I am writing from the other Jewish homeland - southern Florida - where we have spent this week with many of our Greater Hartford friends. On Tuesday we hosted a lovely brunch that brought together over fifty people. They reconnected with old friends and made new ones, listened to an inspirational speaker, and received updates from the Federation and Foundation. We ate together, laughed together, and celebrated our collective history and the qualities that make our Greater Hartford community so special.
This week's Torah portion, Bo, introduces us to the holiday of Passover, which among other things allows us to keep the memory and lessons of the Exodus alive for eternity. The Torah describes Passover with language that I found particularly relevant this week: "this day shall be to you one of remembrance."
Remembrance is a significant theme in Jewish life, and it was a prominent theme in this week's discussions. As Jews, we are asked to remember the events that transformed a group of disenfranchised slaves into a powerful people that has not only survived thousands of years of adversity but today can celebrate significant contributions to the global community and pride in the Jewish State of Israel. We are likewise urged to remember the shared values that bind us together.
Each of us is on our own personal Jewish journey, seeking relevance in our faith and heritage. Yet it is so easy to forget our shared history and values, so easy to feel lost and alone.
The beauty of friendship is that we can help each other remember. When we remember our shared history and the challenges we have overcome, we gain guideposts that illuminate our path forward.
Our Florida visit was full of shared memories. Our Florida friends shared so many positive memories of their time in Greater Hartford, and we gained a wonderful understanding of how their individual histories have shaped them and their families. They recognize the importance of maintaining community connections, and we are so grateful that they continue to support our work. It is my hope that we will turn their shared memories into guideposts for our continued work to build a stronger, more vibrant Jewish community in Greater Hartford.
Remembering our past, both individually and communally, is critical in order to wisely assess our future direction. Memories are messages from the past that, if read properly, can become a powerful road map helping us navigate the future.
President and CEO