With all of the struggles and challenges taking place in the world right now, we can find hope and strength through gratitude. In this week’s Torah portion, Shemini, we can find examples of struggle, in the deaths of Aaron’s sons. and also blessing, “that G‑d‘s presence dwell in their handiwork.” As a community, we are grateful for the opportunity to make a difference, and the knowledge that our choices matter as we leverage our blessings to create good for others.
At our Shabbat dinner benefit for Ukraine last Friday, and at our community rally for Ukraine on Tuesday, we came together from across Hampden, Hampshire, and Franklin counties to join together and express our commitment to support those in need. Our obligation and our privilege as a people is to responsible for each other and to ensure that essential needs are met, and we are meeting these needs every day through our global partnerships and our Annual Campaign.
What I saw on Tuesday evening was a diverse group of people of different faith backgrounds, perspectives, and interests, joined in unity toward a common goal. We share of ourselves because we have something to give: whether that is a financial contribution, volunteer time and energy, or a willingness to raise our voices against injustice. Together, we make change possible, and that is why Jewish Federations exist across North America: to coordinate and support our communal efforts and our shared mission of sustaining and enhancing Jewish community and lifting up those in need around the world.
This is our sacred trust, and I am proud to be here together with all of you. Thank you for your commitment and support of our essential work; remember, we were built for this.
We are also continuing to build our team of professionals at the Jewish Federation of Western Massachusetts, and are pleased to be joined by two new staff members: Office Administrator Ellie Sesko, who introduces herself in the video above, and Accounting Associate Totiana Garcia.
We hope you will take a moment to stop by and say hello to the team supporting our daily operations; and of course, please reach out at any time!