federation of Greater Phoenix, to begin my fourth cycle of providing you with a Shabbat message each week. Over the past three and a half years since I began penning them, I have not missed a single week. I hope if I had, you would have noticed. The power of the words and concept of “in the beginning” actually takes my breath away. It takes me back to my second-grade classroom where my teacher, Mar (Mr.) Shechter first introduced me to these words, which I have now cycled through 49 times in my 56 years. These words take me back to my humble “beginnings” in the Inwood section of Washington Heights in upper Manhattan. And my beginning my fourth year as your President and CEO. Though “the times they are “a chang’n,” our work to strengthen and engage a vibrant Jewish community while providing for those in need, has never been more relevant.

And here is a new beginning opportunity for Jewish teens in our community. If you are a teen, or know a teen, looking to find community or get involved in something meaningful, Hebrew High second quarter is about to launch, and you’re invited to join!

If you care about social justice, are curious about the history of anti-Semitism or you are hoping for spiritual tools to support you in life, this is the place for you!

Hebrew High meets every Tuesday night at the Ina Levine Jewish Community Campus in-person and virtually. All teens are welcome to register!

2nd Quarter Classes: Oct. 27-Dec. 8
Chanukkah Event: Dec. 15
(Tuesday nights from 7-9pm)

So you might have guessed that this week’s Torah portion is Bereishit, the first chapter in the book of Genesis, the first of the five Books of Moses. And so, we begin a new Jewish year, 5781, after possibly the most challenging year of most of our lifetimes. This week we are all witnessing the confirmation hearings for Supreme Court Justice nominee Amy Coney Barrett. In a few weeks we will be holding elections to decide who shall serve as POTUS for the next four years… “In the beginning” all over again.

Light candles Friday evening at 5:34pm
Shabbat ends Saturday evening at 6:28pm

Wishing you and your loved ones a Shabbat Shalom.


Marty Haberer
President & Chief Executive Officer

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