WJC Voices: Fall 2023 ~ The Spirit of Joy

When Rabbi Arnowitz first proposed “joy” as the focal point for High Holidays 5784 and the upcoming fall edition of Kolot, I must confess my initial skepticism. Joy? Amid the cacophony of world events, the concept of joy appeared elusive, distant. Yet, as the submissions for this Kolot issue flooded in, a realization unfurled within me. The enigmatic essence of “joy” does not reside in external circumstances; it is not tethered to the tumultuous tides of the world. Rather, it emerges from the inner sanctum of one’s self. Life events ebb and flow, but it is the unchanging core of one’s self that holds the key to unlocking joy’s presence. That is not to say that we all experience joy in the same manner. In fact, as our cover shows, it is the mosaic of all our differences that blend together in order to create one harmonious symphony that is the Westchester Jewish Center. Additionally, it occurred to me that joy need not emanate solely from grandiose occasions, say a recent wedding or a bat mitzvah. Indeed, joy can occur at tender moments, so fragile that one might miss it and not appreciate its beauty and intricacy.

As always, Kolot would not be possible without the meticulous attention to detail and boundless creativity from my partner and our Editorial Services Director Katie Schlientz. Add in the discerning eyes of Jeremy Blachman and we’re blessed with a superstar editorial team… A team we’d like to expand! Please reach out if you’d like to write an article or if you have a suggestion on ways to make Kolot even richer. It is quite an undertaking to produce this labor of love, and we’d love more congregants to lend their expertise and passion to this project. If you’re interested, please email Katie at KLSchlientz@gmail.com.

As an editorial team, it is our wish for all of us on 5784 to greet one another with smiles and hugs and to be thankful that we can once again come together in joyful voice, song, and prayer.

Joyfully yours,
Evan J. Schapiro

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