Dear WJC Family,
I want to thank you all for sharing my installation this past Sunday—and a special thank you to those who made it possible, the Installation Committee and Transition Committee. It was a very important and meaningful day in my life and in my rabbinate and I am grateful to hear from so many of you that it was meaningful for the congregation as well. One of my favorite parts was the simcha dancing at the celebratory lunch. I love how much this congregation loves to dance. In case you didn’t know, a few times every year we host a Havdalah Israeli Dance Party on Saturday nights—including this Saturday night! If you are someone who jumps into the circle for simcha dancing and Israeli dancing (or you just wish you were), check it out, it is a lot of fun!
Sunday was also the culmination of our 613 Mitzvot Campaign. For the full wrap-up, see my article in the January Review. Suffice it to say it was very successful in every way. We had hundreds and hundreds of people participate and didn’t just complete and report 613 mitzvot, we surpassed it completing half again as many making a total of 954! Thank you to all the people who made that possible, including the 613 Mitzvot Committee and SOJAC.
Of course, we are not done doing mitzvot together, we are just getting started. On Sunday I mentioned a few of the places we’d be emphasizing in the months to come. SOJAC has a longstanding partnership with the local Cultural Resource Center, with whom we are working to develop a variety of volunteer opportunities. Contact SOJAC and see which opportunity fits your schedule and interest.
I respect all forms of Israel advocacy. My own preferred venue is AIPAC, the America-Israel Public Affairs Committee where I serve on the National Council. Might you consider signing up to join Tami and me at the AIPAC National Policy Conference in Washington DC March 1-3? We’d love to share it with you, and in honor of my recent installation, AIPAC is offering a $100 discount on registration. To take advantage and register, contact Alexa Aronson, Associate Area Director for Westchester, at firstname.lastname@example.org. The discount will be available until December 17.
I am totally open to your ideas for any mitzvah work that intrigues you. Come meet with me and we can explore ways to make those mitzvot happen here if it’s appropriate or to facilitate them elsewhere if that is a better fit. Either way, I want to continue to share the mitzvah journey with WJC!
This Shabbat morning there will be a Simple and Soulful service in the Activity Center with Cantor Ethan and I will be in the sanctuary where our discussion will be entitled, “Me Too, Dina.” We will be discussing the different ways of looking at another person, as an extension of us or as an extension of God. It is a Religious School Shabbat and the discussion will be appropriate for children. The terminology used for Dina’s treatment will be “taken advantage of.” At mincha, I will teach a shiur entitled, “Two Ways to Read Joseph and the Lessons of Each.” We will be exploring the ambiguous nature of Joseph as a character and what lessons we can draw from each reading. I will be doing the Shabbat talk Friday evening as well since Rabbi Segelman is in Israel visiting his new granddaughter (mazal tov to Rabbi Segelman and Marla!) There will be no Saturday morning shiur before services on Saturday. Check out the video below for a Dvar Torah about this week’s portion to get us in the mood!
See you in shul,