12 December 2014
This week’s Torah portion, Vayeshev (“and he settled”) begins, “Now Jacob was settled in the land where his father had resided, the land of Canaan.” Note the difference between being “settled” and “residing”. We sense that Jacob has finally come home to seek peace after years of difficulty, abuse, deceit and the loss of his beloved wife Rachel. But peace was not to be. In only the second verse, we begin the story of Joseph, his coat of many colors and his jealous brothers. They initially decide to kill him, but instead sell him to a caravan of traders, who take Joseph to Egypt. The bloodied coat is shown to Jacob as “proof” of Joseph’s demise, sending Jacob into such grief that “he refused to be comforted”.
With Chanukah beginning next Tuesday night, we will be seeking comfort in the warmth of the candles, the sounds of games and family, and the smell of latkes on the stove. The challenge, however, is to resist the “sibling rivalry” so evident in this parasha. Coming together as a Jewish community seems increasingly difficult; unity remains elusive.
This Chanukah, let’s rededicate ourselves to working together more effectively as a Jewish community to meet critical needs, be welcoming and inclusive and join in solidarity and support of the people of Israel.
Steven A. Rakitt, Chief Executive Officer
Recently, The Jewish Federation received an $18 gift to the annual campaign from Sadie, joining with thousands of others in collective support of critical programs and services here in our community, in Israel and around the world. We are most grateful for this gift, as we are for all donations to The Federation. What makes this story special is Sadie’s age. She is 104 years old. A native of New York City, Sadie moved to D.C. when she married her husband in 1941. She worked as a bookkeeper, managing finances for a local synagogue for over a quarter century. When asked about her secret to longevity, she replied, “I was always cheerful. I did what I could to help other people…I always had a good attitude toward life.”
Sadie’s donation to The Federation exemplifies her desire to help other people. As a bookkeeper, she understands a good investment. She understands that her individual gift is leveraged with others to make a greater impact. Thank You Sadie!
With only 19 days remaining in our 2014 Annual Campaign, I urge you to join with Sadie and thousands of others by clicking here to make your gift today. No one gift touches more Jewish lives than a gift to The Federation.
The Jewish Food Experience is now accepting grant applications for the development of new programs with a food theme or for the expansion of food programs already in existence during 2015. Grants are distributed to qualifying organizations, congregations and individuals on a rolling basis in the amount of $250 – $2,500. Grant requests may be made for up to 50% of program costs. Click here for an application.
February – April 2015: Looking for a way to get more involved and meet new people in the local Jewish community? Take the next step on your Jewish journey with NeXus, a unique, interactive learning opportunity to expand your Jewish leadership skills, explore your Jewish identity and engage with leaders in our community. Email us if you are interested in learning more about NeXus.
- Download our brand new Chanukah booklet to explore fun facts about the holiday, delicious recipes, family activity ideas and more.
- Join PJ Library® at the community menorah lighting at Montgomery Mall on Tuesday, December 16 or at Whole Foods Market Bethesda for a fun-filled morning of challah making on Thursday, December 18.
- Whip up some scrumptious Chanukah dishes…with a twist. Check out the Jewish Food Experiences Top 10 Chanukah recipes from DC Foodies.
- Celebrate Chanukah withJCCNV’s Community Chanukah Menorah Lighting at Mosaic District on Sunday, December 21.