3 Sh'vat 5772
Our volunteers, donors and professionals work very hard in our community to make us strong and vibrant. Sometimes we are so caught up in our work here, that we forget to take note of what is happening in the world around us.
This week I had the opportunity to participate in the Jewish Federations of North America board meetings and the first face to face Global Planning Table meeting. I was inspired by the conversations at both meetings. It was great to participate in our national system and tackle really challenging issues confronting our Jewish world. From social issues in Israel to determining how our funds are best utilized overseas, I was impressed with our system in action.
This week's Torah portion, Bo, was the beginning of our system in action. In this parsha the last three plagues are inflicted on the Egyptians and the Israelites spring into action as we quickly leave Egypt and become a free people. It has always seemed a little odd to me that this parsha is named Bo, which means emphatically Come! in Hebrew, when this is about our Exodus or leaving. Wouldn't a more appropriate name be, Go! Leave! Escape! or Freedom at Last!?
There are many commentaries written as to why this Torah portion is named Bo. In simple terms, I think it can be looked at as an invitation to do something beneficial for ourselves, quickly. Come - take an opportunity - don't give it too much thought. Or, "just do it" as Nike's slogan goes. Sometimes we take so much time to do things we miss the moment and then it is gone. What if our predecessors dilly-dallied and waited for the bread to rise? Our story would be much different.
For today, here are two great simple opportunities for you to come
and take a look at two different interesting things.
The first is an Avi Chai Foundation online video contest that Lander-Grinspoon Academy has entered. If this video received the most votes, the school will win $10,000. I encourage you to watch this wonderful demonstration of Jewish learning in action, produced voluntarily by school parents, and vote for it. Click here to watch the video.
The second is an opportunity to see a new way in which an organization is encouraging youth to partake in thinking philanthropically. Jchoice
is an online social network for Jewish youth to participate in giving tzedakah
. I was recently contacted by the director of this project and encouraged to add Federation as a choice for philanthropy on Jchoice
. This is a great opportunity to share with our precious youth our remarkable work. We are working on an application and will hopefully be on the website shortly.
Our personal and communal decisions today have a deep impact on the future. Let us not miss those moments when we can work swiftly to meet our most pressing challenges - whatever they may be.