Minute With Moshe
Exodus & the Nature of Change
In March, I spoke about innovation as a team sport – and how our ideas and aspirations are the driving force. Today, just a few weeks later, Russia has violated Ukraine. The world as we knew it, including our own Federation, has changed.
In March, I spoke about innovation as a team sport – and how our ideas and aspirations are the driving force.
Today, just a few weeks later, Russia has violated Ukraine. The world as we knew it, including our own Federation, has changed.
Prior to the Russian attack, experts predicted Ukraine would fall within 48 hours. Vladimir Putin and his armies counted on it.
As of my writing today, it has been nearly 2 weeks since the hostile incursion began. Russia continues to wreak havoc on the people of Ukraine. But the resolve of our friends in Ukraine and their love for freedom, has frustrated the Russian advance at nearly every turn.
Only G-d knows what is to come. But even in the absence of ‘no-fly’ zones and boots on the ground, experts across the globe are accepting that we’ve entered a renewed Cold War with Russia. Some even say it’s the beginning of World War III. Yes, it is frightening. But there is also promise.
Pesach is just days away. And we are reminded of our obligation to recount the story of Exodus – how men, women and children fled the tyranny and slavery of Egypt.
This real-world struggle for independence and freedom was a definitive moment in Jewish history. It forms the basis for our moral orientation today.
To wit, the plight of Ukraine reminds us that the crushing oppression Israelites were subjected to as strangers and slaves continues. And just as “The children of Israel groaned under the burden of work, and they cried out,” let us cry out again on this Passover:
“Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore” (Isaiah 2:4).
None of us are immune from eternal challenge and change. At the Federation, we too accept challenge and undergo change.
Rabbi Nebel continues on-boarding as our new Jewish Family Services Director. Our hybrid Purim Carnival was very successful. And as your Executive Director, I continue to engage groups and individuals in the kind of critical and creative thinking that allows us to reimagine our shared future.
Now, I must tell you of a significant change in leadership at the Federation. Allen Stenberg, Director of Community Engagement, is departing us to pursue other career opportunities in our local community.
While we will all miss him as a vital member of the Federation leadership team, he is not going far. Allen will remain with us in spirit each day, and continue to
serve as a valuable resource for the Federation and our entire Jewish community.
Personally, I will miss Allen as a colleague and confidant. He is a gifted young executive whose professional acumen is complemented with a kind and gentle spirit.
Allen has employed the tools of his craft with aplomb. His artistry, coupled with a genuine passion for Jewish life, leaves a lasting impact on our community.
His tireless work propels the Federation to a much improved, more fit, and stronger position from a communications and programming perspective. To mention just a few of his accomplishments, Allen:
- Upgraded Our Community Newsletter (OCN) into a polished, engaging flagship publication
- Established our social media presence with a significant footprint, tripling our engagement
- Created a totally new, user-friendly, visually engaging website platform that has allowed us to take in over $40,000 in donations since it’s launch
- Worked productively with all Federation departments, CRC, JFS, and Programming, to effectively energize our mission to engage the community in meaningful ways; and last but not least, he
- Made me a better leader and was instrumental in getting our “groove” back at the Federation as we look forward to accelerating this trajectory to a brighter Jewish future
As our world continues to change, please join me in thanking Allen for all he has done and will continue to do for our community. We wish Allen success in all his endeavors. Chag Pesach Sameach to you Allen – and also to our entire Jewish community.