I am always hopeful during the Ne'ilah, or concluding service of Yom Kippur. Not just that there will be enough orange juice and kichel left in the social hall, but that this will be a good year and that I will have the energy to live up to the new goals and expectations I've set for myself. And although we still have the great holidays of Sukkot and Simchat Torah left to celebrate (no disrespect to HoShanah Rabbah and Shemini Atzeret, they are important days but they do get kind of squished in there), I also always have the feeling that the real work of Women's Philanthropy is about to take off. And I'm ready, really ready. I hope you are, too!
Between now and Super Sunday on December 6, we will be making our biggest push to raise money from the women of MetroWest so that it can be allocated this spring to our agencies, overseas partners, and program services. It's really that simple: we raise the money so we can give it away. As I've written to you before, we are coming together as a community of women on Friday morning, October 23, at "The Next Step: One Day. One Community. One Gift." to kick off this effort. You can register for the event at www.ujcnj.org/womensphilanthropy; you can make your pledge to the 2010 Annual UJA Campaign at the event or any time you want at www.ujcnj.org.
I can't say it often enough, your gift to the Annual Campaign does so much good. And isn't that what we just pledged to do at Yom Kippur services? I was struck again this year during the Haftorah reading for Yom Kippur by how relevant it is to what we do. Isaiah conveys HaShem's wish for a meaningful fast from us: "Is this the fast I desire, a day for men to starve their bodies?...No, this is the fast I desire…It is to share your bread with the hungry, and to take the wretched poor into your home; when you see the naked, to clothe him, and not to ignore your own kin," Isaiah 58:5 – 7. And that is what we do, not perhaps with our own hands, although sometimes we do literally feed the hungry and give them shelter. Come take The Next Step, join us in the work, and turn your meaningful fast into the worthy work of your hands.
Hag Sukkot Sameach!