From the Desk of the Federation Executive Director: With gratitude 8/28/20

There are many reasons and ways to cultivate gratitude in one’s life. These last several months, I have been working to create more moments when my attention is fully focused on the present. In the unfiltered, present moment, gratitude comes easily. However, this is a challenge for a busy mind that is used to making lists and checking boxes. Today, in this moment, I am feeling some emptiness. My second adult-child, Rae (who uses plural pronouns), has returned to school, but I am grateful that I had the chance to be with them these last five months and rediscover their quiet, loving presence. Long morning walks have also become a time to quiet my mind and reconnect with God. What a pleasure to feel awakened by birdsong and cool morning breezes. Last week, I felt a surge of joy when I took some time to really be present with my son as he sang along to a favorite song in the car. His joy became my joy!

The isolation of the COVID pandemic has given many people the time and opportunity to reconnect with God and what they really value in life. I hope this is the case for all of you. As we near the end of summer and turn our attention toward the Jewish High Holy Days, it is the perfect time to turn inward and give thanks for all we have. We here at the Jewish Federation have been preparing for our busiest season. Preparations for the annual Campaign and allocations process have been in the works for months. I want to express my gratitude for Marilyn Bell, annual campaign chairwoman. Her willingness to work hard and carefully choose the best path for the work ahead is an inspiration. Federation President Suzanne Holwitt has also been working diligently behind the scenes to steer our community forward during this difficult time. A big thank you to Suzanne. I treasure your support.

On behalf of Marilyn, Suzanne and myself, I want to ask a favor of all of you. The annual Campaign is a labor intensive effort, done by many volunteers. In an effort to reduce the possibility of exposure to COVID, we are asking each community member to please take a moment to make your 2021 pledge ahead of Super Sunday, which will take place on October 18. You can e-mail, call 724-2332 ext. 1, mail in the coupon in this week’s Reporter (see page 5) or go to and click “make a pledge now.” I give you all my thanks in advance. During this challenging time, your gift and early pledge is more important than ever.

With lots of love I am wishing you all a peaceful, joyous end of summer.