Hugs and Kisses

As I end my term in New Jersey this week, I look forward to returning to Israel and continuing our Global Connections work from our Greater MetroWest office in Jerusalem. For the past couple of years I was stationed in New Jersey where we re-envisioned our Israel Program Center to launch our new Global Connections department and strengthened our living bridges between our partner communities in Israel and Federation. I am very proud of the team we have built in Israel and New Jersey and feel so privileged to be working with them.

I want to be very clear that this is not “leaving.” It’s not even “relocating.” I like to look at it as just a “changing of time zones.” I will continue to serve our community and I will cross our living bridge often. I have been kissing and hugging lots of people in the last few weeks leading up to my time zone change. This community has been my home away from home, and so many people here are like family members to me. I will miss being part of the day-to-day activity of our New Jersey office.

Some of you will come to Israel on missions and visits and we will hug and kiss then, because that is what family does. But I am determined to keep the connections open and meaningful between the visits. To develop a virtual way to kiss and hug each other, if you will, even though there is an ocean between us. This is actually the conceptual vision of our Global Connections department — maintaining a global community of mutual responsibility despite the physical distance.

I need your assistance in meeting this challenge. Here are some virtual ideas that will help all of us in this highly important task:

  • I noticed that some of you are using xoxo as a symbol for hugs and kisses. Nice, but not enough. I am urging everyone to send as many e-mails and text messages to your family members in Israel as possible, including the xoxoing. But don’t stop there.
  • Use CC. Please do not hesitate to copy my Israeli colleagues and me on any e-mails you want. It keeps us in the loop. It gives us a good feeling that we are in your heart and mind even though we are out of sight, and it helps us all stay connected. CC stands for the old technique of carbon copy, but I suggest that we renew and rename this important button to... Kiss. And KISS can also stand for “Keep in Self-System.” The self-system is the whole of all the elements that make up who we are as individuals. We in Israel are part of the “self-system” of Federation – at the very core of what makes Federation so unique and special.
  • Lastly, the equivalent of CC in Facebook is the Tag button. Please tag us Israelis on your posts. Even if we are not physically in the photo. It will send the message to us and to the world that we are in your heart. It is like sending a virtual hug. So yes, let’s rename the Tag to Hug. I even have an acronym for it: HUG stands for Hebrew Using Guy. That’s me. I will also be posting on our Global Connections Facebook page that I hope you will Like, to keep involved in what we are doing in Israel.

Please keep in touch. As always, I can be reached by email at ashacham@jfedgmw.org. Hugs and kisses to all and Lehitraot.

XOXO
Amir

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