FEAST on fruit, VOTE in the Zionist polls, REFLECT on overcoming darkness

Steven A. RakittGood morning,

When they were younger, our kids would ask that we leave a light on in the hallway so they could “sleep better.” Darkness for them – and for all of us – is unsettling, unnerving and even scary.

This week’s parashaBo, continues the story of the plagues visited upon the Egyptians as Pharaoh defies Moses’ demands to let the Israelites go. The ninth plague is that of darkness, while the eighth (locusts) brought darkness upon the earth, and the tenth, the slaying of the firstborn, brought darkness to all the houses of Egypt. The three final plagues, and their common theme of darkness, set us up for the profound exodus of the Jews from the darkness of slavery to the light of freedom.

Today, Jews in France and Europe, Israelis riding on public busses in Tel Aviv and even on vacation in Argentina, are once again living through dark days of terrorism. To pierce this darkness, we need to shine light on the insidiousness of terror and the scourge of anti-Semitism. But light, while effective, is only temporary: the candle burns out, the flashlight battery expires. Darkness – as the Israelites would come to learn, can be overcome with faith and truth, both of which guide us, provide comfort and even help us sleep better.

Steven A. Rakitt, Chief Executive Officer
[email protected]

federation happenings
Let Us Eat Fruit!

Tu B’Shevat, The Festival of Trees, is our annual celebration, not just as Jews, but as people living and breathing in the natural world, of the trees, the earth and the environment that we all share. We give thanks to God’s creation and rededicate ourselves to the sacred obligation of caring for it. And of course, like any Jewish holiday celebration, we eat…a lot. Figs, grapes, pomegranates, olives, dates, wheat, barley and any other delicacies that arouse our connection to the Earth…we add ‘em to the Seder plate!

Looking to satiate with the seven species? Delight in one of these festive Tu B’Shevat events around town:

*Sponsored by a grant from the Jewish Food Experience

Answer the Call!

This Sunday, we’re just giving a ring to say thanks! At The Federation, we have a lot to be thankful for and on Sunday, January 25th we hope to reach you and the thousands of donors who make it possible for us to make a difference in the lives of others locally, in Israel and around the world.

The Polls are Open

The World Zionist Organization (WZO)*, founded by Theodore Herzl at the First Zionist Congress in 1897 in Basle, Switzerland, promotes a united and democratic home for the Jewish people in Israel. Every five years, the WZO’s Congress meets to represent the Jews of America at an international convention to discuss issues of Jewish identity, security, peace and the future of Israel.

Although we do not all share the same views, we can certainly all share in a vision of a peaceful future for the Jewish people and help make a positive difference on the whole of Jewry. We can share in a dream that the next generation will be guided by spiritual and cultural values leading to a better world. And today, we can share in the chance to vote.

The online polls to elect the next WZO Congress are now open. To register and vote, you need to pay $10, live in the Unites States, be 18 by June 30, 2015 and affirm that you are Jewish.

The choices are yours. Read JJ Goldberg’s article to learn more about the parties and their candidates before you head to the e-polls.

*The WZO is on the Board of our partner, The Jewish Agency for Israel