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August 2021 Our Community News

Minute with Moshe

Community is the place where they know my name.

The late Rabbi Jonathan Sack left us this striking teaching about the essence of community: “building community is the human expression of Divine love. It is where I am valued simply for who I am, how I live, and what I give to others. It is the place where they know my name.”

Rabbi Sack’s beautiful words capture the heart of our Federation mission. I think that we can expand his idea of “knowing each other’s name” to knowing, recognizing and responding empathically to each other’s needs, hopes and challenges. This includes the importance of addressing those areas in our communal fabric that may have become frayed or worn over the years.  

To bring this lofty idea down to earth, your Federation is proud to announce the formation of a new community forum, to be called the Hineni Group— I am here! Group.

Composed of delegates from all the Jewish congregations and organizations in Michiana, the Hineni Group will be instrumental in developing a needs assessment and planning framework for creating community impact that is meaningful and measurable. 

If your organization is interested in participating in the Hineni Group, please call 574-233-1164 or email [email protected]. A Hineni Group orientation meeting is in the works for August. Stay tuned. Alternatively, if you would like to meet with me, I encourage you to visit to place time on my calendar. Either way, the sage Hillel, reminds us, “do not separate yourself from the community!” (Pirkei Avot 2:4).

My greatest hope is to fulfill our potential as a forward-thinking community -- and through your participation, optimism will infuse our communal conversation as we wrestle with how we can effect change in a rapidly changing world. One thing is certain: I do think we are stronger together. Our new reality will demand even more innovation in Jewish life, requiring us all to be more welcoming, collaborative, persistent, and intentional than ever before.

Like the Israelites sojourning through the desert, we too, are on our unique journey. Our collective work has never been more critical than now, and the stakes for a healthy and sustainable Jewish community have never been this high. The good news is, your Federation has never been more prepared for this moment and is ready for what lies ahead.

Camp Ideal Photos

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