JCRC Director's Note

Catching Our Breath

Max Patashnik Headshot

September 3, 2021

The arrival of the High Holidays is always a time for pulling back a bit, catching our breath, reflecting on the year just past, and looking ahead with curiosity, and perhaps a mix of trepidation and anticipation, to what the new year might bring. It’s a time for renewal and refreshing our minds and spirits.

The year we are leaving behind has certainly given us many reasons for our needing renewal and refreshment. Deeply rooted injustice, extreme divisiveness, a pandemic, war, fires and floods, and the endless stream of human suffering have taken a mental and spiritual toll that at times seems overwhelming.

And yet, the beauty of our gatherings during the Days of Awe, the call for introspection, and the soul-replenishing necessity of teshuva, both for ourselves and for the people in our lives, give us a much needed pause. We have the opportunity to connect to what truly matters, feel whole, and come away with renewed strength to pursue justice, practice tzedakah, and repair our broken world. 

The power of the collective is the cornerstone of the Jewish Community Relations Council’s work. Creating strong relationships within and beyond our Jewish community builds trust, spurs collaboration, and opens pathways to promising answers for difficult problems. Building bridges kindles hope that our wishes for a good and sweet year will come to fruition.

We can’t know what twists and turns we will have to navigate in 5782, but always remember that we are mishpacha and we will navigate them together.

L’shanah tovah u’metukah,

Max Patashnik
Director of JCRC and Government Affairs