28 April 2023
“Optimism is the belief that the world is changing for the better; hope is the belief that, together, we can make the world better. The Hebrew Bible is not an optimistic book. It is, however, one of the great literatures of hope.” – Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks
A recent Washington Post piece by Amanda Ripley on hope and agency left me thinking both about all we’ve collectively accomplished over the last few years and about the possibilities that lie ahead.
Hope and agency are at the core of who and what we are at Federation. We are confident that, together with our partners, supporters, and community leaders, we can make this a better world and a stronger, more vibrant Jewish community. This is true both in times of crisis and calm. It is how we approach every opportunity and every challenge that we face.
Combining the capacity and commitment of our community’s agencies, schools, synagogues, and other organizations with critical resources, ideas, and leadership, we ensure that our community members have the ability and opportunities to act as a force for good in the world. Ultimately, we aim to guide our Jewish community into the future, turning hope and aspiration into action.
I regularly witness our community’s commitment to taking action and making a difference. Community members and volunteers assemble every year for Sara and Samuel J. Lessans Good Deeds Week to help those in need throughout Greater Washington; leaders convened just last month to discuss American Jewry’s evolving relationship with Israel at Shared Destiny | Separate Paths; and last summer, our donors united to raise funds in support of Afghans escaping the Taliban and building new lives in Greater Washington. Our community continues to find success when we use our diversity of unique experiences, skills, and perspectives for the greater good.
I look forward to continuing our collective and meaningful work and building vibrant Jewish life as a community, and I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic and the article linked above too. Where have you seen hope and agency reflected in our community? What can we do better to continue to turn hope into action?