Steve McCloskey, President
OCTOBER: A TIME FOR SOLEMNITY AND HOPE,
TIKKUN OLAM, ENLIGHTMENT AND CAMRADERIE
October commences with the eight days that transition between the quest for renewal that is Rosh Hashanah and the somber introspection, atonement and redemption that Kol Nidre and Yom Kippur call for, to conclude the Days of Awe. This intense period of personal reckoning evokes the sobering recognition that in our personal affairs, actions speak louder than words.
We are called on to make peace not only with our God, but also with those whom we have aggrieved in the past year. The hope of the High Holy Days is that through this soul searching process and making amends, we can strive for a sense of unity that fosters hope for the future.you have not previously worshiped with us during the High Holy Days, please our guest for Kol Nidre and Yom Kippur services. October continues with our Sukkot Shabbat service on Friday, October 18 at 7 pm. Sukkot focuses on togetherness and the sukkah itself can be thought of as a metaphor for the need to break down our walls of separation and build bridges across our divides to promote harmony.
As we seek to practice the Judaic obligation of Tikkun Olam, NJC is collecting clothing, books, school supplies and personal items to be donated to NJC’s adopted community of Limbe’ in northern Haiti. Limbe’ is a forgotten corner of the world untouched by NGOs or aid organizations such as Hope For Haiti. My wife, Shelley, and I have a personal connection to Limbe’ through Abdias Louis, a former resident of Limbe’ and one of our ESL students. Our ongoing efforts to “repair the world” continue with our annual collection of food at Yom Kippur to benefit the Naples Senior Center. Our cadre of NJC volunteers has been meeting over the Summer to discuss and plan our volunteer activities in the community which serve the dual objectives of cementing friendships among our members while doing good to help others.
NJC’s emphasis on education will be highlighted with Rabbi Howard Herman’s inaugural adult education session of the New Year on Friday, October 25, at 5 pm. His topic is disturbingly timeless and achingly timely: “The History of the Scourge of Antisemitism.” Rabbi Herman will explore this pernicious and seemingly endless hatred, how it has impacted Jews historically and how it impacts Jews today. The one-hour adult ed session is followed by a light dinner at 6 pm and then a Simchat Torah Shabbat service at 7 pm.
Rabbi Herman will have 5 additional adult education sessions on the following Fridays at 5 pm: November 22, December 13, January 10, February 7 and March 20. The topics will be informative and enlightening. As usual, we will adult ed at 5 pm, followed by a light dinner at 6 pm and Shabbat services at 7. Our members’ attendance at these sessions has been exemplary.
Lastly, NJC recently formed its third havurah of about 15 members. Together our havurot involve about a third of our membership. They are a testament to the camaraderie and fellowship of our NJC “family.” The havurot will sometimes engage in joint activities, and at other times do their own thing. At all times, members of the havuot will enjoy making social connections.
Come to one of our Shabbat services to experience firsthand the NJC difference.
L ‘Shanah Tovah Tikatevu.
Steve McCloskey, President