Shabbat Shalom ~ Mishpatim 2024

Voter Enrollment Deadline Alert: The Voter Enrollment Deadline to be eligible to vote in the June 25th Federal, State, and Local Primary Election, including the primary election for New York’s 16th Congressional District, which represents many of our members in the House of Representatives, is this Wednesday, February 14th! You must be enrolled with a party to vote in its primary. Please see Rabbi Arnowitz’s message for details or check out the New York State Elections Website.

Dear WJC Family,

One of the most prominent and valuable lessons of the Torah is the importance of leaders. We saw it last week in Parshat Yitro with the appointment of judges for every thousand, hundred, and ten people and again in this week’s Torah portion, Mishpatim, in the prominent roles of the priests and the seventy elders. Of course, we see the value of leadership most prominently in the characters of Moses and Joshua.

One of the great blessings for Jews in the United States of America is the ability for everyone to participate in the selection of leaders through the electoral system. American democracy is a gift that no one can afford to take for granted, Jews as much as anyone, particularly in these turbulent times. As last week’s Scholar in Residence, Amy Spitalnik, emphasized, democracy is good for the Jewish people. (One more thank you to Allan and Susan Abravanel for their leadership in organizing a weekend of community, learning, and discussion.) That’s why, as this major election year gets underway, I wanted to alert you to the approaching deadline mentioned above.

In New York, to vote in a party primary you must be registered with that political party by this Wednesday, February 14th. You may register and/or enroll at your local board of elections or any state agency participating in the National Voter Registration Act, on any business day, but an application to change one’s party enrollment for any primary election in 2024 must be received by the board of elections no later than this Wednesday. If you have any questions about enrollment and/or registration, please feel free to contact me.

The War in Israel and Gaza and the rise in Antisemitism in this country are among the issues that make this coming election so crucial. Two weeks ago I was privileged to lead 22 participants in the WJC Volunteering in Israel Trip. According to several participants the experience was “life changing.” They invite you to join them this Sunday morning when they will be the featured speakers at our World Wide Wrap Brunch. The program kicks off with our annual World Wide Wrap Service in the chapel at 9am – the service is a special opportunity to participate in the mitzvah of tefillin and learn more about it. Then at 10am we will move to the activity center where our speakers will share their reflections and some pictures about their time in Israel.

Before that, we are excited for a Pre-School Shabbat service and dinner Friday night starting at 5:30, in addition to our regular service at 5pm. Then on Saturday morning, in addition to our regular service in the sanctuary we will have our Shabbat Family Service with Rabbi Dalton and Cantor Goldberg. The Shabbat Family Service is based on the popular High Holiday Family Service. So, we are looking forward to a fun, multi-generational Shabbat—I hope we’ll see you here.

See you in shul,

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