From the desk of Stewart Bromberg
Most schools in our community resumed classes last week and the Memorial Holiday weekend is now behind us. During my time living in other states, no one understood my fascination and questions regarding the annual mass exodus of families and the traffic headaches I expected. I guess when you don’t live in New England, there are not as many interesting and exciting places to travel to on a holiday weekend.
What excited me about last weekend was the time we had to get together with family and friends. I start to think about the upcoming holidays and how I will spend my time. Surely, I will be spending some of my time with members of my congregation as we usher in the new year of 5780, and I also look forward to my reflection of the year past, and I get excited about the year yet to come.
The opportunities are many and the challenges are great. This has been a difficult year with many tragedies and uncomfortable events happening around the world. We have witnessed our neighbors come together and help us mourn those lost in some horrific acts of terrorism, and we joined, with our neighbors, to support the Muslim community in mourning their loss last winter. We have demonstrated our desire and ability to support each other.
The holidays are also a time to think about those we need to help. Our community agencies continue to work hard to provide programs and services to those who need and deserve our help. We can’t do this alone.
The Jewish Federation of Western Massachusetts provides funding to help our Jewish Day schools and Supplemental Hebrew schools keep our Jewish values and traditions alive. Our synagogues provide us with the opportunity to gather and worship together, and to support each other. Together with other agencies, such as the Springfield JCC, we provide community educational opportunities presented through a Jewish lens.
As you reflect on many things this holiday season, we ask you to think about how you can help our community. Our goal is to make our Jewish community strong and vibrant. We want to grow by attracting others to move to the area and become engaged with us. We are not just here to debate, although this is certainly an integral part of being Jewish. We are here to build a future for our children, grandchildren and their children. Please help us by actively participating in this year’s annual campaign. Please help to the best of your ability, so as a community, we strengthen what we do and how we are perceived. We should not be judged by our possessions, but by how we help support each other.
Stewart Bromberg, CEO