Home Away from Home

Earlier this week, our Federation staff divided up and went to three of our local agencies:  Riverview Towers, the Jewish Association on Aging and the Squirrel Hill Community Food Pantry of Jewish Family and Children’s Service.  At each site, we volunteered our time to assist clients.  This was all part of our effort to kick off the 2015 Campaign among our staff.

I was assigned to the JAA where our group witnessed a number of residents doing karaoke.  It was great seeing them singing along to songs from their youth.  What was even more beautiful was seeing the staff encouraging the residents to sing and even helping some of them out of their wheelchairs to dance.

This week, I participated in a meeting with the Executive Directors of the Edward and Rose Berman Hillel Jewish University Center, Penn State Hillel and the Hillel of Central Florida.  All are participating in an initiative through Hillel International to help them improve their operations to better achieve their missions (and they are already terrific).  The dedication and devotion of these Directors and that of their staff was stunning.

The JAA and the Hillels serve as homes away from home.  At the JAA, our seniors are given a home with the supports they need to live quality lives.  At the Hillels, our young college students are given a Jewish home on their campuses.

As so many of us go to our synagogues for Kol Nidre tonight, know that our seniors and our college students will be doing the same at their homes away from home.  We all play a role in making that possible.

Wishing you a Shabbat Shalom and an easy, yet very meaningful fast.

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