It’s a privilege to volunteer on the 2022 Community Campaign, to serve with Debbie Kuniansky, Chair, and a team of hundreds of volunteers and professionals. My reasons for volunteering bring to mind a story from my years as a camper at Camp Barney Medintz in the foothills of the Appalachian Trail in North Georgia. I attended a campout with my cabinmates and counselor. After dinner, we pitched our tents and went to sleep. After sleeping for some time, I suddenly woke my counselor up and asked, “What do you see?”
Wiping the sleep from his eyes, he said, “I see the majesty of God’s creation in the stars and moon, the wonder of nature and miracles of life in the mountains and streams around us.” I responded, “Our tent is gone.” This story reminds me that we need to keep one eye focused on the possibilities, the big ideas and a second eye on the essentials – security, safety, shelter, and caring for one another. With all the challenges in the world, we cannot be so consumed that we focus only on ourselves and on today. Because without planning for the future, our children and children’s children will ask, “What did we do when it was our time to act?” Even worse, they might say, “Why did you not act when you could or should have?”
As a parent of children who graduated from one of our community’s amazing Jewish day schools, I marvel at the depth of their Judaism – the way they honor Shabbat, how they engage in deeds of loving kindness, and their pride in Jewishness. Unlike their Marano ancestors who practiced their Judaism in secret, they live rich Jewish lives. Together with Israel, Jews in North America comprise 90% of world Jewry. We are living in the Golden Age of Jewish life. How do we express that Judaism? By taking care of those less fortunate than us, building on the foundation that our parents and the many generations before them built for us. Together we can do this. We are built for this! Please join us in the 2022 Community Campaign, because we cannot do it without you. Not only for tomorrow but now, today.