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Welcome to the Jewish Community Federation of Richmond

We are the central fundraising, community planning, leadership development, and outreach arm of the Jewish Community

CEO Samuel Asher's November Update

Since I have a September birthday, I have often shared my birthday with a more serious occasion. This year my birthday fell on Rosh Hashanah.  Michele and I had the pleasure of  attending a family dinner in Westchester, N.Y., hosted by my son, Adam, and his wife, Jacki. It was a lovely holiday and birthday dinner and was topped off by the announcement that the two of them are expecting a child in March.  Now that was a birthday present!! 

We all know that in some years the High Holidays arrive in early September and in others they can begin as late as the first week of October.  Then, of course, we begin these holidays on the evening preceding the first full day of the holiday, which often confounds those not familiar with our customs, rituals and celebrations.  

The Hebrew calendar brings change with it every year when it is aligned with the secular calendar.  With all the challenges that confront us in the Jewish world, Federation professionals and volunteers are often instructed to “embrace change” and to “be flexible.”  It seems only fitting and entirely appropriate that change and flexibility start with the Hebrew calendar that defines the rhythm and pace of Jewish life.  It allows us to celebrate and remember sacred and special occasions and events on more than one particular secular calendar day from year to year.  

Change, therefore, is something we are used to as Jews.  In Jewish Communal work, we also are dealing with change on a regular basis.  We have seen much of it in the past year.

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