by Stacey Leavitt- Wright
(AJNews) – As Rosh Hashanah approaches, I extend heartfelt wishes on behalf of the entire Jewish Federation family for a year of blessings and meaningful connections.
Rosh Hashanah marks not only the start of a new year but an opportunity for reflection and setting intentions for the coming year. At this special time, I encourage each of you to lean into your Jewish identity and embrace the strength of our caring and vibrant community.
As we bless the challah and dip the apples in honey, we remember the rich traditions that have bound us as a community for generations. Let us also recommit ourselves to fostering an environment where everyone feels valued and respected.
In the most recent issue of Sapir, a. quarterly journal of ideas for a thriving Jewish future, Editor-in-Chief Bret Stephens posits that “The real antidote to antisemitism is Jewish thriving…. It is the conviction among all Jews, whatever their level of observance, that their Jewishness is the most cherished element of their identity, a precious inheritance from their forebears and a priceless bequest to their posterity.”
Embracing our Jewish identity also means strengthening our ties with one another. I urge you to actively participate in the events, discussions, and traditions that enrich our community. Attend synagogue services, host a Shabbat dinner, get together with friends new and old at a PJ Library, BBYO or Hillel program. By engaging with your Jewish heritage, you contribute to the vibrant tapestry that is our shared experience.
The shofar’s resounding call reminds us of our obligation to uplift those less fortunate. As we embark on this year, let’s ensure that no one among us feels alone in facing challenges, and let’s extend our hand to those in need.
Your support of the United Jewish Appeal campaign allows us to ensure that those most in need receive support, whether through the integrated bursary program or the outreach services at Jewish Family Services.
May the upcoming Rosh Hashanah inspire us to embrace our shared heritage, support one another, and create a bright future for generations to come.
Wishing you and your families a Shanah Tova U’Metukah. May you be inscribed in the Book of Life.
Stacey Leavitt-Wright is CEO of the Jewish Federation of Edmonton.