2017-03-29 / Columns

As Passover approaches, we have so many reasons to be grateful

FEDERATION 411
JENNIFER DUBROW WEISS
Jewish Federation CEO

As we get ready to sit around the table and celebrate the Passover holiday, I am always reminded just how grateful I am to be part of such a special Jewish community. During the holiday, we remind ourselves of everything we have to be grateful for by singing “Dayenu,” which means, “It would have been enough.”

For example, if the only thing G-d had done was freed the Israelites from slavery, it would have been enough. Dayenu.

If the only thing G-d did after freeing our ancestors from slavery was split the Dead Sea so they could escape the Egyptians, it would have been enough. Dayenu.

When G-d provided for our ancestors for 40 years and then gave them the land of Israel, the 10 Commandments, Torah, and the Temple, it would have been enough. Dayenu.

We celebrate all of the blessings visited upon our ancestors during the holiday as a constant reminder that we need to be grateful for what we have each and every day.

I can honestly say, I have no problem being extremely grateful to be part of the Jewish community and for all of the support that we get here in South Jersey.

It has been a challenging time for the Jewish community as a whole, but something incredible has happened in the face of all of this adversity. For this, we should be grateful. There has been an outpouring of support. It has come from you as members, donors, sponsors, volunteers, partners, and it has come from our friends, neighbors, government officials, law enforcement agencies, religious institutions, community groups, and more.

When we saw property damage targeting Jewish cemeteries, there was an incredible response from Muslim communities near and far willing to help pay for the damage, and in some cases, protect these institutions. If that was the only reaction we had seen, it would have been enough. Dayenu.

Local law enforcement continues to work with us and all of the Jewish institutions in the community to prepare, defend, and most importantly, respond in a timely manner. If we only had their unwavering support during these trying times, that would be enough. Dayenu.

Over 200 people stood on the corner of Kresson and Springdale in solidarity with the Jewish community after a forced evacuation to show that hate doesn’t live in this community. Their display of love and fortitude would have been enough. Dayenu.

Senators Cory Booker and Robert Menendez, and Congressman Donald Norcross pledged to make New Jersey’s security needs heard loud and clear in Washington, DC, ensuring we get federal grants to beef up security. If that was the only promise made (and it’s not), that would have been enough. Dayenu.

And in response to everything that has happened, the community has continued to show its unwavering support of Jewish Federation of Southern New Jersey and its family of agencies. You have continued to frequent the Jewish Community Center, entrusted your children in the care of our Early Childhood Center, taken part in our community events, supported our incredible programming that ensures we can care for those in need and support the Jewish people locally, in Israel, and around the world. Your support always makes us feel like we have enough. Dayenu.

So as I get ready to celebrate Passover, I am so grateful for everything we can provide to Jewish South Jersey and the greater community.

I wish you, your family, and friends, a Happy Passover!

jweiss@jfedsnj.org

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