I had thought, hoped, maybe even dreamed that this might be a quiet, dare I say, relaxing summer. However, as I sit and write my first column for UJC in my home office, I am surrounded by construction, noise, and balagan. As a lay leader, I anticipate the summers to be quiet in the volunteer world, but it has been just the opposite. The Young Leadership Division (YLD) has been in full swing this summer, thanking Dan Ramer for his years of leadership and involvement at a fun family BBQ and planning for a great busy year ahead.
2010 is a year for change in YLD, and I am ready for the challenge. For the first time in many years, I am the sole chair of YLD, and at an interesting time. I am faced with a new generation that is interested in getting their hands dirty, making a tangible difference, and seeing how their gift makes a difference. YLD is, for many people, the entry point for individuals in the community to get connected to philanthropy, community, and other young Jewish adults. This new group is looking for so much more. They want meaning, to feel connected, to meet other like minded individuals / couples, and the power to make an impact. I am excited to lead this new younger and motivated group. However, I cannot do it alone. I have expanded the YLD leadership team with individuals who have fresh new ideas and are in tune with what attracts the "next gen."
Our first event of the year will be on Wednesday, September 30, at a new hot spot in Livingston, Teanacious. Come check us out at the 2nd Annual We Bring the Bar, You Bring the Mitzvah. We will enjoy an evening of networking, mitzvot, UJC education – and of course cocktails to start off a great year. Our goal is to continue to meet new people in the community and introduce them to UJC MetroWest. This event was such a success last year that it was worth repeating. Our committee is committed to having our first event incorporate a mitzvah component. It allows us to highlight one of our many partnership agencies and encourages the community to think about how they can help Jews in need outside of the campaign.
As we get through the long days of summer and enter the month of September, we prepare for the new school year, a new campaign year, and the Jewish High Holidays. I hope to take a break from the balagan of construction, planning, creating, and recruiting. For me, this time of year, with Rosh Hashanah on the horizon, is a nice reminder of the sweetness of the season, fresh beginnings, and time to focus on my family, and even a little on myself . . . I would like to wish all of you a Shana Tova (a happy and healthy New Year) – and I look forward to seeing you very soon.