By Matt M. Bronfman
As I write, we are amidst the most festive time of year. Between the High Holidays, Sukkot, Shemini Atzeret, and Simchat Torah, autumn is full of celebrations and reflections.
Last week, we observed my favorite (and perhaps the most important) day of the year: Yom Kippur. It is the one day I can truly turn away from the outside world and look inward, reflecting on my failings over the past year (ask my family, they will fill you in) and thinking about how I can improve in the year ahead. As Rabbi Jonathan Sacks z” l taught, the single most important lesson of Yom Kippur is that it’s never too late to change, start again, and live differently from the way we’ve done in the past.
And now, we celebrate Sukkot, when we spend time with family and rejoice in the bounty of our planet. This year, while I dine in our sukkah and relax with my loved ones, I’ll think not only of how lucky we are but also of those who are less fortunate. After the last several years, I am especially struck by life’s inequities during these times. My family and I have so much to be thankful for, but there are so many in Atlanta, and around the world, who are struggling.
As we celebrate the nascent new year, I ask that we devise new and improved ways to make our community a better place: from finding new ways to engage interfaith families, to creating more Jewish places, to feeding those who are hungry, to housing more of those in need of shelter. As 5783 unfolds, please, please continue to donate your money and your time. But also, join me as board chair of Federation in looking for innovative ways to push our community forward. I welcome your input, and you are welcome to email me at any time to discuss your ideas.
I look forward to connecting with as many of you as possible in the year ahead.