Hineni . . .
Rabbi Tarfon wrote in Pirkei Avot, the Ethics of our Fathers,
It is not your responsibility to
complete the task,
but neither are you free to desist from it.
Our Federation and community would simply not exist without strong, passionate individuals who lend their time and talent to the causes they care about. Our communities depend on people being active; being present not only in their own lives, but in their community’s destiny, too.
Jewish Tradition teaches us that we must play an active role in the world. The concept of Tikun Olam – repairing the world – expresses the value of volunteering in Judaism. The world may be imperfect, but we have an obligation to help make it better, more whole.
At our Annual Meeting last month, we honored our outgoing President Nannette Shor. Nannette put her whole soul and effort into her role. During her final speech as President she shared that the experience of volunteering gave her a unique and special understanding of our Federation and community, and she was the lucky one to have been able to serve.
In her words, “I have been lucky and humbled to see firsthand the impact and importance of our work and I believe more firmly and strongly today in the Federation system. I believe in the future of our community and the strength of our people.”
We were so lucky to have Nannette lead us for the last two years.
Our incoming President Ellen Renee Adams has made expanding our volunteer base a key goal for her presidency. Volunteering is, in essence, holy work. We’re excited to be your partner in finding meaningful volunteer opportunities locally, and in connecting you with opportunities nationally and internationally, as well as sharing resources and learning about the Jewish traditions and teachings underpinning volunteerism.
The message for this month is simple… we want you! Our community needs you! Our Federation’s path forward expands many of our committees, including those related to allocations and grants, marketing, development, outreach, event planning, missions and travel, human resources and many more.
Each of you has a role to play on this path. We need your talent, your thoughts and your care. This is an exciting time for our Federation and community, and we want you to be a part of it! We also want to hear from you. Give us a creative idea. Tell us what you need and where you want to be connected. Help us design a community that speaks and excites you.
We are forming those committees now and would love you to be a part of the team. Call me today at (804) 545-8622, and we will get you connected.
It is a vibrant and exciting time in RVA, and for our community. We hope you will say Hineni; I am here!