Shavuot. What a wonderful and special time! We stop, as a people, and joyously express our gratitude to G-d giving us the holiest of gifts, our beloved Torah that has sustained us and nurtured us to this very day.
Torah is a gift to the Jewish people, one perhaps that too many of us take for granted as we go about our day-to-day lives. Thus, Shavuot also is a reaffirmation, an opportunity to take time out, reflect, and rededicate ourselves to the principles embodied in this holiest of gifts.
Among these sacred principles, and one that is closest to my heart as executive director of the Jewish Federation of Greater Phoenix, is the imperative that we take care of one another. We are commanded to do this with love, compassion and concern for the well-being of Jews everywhere – in the Valley, in Israel and throughout the Jewish world.
For us – the wonderful lay leaders, dedicated staff, generous donors and partner agencies – the “us” that makes up our Federation, these core Torah principles are never far from our collective heart.
So, for me, the one blessed with the privilege of leading this great organization professionally, Shavuot is not only a time to express my gratitude to G-d for the gift of Torah and the way it has enriched my life. It also is a time to express my gratitude to all of you – our community – for your collective willingness to work together to build an even stronger Jewish future for all of us.
Marty Haberer is the executive director of the Jewish Federation of Greater Phoenix.