Relationship. As we approach the Yamim Noraim, the Days of Awe, of what should we be in Awe? Should it be days filled with wonder at G-d’s cycle of creation, destruction, and forgiveness? Should we stop in reverence at all that has been, all that is, and all that will become? Sure, that is a big part of these days, but maybe it could be a bit simpler than that. What if it was about astonishment and respect for our relationships. Our relationship with G-d, our relationship with others, or our relationship with the world. That is what I plan to focus on this holiday season through work, family, and personal life.
This month, Shirlee and I depart for the Partnership Summit in Budapest. It has been a few years since such an event has been held, and the relationship between our partnership cities in the US, Budapest, and Western Galilee has felt distant. We are far past overdue for a check up on what our relationship means to each other and what a perfect time of year to do as such. Five days in Budapest, exploring what Judaism means in their corner of the world. We will plan for the future of our partnership, and rediscover what our relationship will be moving forward. After, we will head to Israel for a few days to continue the discussion in the Partnership region. Our favorite part of all this will be at its end, when Shirlee’s father joins us for the flight home, and comes to the US to visit for the first time since we began our relationship.
Other relationships we focus on this month include our relationship with our Federation families. We continue with programs that we hope stimulate the mind and spirit, bringing friends together and keeping our family connected. With Camp Ideal a recent memory, we will continue to foster those relationships built by offering near monthly Camp programs, especially around the holiday season. Last year’s Sukkah build brought youth together using rope and branches from the woods to build a Sukkah, and brought parents together for some drinks and schmoozing while building our community Sukkah. It was used for all who wanted throughout the Sukkot holiday, a beautiful blend of connections from all generations, families, anyone could feel welcomed.
We are a social people, Jews, and each tradition we hold is reliant on being close to others. While we nourish our current relationships this holiday season, let us create new relationships as well. We will continue to offer what we hope is the best in programming for the community, and if you have any suggestions at all, please reach out!