Today is July 24, 2024 /

Shabbat Shalom ~ Vayakhel 2024

Shalom WJC Family,

What an incredible experience we’ve had this week hosting ten swimmers, displaced from their homes in Israel’s north and south, living in temporary housing and unable to have their regular swim team practices and routine. We partnered with Project 24 and the JCC of Mid-Westchester to bring them and their two coaches to the area for a break from displaced life, a chance to swim here and at Princeton, and some much deserved fun time. These teens are amazing – polite, resilient, and eager to meet Americans (teens and adults). Thank you so much to Melinda Goldman for her extraordinary effort, grace, and ability in coordinating the thousand moving parts to make this trip a reality and to the dozens of volunteers who housed, drove, fed, and cared for our visitors.

We also had the opportunity to meet with Project 24’s founders (pictured here with me in Tel Aviv in January) to hear about more opportunities for great partnerships in the future that are win-win’s for Israelis and us (mutually beneficial projects are the heart of Project 24’s mission.)  Keep your eyes peeled for information about a Passover Wine Sale to benefit Israeli restaurants struggling due to the war. We purchase Israeli wine for our seder tables and a displaced couple gets a voucher to go and dine at a participating restaurant – win-win-win! We will also be participating in their “Darom Adom” pin program through our Sisterhood gift shop, so look for those as well and if you’d like to get involved let me know and I’ll connect you to the right people.

And most importantly, if you haven’t already, go become a member of Project 24 by making a $24 donation – then you’ll be updated on all their amazing, creative, and empowering projects around Israel and the United States, and how you can participate. click here to sign up!

And now for something completely different – this Shabbat has a special name: Shabbat Shekalim. It is the first of four special Torah readings we do leading up to Passover – that’s right, Shabbat Shekalim means Passover is just 6 weeks away! I am working on a Creative Seder Workshop to be presented on Saturday, April 6th at 1:00pm, after the Kiddish luncheon. In the meantime, if you have questions about cleaning and kashering for Passover, hosting a seder, or what haggadot we recommend, do not hesitate to ask me, Rabbi Dalton, or Cantor Goldberg.

And of course, before that, we’ll have Purim – don’t miss our Carnival, Megillah Readings, Seudah, and schpiel all already on the calendar. Tami and I are especially excited for our roles in the Purim schpiel and “Schmaltz!”

We are looking forward to another beautiful Shabbat at WJC and are especially excited for the mincha-maariv service in the sanctuary with Henry Goldman for his bar mitzvah – mazal tov to Betsy and David!

See you in shul,

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