September 12, 2023

"Wherever you go, there's always someone Jewish. You're never alone, when you say you're a Jew. So when you're not home, and you're somewhere kind of...' New-ish'; the odds are, don't look far, 'cause they're Jewish too."

These are the opening lyrics to "Wherever You Go (There's Always Someone Jewish)," a song written by Larry Milder almost 40 years ago. I was thinking about this song recently as my daughter, who is studying for her BFA in Musical Theater at the University of Alabama, Birmingham (UAB), and I were talking about how she was slowly becoming part of the Jewish community of Birmingham. With the High Holy Days beginning on Friday night with Erev Rosh Hashanah, she expressed how nice it felt being a part of the community there because she felt comfortable and had been welcomed in. And that she was proud to be a part of such an incredible community.

As we head into the High Holy Days, I wanted to share this as a lead into this week's message because it illustrates an important benefit of being a part of our Jewish community.

There is no time for the Jewish community like the days leading up to Rosh Hashanah and the few weeks that follow. For many, this is when Jews feel the most Jewish and the most connected. Now… I am going to tell you a little secret…. That feeling can last beyond the first few weeks of the Jewish New Year. It can stay with you from this point forward if you want it to. It's true. All you need to do is commit yourself to being a part of the community.

So what does that mean? Well… it is a little different for each person. For some, it might mean participating in a Jewish activity or attending events offered in the Jewish community. For others, it might mean supporting a Jewish cause like our Jewish Federation, signing up to take a class, or attending Shabbat services and or making sure that when issues arise, you stand with other Jews so there is a robust Jewish response. Whatever you choose, by committing yourself, your actions will also benefit our Jewish community.

I encourage all of us to recommit ourselves to being active members, however you choose to engage with and participate in our local Jewish community this coming year.

On behalf of myself and our Jewish Federation Board of Governors and staff, may this new year be a year full of happiness, good health, and joy. L'shana Tova!


Add Comment