15 April 2022
At our Annual Meeting on June 16th, Federation will honor 18 remarkable Jewish individuals under 40: the Capital Chai (18). We’re looking for the innovators, thought leaders, creators, activists, builders, philanthropists, volunteers, and more who are making a difference in Greater Washington and beyond, guided by their Jewish values. Please submit your Capital Chai Award nominations by April 25th!
In faith communities around the world, this April marks a joyous time to celebrate together. Many of us in Jewish Greater Washington are planning to gather in person with family and friends for Passover for the first time since 2019, making the moments we’ll share even more special.
Universally, holiday customs and rituals can ground us, offer meaning during challenging times, and provide stability when we need it most. The familiar structure and deep traditions, from texts to songs to flavors, remind us of our connectedness with one another in a complicated, fast-paced, and uncertain world.
As we sit now at the intersection of multiples crises, this holiday will take on further meaning. The war in Ukraine, terrorism in Israel, and the global pandemic, among other evolving concerns, are shaping a world with increasing instability. While these dynamics may be beyond our individual powers to shift, we can control the vital moments we share with one another – including around the seder table – and how we help each other navigate concurrent challenges.
I recently had the honor of participating in a pre-Passover conversation with members of Congress on just this idea, co-hosted by Federation and the Shalom Hartman Institute. Guided by the always-thoughtful Rabbi Dr. Donniel Hartman, we reflected on core memories – those that drive our decision-making and approach to making the world a better place. It was incredible to hear how moments from childhood have personally and profoundly shaped the outlooks of these leaders and their commitment to improving the world.
We spoke, too, about the ways in which our memories have shaped our collective outlook. As individuals and as a community, Passover offers us the chance to remind ourselves of who we are at our core, and to retell our shared story in 2022 as we move forward towards freedom and redemption.
I know that I will bring these ideas to my family’s seders this year as we remind ourselves of our individual and collective responsibility around the world and our community. I wish you and your loved ones a very happy, healthy, and meaningful Passover.
Shabbat Shalom and Pesach Sameach (Happy Passover),
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