The Roller Coaster
The past few weeks have been a roller coaster for our Jewish community. The warfare in Israel has been heartbreaking. The subsequent surge in anti-Semitism here in New York requires response. This coming Monday, May 31st at 7:30 pm, David Harris (CEO AJC) will lead a Zoom community discussion on this horrific rise in anti-Semitism. I encourage you to join. Here is the link to register.
On the “Brighter Side,” to quote comedy troupe Monty Python, two weeks ago we were blessed to celebrate Confirmation. Our 10 Confirmands are our hope for the future. These inspiring 16-year-olds spoke beautifully about what they have learned at the Temple and hope they will never forget. They shared their hopes and dreams for the future of our Jewish community and their Jewish identities in the most compelling way.
If we were a factory and our product was Jews, then our best advertisement would be the words of our teen-age confirmands. Any young family shopping for a Temple community in which to raise their children would find the ideals of our teens irresistible. As a father of three young children, I hope one day my children will articulate a Jewish vision of the future as expressed by our teens and informed by the best of Jewish values. We, the adult community, have a responsibility to give our youth and young families access to meaningful and relevant Jewish education and experiences. I wish for us to become a community-of-learners. Jewish living should be an adventure of life-long learning and exploration.
Another bright moment for our community was experienced last week. At our Shabbat Service there was a loving thank you to Karen Spiegel, celebrating her achievements as our out-going temple president. Last night at the annual meeting the gavel was passed to Sharon Feldman, our new temple president and the new board of trustees was also installed. I am so proud that we are in excellent hands with a talented and dedicated leadership.
As I look back now over the past year, I am filled with hope as we come out of Covid and begin to get back to normal. I regret that I have not yet had the chance to meet most of you in-person yet. I am looking forward to getting to know all of you better. I hope you will come this summer to “Shabbat under the Stars.” We are upgrading our summer Shabbat services with fun and exciting experiences for all of us to socialize. Treat yourself to some Shabbes joy. It is our people’s ancient medicine that is spiritually innovative and can bring you lasting joy, friendship and meaning.
Wishing you all a Good Shabbes!
Rabbi David Wilfond