Monday, September 26, 2011

Building our Kehillah

This week, we will have the privilege of celebrating Rosh Hashanah and welcoming the new year. For me, an integral part of the celebrating the holiday with family and friends is the process of anticipation and the many thoughts and ideas that I am contemplating about our Kehillah--our international Kehillah, our national Kehillah and of course, our local Kehillah.

I am thinking about Israel and everything that has been going on this past week. I look forward to visiting each year with our 8th graders and to being a part of such an amazing community there. I worry about what will happen as the politics of the region become even more of an issue, not only for Israelis, but for Jews living here in the United States and all over the world.

I am thinking about things here at home--the economy, our government, entering in to another campaign season and the issues that all three of these bring to light for so many of us. The economy continues to be a challenge for so many in our community and in the greater community. The world we live in is changing so fast--things that were a given just a few short years ago can no longer be taken as such. It is so hard to make predictions and to look beyond the immediate present.

But at the same time as I am thinking about these very heavy issues, and yes, I know that I cannot single-handedly make the world everything I want it to be, I realize that I must do my part, and I turn my attention to my local community and to reaffirming what it means for me to build our Kehillah, our community.

I have to admit that I have not worked through all of the answers, but I can share that I have a lot of questions that I'll be thinking about while I am in shul, enjoying time with family and friends and celebrating the new year: What are my strengths that I can bring to my kehillah? What do I do well that I want to share with my synagogue, my school (also my kids' school), and the other organizations in which I am involved? What am I going to volunteer to do this year that I didn't do last year, so that I can help to build our Kehillah? In what ways will I become part of the force to move our Kehillah forward to new heights?

I challenge each of us to ask these questions for ourselves and for our Kehillah, and to answer them by taking action and getting involved. The Kehillah that I want to build, requires us to give of ourselves and to make it our own.

As we learn in Pirke Avot, we are not expected to complete the task, but neither are we allowed to not engage in it. How will you choose to build our local Kehillah this year so that together, we can impact our the greater Kehillah for all of the Jewish people?

I wish everyone a Shana Tova u'Metukah!

Marc Medwed, Head of School

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