From the CEO

The Clarion Call of the Shofar

I woke up this morning to gray skies and a cool mist. I drove to the office past lines of young people waiting to return to school. Summer is almost over, and very soon we will be gathering in person and virtually to celebrate Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur. We will be looking back at the past year and ahead to the new one.

This will be our second High Holy Days impacted by Covid and the first impacted by a new wave of antisemitism. I continue to talk to our rabbis, communal professionals, and community leaders about their plans and concerns about the days ahead and our next year. I assure them and I assure you that our Federation continues to keep a thoughtful and watchful eye on our community.

Last year, we heard the sounds of the shofar across our community through our “Shofar Wave” (in partnership with IKAR). It was inspiring to hear scores of shofar blowers on street corners across our wide and diverse community. The sound of the shofar serves to awaken the slumbering souls among us who have grown complacent and evokes the blasts heard from Mt. Sinai when Moses received the Torah.

What should we listen for this year?

How do we need to be awakened?

We all need to feel that these High Holy Days will lead us into a new year that leaves our struggles of the past year behind us. I am confident that the work we do together each day in our homes and in our community will make us stronger in the new year.

The Jewish people have not survived our often-challenging past. We have thrived. May this year’s shofar blasts inspire all of us to deepen our commitment to each other and our community.

Wishing you a happy and healthy new year,

Jay Sanderson
President & CEO