A Special Shabbat Message From Nora Gorenstein — Interim Executive Director, JFWM

Shabbat shalom, friends! This is an exciting moment for so many reasons, but first of all, I am profoundly grateful and honored to be serving our Western Massachusetts Jewish community as the interim executive director of the Federation.

Some of you may know that I have been working in the field of Jewish education and nonprofit work for almost two decades, of which more than a decade has been grown here in Western Massachusetts. I say “grown” rather than spent because my time here has been incredibly fruitful, with growth in so many ways personally, professionally, and communally.

I have had the privilege of working for (in order): Sinai Temple, Temple Beth El, the Springfield JCC, Lubavitcher Yeshiva Academy, Heritage Academy, the Harold Grinspoon Foundation, and of course the Jewish Federation of Western Massachusetts. In addition, I’ve had the pleasure and privilege of working with most of our community’s Jewish nonprofits and groups, and Jewish organizations across the country and around the world.

The common thread of these experiences has been two of my passions: connection, and community. “It’s all about relationships,” as Dr. Ron Wolfson writes in his book Relational Judaism. In my own words, the threads that tie us together and connect us with shared values are essential. There is no greater joy than finding a connection between our needs, our strengths, our passions, and our commitment.

This week’s parsha, the piece of the Torah for this week, includes 74 of the Torah’s 613 mitzvot, commandments, that serve as guiding principles for Jewish life. There is always more to know, more to understand, and I look forward to continuing to learn and grow along with all of you and our community in the weeks and months ahead. Please do reach out and connect in the way and the time that is right for you! You are an important part of our world, and are here for each other.

Shabbat Shalom,

Nora Gorenstein
Interim Executive Director