October 2, 2020
14 Tishri 5781
Dear Friends:
Shabbat Shalom and Happy New Year!
I hope you all had meaningful fasts, and like me are ready to approach the new year with gusto! Every January during the secular new year I make New Year’s resolutions and they are always the same. Be nicer to those I love, try a new hobby and always, always, always, lose the 15 extra pounds I have been carrying around since my Bar Mitzvah.

This year, I thought I would start my resolutions now, immediately after the Jewish New Year.  I figured why not take what could be my 2021 resolutions out for a test drive for the next three months to see if they would stick. I took out a piece of paper and my favorite green felt tip pen and went to work on a list, or at least I tried.

The pandemic has actually brought those who I love closer through more frequent check-ins and Face Times.  I am listening more to what my mother has to say or rather tells me to do, so I was able to check that off my list. Next, I moved to “pick up new hobby” and I thought to myself – “who has time”, plus I am notorious for starting and then stopping… just ask Andrew about the tap-dancing debacle of 2008. So again, this year I won’t be starting a new hobby!  As for those 15 pounds, after 30 years they obviously aren’t going anywhere so I’ve decided to let that one go as well. At the end of the exercise I was left with two new ones that I am pretty happy about based on an old Yiddish proverb – “Change what you cannot accept and accept what you cannot change.” In that spirit my 5781 resolutions are below.

Embrace the New Normal and Continue to Be Kind to Others.

Being kind isn’t something new, you have heard it from me before. Last time I wrote about it, I told you I was keeping a list and for the most part it has helped me be more kind to others. 

Last week I asked forgiveness to those I have wronged, then on Tuesday night, just one day after Yom Kippur I lost it. I used all of my chips in a single evening by watching the Presidential Debate. The unkindness of both candidates to each other in turn made me unkind as I yelled obscenities at the television. It was not my finest hour. I was so mean that I lost count and now must start a new list. I guess that’s why they call it a resolution, because you have to continue to resolve to change behaviors. I’ll keep you posted on my progress but ask you all to continue to be more kind – maybe it will help keep me on track.

The second and last resolution I made was to Embrace the New Normal… whatever that is. When the pandemic started in March and I had just arrived, the normal at that time was shelter in place, wipe down groceries and only leave your house if it was absolutely necessary. Then we moved to having small gathering outside with your family and now we have our children masked and back in school. Some of us are even dining outdoors at restaurants. That’s A LOT of new normal in a very short amount of time and each step of the way I complained about the inconvenience.

Now I am done complaining! No one knows what tomorrow is going to bring, but I am almost certain it’s not going to bring back last week or last month or even last year. So now, in 5781, I am rolling with the punches and embracing change. As they say in cheerleading BRING-IT-ON.

As I wish you a Shabbat Shalom and a peaceful week, I ask you the same question. What are your resolutions, and will you change the things you cannot accept and accept the things you cannot change?

Agency Spotlight
The Levite Jewish Community Center
Amplifying Voices

The Levite Jewish Community Center has partnered with the Tucson JCC in Tucson, AZ to host a series, entitled "Amplifying Voices," on the intersection of Black and Jewish identities. 

The first event is on Sunday, Oct. 18 at 6 pm with author Marc Dollinger. He will discuss his book "Black Power, Jewish Politics: Reinventing the Alliance of the 1960s." In January, the LJCC, along with Birmingham activist T. Marie King, will be hosting a virtual Civil Rights Tour of important sites in Alabama. 

To register for the program, please email Shaina Wolinsky at swolinsky@bhamjcc.org
The Levite Jewish Community Center has teamed up with the Marcus JCC of Atlanta on their award-winning book festival called "In Your Living Room Live." 

The book festival -- featuring authors such as Harlan Coben, Jodi Piccoult and more -- is coming to your living room through Zoom. The LJCC is so excited to offer this amazing opportunity to hear from best-selling authors -- all from the comfort of your home. All you have to do is click on the event you would like to attend to register and you will receive a confirmation email with Zoom information. 

Happy Zooming and reading! 

In The News
Making a Global Impact
The Israel-World Jewry Bureau (IWJB) is a unique allocations process, developed in 2004, that has allowed The Birmingham Jewish Federation to help fund smaller, yet equally important agencies, doing vital work for people in need in Israel and around the world.

Through the IWJB allocations process, dollars raised by our annual campaign, as well as dollars contributed by the Birmingham Jewish Foundation, are not only making an important difference in the lives of those we help, but also enable members of our Birmingham community to work in direct partnership with our brothers and sisters in Israel and elsewhere around the globe.

JDC is one of the most long standing organizations of the IWJB and has been receiving funds since 2004.
Shanah Tovah from
the Temple Beth-El Foundation!

Learn about how the Temple Beth-El Foundation is preserving the stories of the past and sustaining our future in our 

Click on the annual report cover to read the flip book online.  

(Printed copy available upon request. Email Temple Beth-El Foundation Executive Director Cathy Fingerman.
Online Sukkot Festival Welcomes
Iconic Sounds of Bob Dylan
On October 4-6, Jerusalem Confederation House goes online with Songs of Ushpizin, three-day event celebrating music and poetry.
"The Sukkot holiday is all about welcoming ushpizin, Aramaic for guests, into one’s sukkah, the temporary home created for the eight-day holiday.

This year, the stringent coronavirus lockdown in Israel makes an upcoming online festival, The Songs of Ushpizin, produced by Jerusalem’s Confederation House, all the more welcome for many, even if the guests are strictly virtual.

Dedicated to Hebrew music and music from around the world, the three-day festival, to be held on October 4-6, will be available for free on the Confederation House website, YouTube and Facebook, with ten events of live and recorded music."

Times of Israel
Club J All Day!
Club J All Day is a virtual school alternative child care option for kids in all local school districts. Kids bring their school work to Club J where they are supervised by teacher assistants. Kids also have the opportunity for physical activity, arts and crafts, and more as a way to break up the day.

We are so proud of the LJCC Club J All Day program; and, there is still space available to join!

Understanding American
Jewish-Israel Relations
Join us for a special, virtual program with Rabbi, Dr. Daniel Gordis
Community Programs
Visit the community calendar for more details!
The Federation and Foundation have been having issues with our post office box. Please send all correspondence to our physical address at 3966 Montclair Road, Birmingham, AL 35213
The Birmingham Jewish Federation