Thank you, all CHJ members, for giving me the opportunity to serve as your President. I promise to do my very best to meet your needs. Also, thank you, CHJ’ers, for enriching my life, and for your friendship in difficult times over the past >17 years. CHJ has given me the opportunity to celebrate being Jewish, to enjoy being Jewish, to share being Jewish, to learn more about being Jewish, and to support social/environmental goals. There are as many ways to do these things as there are members of CHJ.
Under the guidance of Steve Getz who is now Immediate Past President, the CHJ Board held special extra meetings over the last year to work on a project Steve called “Envisioning CHJ.” This initiative was successful in many ways. It reconfirmed our commitment to the goals in the bylaws. It achieved the financial review required by the bylaws. It enabled us to update our insurance contract. And it will be ongoing, because it generated a list of multiple ways in which we can act to make sure CHJ can thrive in the future. Among other ideas that have now been implemented is the renewed commitment to the B’nai Mitzvah program. We also had not one but two Havdalahs on the beach last summer. Friday evening programming and Sunday morning Jewish Journeys continue. I am convinced that the more that we enjoy what we do in CHJ, the stronger CHJ will be.
Finally, I have a personal initiative. I invite you to join me to celebrate the joys of being Jewish on those Fridays when there is no official “program.” I will be lighting candles at home online in a Zoom room at 7 PM on those Fridays.* This is a new thing for me: even my grandmothers didn’t light candles for Shabbos. I’ll send out the Zoom link on the CHJ “listserv.” We will take just a few minutes to schmooze, light candles if you like, perhaps share a little music or poetry or a short video, and touch base with our CHJ family.
I hope to see you at CHJ, online or in person, soon.
Ruth L. Light MD, President of CHJ.
*How did I choose 7 PM? The only place on earth where the sun goes down at the same time every day, all year, is the equator. Technically, it goes down on the equator at 6 PM. But in daylight savings time, that’s 7 PM in the eastern US. It’s as close as we can get to a world-wide sunset time.