August 8, 2023

If you think about it, our lives are influenced by the calendar. It informs us of important dates that matter to us, like anniversaries, birthdays, and upcoming holidays. Plus, for much of the country, the calendar even helps us pick out the clothes we will wear. Of course, it also reminds us of when it might be a good time to take a vacation or, more importantly, when we need to make sure we are back.

I was thinking about this recently as my wife and I prepare our youngest daughter for the start of her next school year this Monday.

We have hit an exciting time of year. Not only have children begun to start another school year (I can hear parents cheering in the background), but others are also starting new opportunities.

Our community welcomed three Rabbis to their new positions in July. Rabbi Ben Goldstein is the new Interim Rabbi for Pasadena Jewish Temple & Center. Temple Beth David's new Senior Rabbi is Rabbi Ira Rosenfeld. And lastly, Temple Beth Israel of Highland Park and Eagle Rock hired Rabbi Alex Weisz as their Senior Rabbi and Educator. We also know that Temple Beth Israel of Pomona will soon hire its new Educator, and Hillel at the Claremont Colleges will soon have a new Executive Director to lead that organization. I am excited to work with them in the coming days, weeks, months, and years.

This is also when the "Jewish" year begins to kick off, as we will begin 5784 in a little over a month with the start of our High Holy Days. Congregations are making plans, as is your Jewish Federation, to provide incredible programs and opportunities to connect with and experience the richness and beauty Judaism has to offer.

Our Jewish Federation is extremely excited to kick off our 30th-anniversary celebration with everyone in the community that helped us get to this milestone. In the next few weeks, we will announce the lineup for our 25th Annual Jewish Book Festival. Then shortly after the High Holy Days end, our Cultural Arts' JFed Players will be hitting the stage for five performances of Leading Ladies. 

In the next week or so, our latest Federation FOCUS newsletter will be delivered to mailboxes throughout our community. We hope you enjoy reading about the impact community members like you have helped make happen, an update on our work to combat antisemitism locally, what is planned for our 30th-anniversary celebration, and a look back at some of our more recent programs.

I encourage everyone to start thinking about how to engage with and participate in the coming year. Put some of the opportunities on your calendar to ensure you don't miss out. We look forward to seeing you all soon.


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