Rosh HaShanah kavanah 2018

By: Beth Liberman, Director of Family & Youth Education

Shana tova everyone, to children and youth, to adults and elders.

I am so inspired as I look out and see all of you and I am truly grateful to be a part of this community.

What IS community?

Sometimes, it appears to be as simple as the town you live in or the club you are a member of, yet, community is a very conscious endeavor. As Suzanne Goldsmith wrote:

Communities are not built of friends, or of groups with similar styles and tastes, or even of people who like and understand each other. They are built of people who feel they are part of something that is bigger than themselves: a shared goal or enterprise. To build community requires only … to look at them and see a potential partner [in that goal]
. . .

Let’s look at the word. Community; in Hebrew: K E H I L A. Kehila is also often translated as ‘congregation’. Looking deeper, we see that the root is Kuf, Hey, Lamed –

K A H A L – which means ‘audience’ or simply ‘crowd’. What turns KAHAL into KEHILA, is when you add ‘yud’ and ‘hay’ – YA – the name of GD, the breath… the essence of life and love. THAT is when you turn a crowd, or an audience into a community.

Take a moment and look around you. This is OUR community. Our kehila.

Whether you are a visitor or a member, whether you participate passively or you are actively involved in what happens within these walls , you ARE the JCOGS community. WE … are the JCOGS community.

As director of our Olam Chesed — World of Lovingkindness — Education Center, what I truly believe binds us together as a JCOGS community is that we seek to build a world of kindnesses and love.

L’Shana Tovah u’Metukah – may this truly be a year of sweetness, of community, of kehila – forming bonds towards our shared vision.