Have you heard about how we are changing the world?
As we sit down to write to this, we’ve been reflecting on what a year it’s been—and all the good that’s been happening.
Just this year, generous donors have made it possible for Jewish young professionals, and Jews in need to connect at life-changing retreats, programs and events, and receive support and care that has helped them immeasurably.
We’d like you to tell you about Miriam.
Miriam grew up in SoCal with positive feelings about her Jewish heritage, but as an adult in her late 20's, Judaism and Jewish community were not a priority. When an exciting opportunity came up to teach at a university in Belgium – she jumped at the chance.
The job was great, living Europe and traveling around on weekends was exciting. She sublet her apartment in LA, and all was well until the pandemic hit. As the lockdowns in Europe tightened and restrict movement she considered coming back to the States. But, she didn't really have a place to return in LA, and decided to try to ride-out the pandemic in Belgium where her teaching duties were now online. However, the pandemic didn't go away. She slowly become more and more isolated.
Then one day scrolling through Facebook, one her friends had shared our Pico Shul Musical Havdallah Service. She decided to tune in live from Belgium, as she remembered enjoying Havdallah as a child. After one week she was hooked. She tuned in every week, or watched the recording.
When we met her over the High Holidays in LA this past September, Miriam told us, "Your weekly Havdallah service was my Jewish lifeline. It gave me hope and connection during the hardest time of my life."
Miriam told us that this Havdallah connection has transformed her Jewishly.
She is now looking for Jewish connections every week, wants to start a family, and incorporate Jewish ritual and observance into her life.
An investment in Jewish young professionals is an investment in young women like Miriam.
Thanks to our community of support, we continue to:
Create more connections through events, retreats, online programing
Inspire our community to be more caring and committed Jewishly
Bring hope to those in need and struggling with tangible help and support.
Together we will keep the good going until every Jewish young professional is connected to the Jewish future.
Peace and blessings and Shabbat Shalom,
Rabbi Yonah and Rachel Bookstein