This Sunday at sundown, Jews around the world will celebrate Rosh Hashanah, the “head of the year.” It marks the beginning of a 10-day period for critical self-assessment and introspection that will be the catalyst for teshuvah, or repentance and atonement. Rosh Hashanah also provides us an opportunity to make amends for our past errors, flaws and transgressions. It is not about forgetting – for remembrance is deeply entrenched in the core of Judaism – but about moving forward as better people in the year to come. In order to look forward, we must look back.
As I reflect on my own relationships and practices in the past year, I’ve thought hard about tradition and ritual, about legacy and impact, and about the boundaries and interconnections between individuals and communities in our society. Recently, the JCC Greater Boston opened the doors to the Winn Family & Wellness Center as part of the ongoing transformation of the 36-year-old Leventhal-Sidman Jewish Community Center in Newton, Massachusetts. This beautiful, state-of-the-art facility includes a fitness center, new locker rooms, a Family Wing and a Wellness Wing that will allow the JCC to expand its early learning, camp and group fitness programming.
The JCC Greater Boston has enriched the lives of thousands of families by forging community connections, promoting cultural heritage and teaching time-honored values and traditions. My family and I are honored to support the reimagination of this important community center so that it can welcome and engage families for generations to come.
As we approach the start of Hebrew year 5779, let us all find the inspiration and courage to look inward and take personal responsibility for our actions. These are monumental tasks, as we are all fallible human beings, but none of us are alone; we are bolstered by the support of the communities in which we live, work, play and worship.