A CHANUKAH GIFT TO US
We have a special announcement to make.
As you know, we have decided to renovate our facility, to make it more spiritual, to address some security concerns, to upgrade our technology abilities, and to reconfigure spaces to make them both more comfortable and more useful.
We are pleased to announce that as of today,
has been generously pledged by a few dozen of our congregants towards our capital campaign.
In addition, we are delighted to announce that another
has been offered to us as a matching grant by an anonymous donor. For every gift that the congregation receives of $100,000 or LESS, our donor will match it up to a total of $2.5 million. When we complete this match, we will have raised an additional $5 million!
Please do not contact us with a gift. Give us the opportunity to reach out to you, to give you the kavod (honor) of being asked. We will do so in the late winter/early spring. We want to reach out to each congregant, have a conversation, and invite everyone to participate in this exciting endeavor. For now, rejoice with us in our fundraising success. And in the challenge grant that we are confident we will fulfill with your help.
As Chanukah concludes, we wanted to give this good news as our Chanukah gift to our congregation. We are excited about how much we have raised, about our challenge grant, and the opportunity for each one of us to be a partner in the holy work in front of us.
WHO ARE WE?
Telling Our Stories
In our cycle of Torah reading, we are approaching the end of Genesis and find ourselves in the middle of the Joseph story. (For those who want a kitchy reminder of the story and don’t want to read the text, catch the movie “Joseph and his Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.”)
When Joseph reveals his true identity to his brothers, one of the most poignant questions in all of Torah is one posed by Joseph: “Is my father still alive?”
Joseph yearns to reconnect with his family, to know who they are…and thus, who he is.
As Rabbi David Segal shared in a D’var Torah on this very topic, “researchers have begun to establish a causal link between storytelling and thriving. In 2001, psychologists compared children’s psychological health with their knowledge of their own family history. They measured this knowledge on a “Do You Know?” scale using questions like:
The results surprised even the researchers. They found: “The more children knew about their family’s history, the stronger their sense of control over their lives, the higher their self-esteem, and the more successfully they believed their families functioned. The ‘Do You Know?’ scale turned out to be the best single predictor of children’s emotional health and happiness.”
Most of us are more fortunate that Joseph. We aren’t sold into slavery and forced to live our lives separated from our family. But just because we have proximity, do we take for granted their presence and NOT ask those “Do You Know” questions?
As the secular year comes to a close, may we make a resolution to ask these questions of our parents, aunts, uncles…those of the older generation. And if we ARE the older generation, let us not wait to be asked…but share our stories with those who are younger. In so doing, we pass our stories along l’dor vador…from one generation to another…and we help our children and grandchildren develop in health and happiness!