Dear WJC Family,
Learn, Pray, Give. These are the core pillars of what it is to be a shul.
Some of you may know that in addition to my duties here at WJC, next year I am starting a Doctor of Hebrew Literature program at the Jewish Theological Seminary as the inaugural Arnold Eisen Graduate Research Fellow. The Seminary remains one of the most important Jewish academic institutions in the country and it is now led by the remarkable scholar and leader, Chancellor Shuly Rubin Schwartz. I hope you will join me on Shabbat, April 1 and 2, as we welcome Chancellor Rubin Schwartz as she shares her vision on the topic: Reimagining American Judaism – Now, Then, and Into the Future. (The deadline to register is today; click here to register now.) Learn more
Over the past few weeks as I read the headlines and look at images of atrocities perpetrated by the Russian Military and of desperate Ukrainians fleeing the only homes they have ever known, I find myself calling out to God over fears and concerns that didn’t even seem possible just a few months ago. It can all be so overwhelming and confusing to know what’s going on.
Recently, UJA/Federation Scholar in Residence and WJC member Rabbi Menachem Creditor traveled with UJA to Poland and the Ukraine border to witness the situation there firsthand. On Shabbat, Rabbi Creditor will be our guest speaker and will reflect on his journey to help us all better understand and truly see the people and crisis behind the headlines. Then together we will pray, we will call out to God, for peace and safety for Ukraine and all of her neighbors.
Following the guidelines of our faith, we can help ease the burden of these times. Now is the time to be generous on behalf of the victims of Russian aggression in Ukraine and for those in need among our neighbors. With that in mind SOJAC is offering three separate and distinct opportunities to help others. First, locally, it is not too late to donate to the Project Ezra Fund providing Passover food to poor, elderly, and impoverished Jews in New York, some Russian and Ukrainian immigrants themselves. To donate to Project Ezra, click here. Second, Sunday at noon is Community Day at the WJC campus. Come to help prepare meals and make crafts to be donated. Lastly, SOJAC is collecting medical supplies and toiletries to be donated to AFYA and delivered directly to the now 3 million displaced persons in Ukraine, Poland and other surrounding countries. To see the items you should bring to WJC and learn more about Community Day, click here.
These are indeed challenging times, but the Jewish people and the goodness and holiness the Torah allows us to bring into the world, were made for times like these. Let us rise to the occasion and learn, pray and give together to help guide this world and our community to a better future.
See you in shul,