What greatly motivates me in my day to day work is building Jewish community by connecting members of our Jewish community with one another and helping every Jew grow Jewishly. Now, with the spread of COVID-19, and the isolation it has created, our job has become much more difficult and at the same time, so much more critical.
In Pirkei Avot, a book of the Mishna, Hillel states clearly how important community is:
הִלֵּל אוֹמֵר: אַל תִּפְרֹשׁ מִן הַצִּבּוּר
Do Not Separate Yourself from the Community.
Judaism is all about community. We need ten to make a minyan in order to recite certain prayers. In order to say the call to prayer for the Birkat Hamazon (the grace after meals), we need three. A traditional Jewish wedding requires two witnesses. So much in Jewish life requires community. Judaism ain’t a solo concert, it’s a symphony.
Our Federation office has been closed all week. Our incredible staff team is making so much happen from assuring the continuity and success of our 2020 Community Campaign that is more needed today than ever to sustain the services provided by our agencies locally and internationally, to the planning work with our agencies to help them through this challenging time. And like so many of you, our staff is doing this work from home while caring for their families. I am in awe of their resilience, fortitude and passion. And I miss our sense of community and camaraderie we have in our office. Our three time a week Zoom calls are no replacement for the personal contact, but it is the best we can do. Thank you Federation staff!
One of our cross functional staff teams is working to figure out how we can virtually provide connection points for individuals with our Jewish community and each other. Watch your emails in the near future for opportunities to learn and grow together. One such program is happening Sunday at 4:00 pm and is sponsored by one of our historic overseas partners, the Jewish Agency for Israel. I hope you will join me to experience the incredible Idan Raichel Project on Facebook at facebook.com/46428009499/posts/10158066531504500/?d=n .
Do Not Separate Yourself From The Community!