Tu B'Shvat, spring, is in the air. With all the goofy weather it can be hard to tell, but if you look closely, you may soon see buds on the trees, and flowers sprouting. The days are getting longer. We have turned a corner from winter and are heading into spring.
As I write, countries participating in the UN Climate Conference in Paris have signed an accord. It is cause for celebration that every country agreed to sign on and limit their greenhouse gas emissions so as to hold the global temperature increase to 2⁰ C by the end of the century.
There is a tradition, observed by some people in our community, of wearing white clothes on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. Thiscan help set the tone for the High Holidays, reinforcing its unique nature and inspiring us.By wearing white, we enfold ourselves in a rich vocabulary of symbolism and meaning.
A Mazal tov to Eli Wizel and his family on his Bar Mitzvah. It was wonderful to see so many people celebrating Eli’s accomplishments and sharing in the Wizel family’s joy.
Some of you may know the Bob Marley song “By the Rivers of Babylon.” He took a psalm and set it to music.
One of the things that I treasure about the IJC is its commitment to being egalitarian and inclusive. The Religious Affairs Committee and I have been working together to embed those principles in all aspects of our communal lives. We are also working to build more entry points to explore Judaism’s rich heritage and how it can add meaning and spirituality to our lives.
Thank you all for an exceptional High Holiday experience. The communal participation including those who read Torah, led readings, opened the Ark, carried the sifrei torah, or took part in other ways made Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur wonderful. A special thank you to Cantor Marty Eisenstein.His music and song enhanced the tefilot for us all. We were blessed to be able to share Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur with him again.
Thank you all for an extraordinary first six months with the IJC. While it has been a point of change and transition, it has also been incredibly fruitful and for me personally, extremely rewarding. Again and again, the IJC family has demonstrated its warmth and inclusivity.