As my oldest daughter turns 13 this year, I am attending many bar and bat mitzvahs. I also recently returned from the bar mitzvah of my college roommate’s son at Camp Ramah in Georgia. These occasions remind me to appreciate Jewish traditions that bring us together, especially ones that mark the next generation’s coming-of-age.
My favorite part of the service this Shabbat was the passing of the Torah from grandparents to parents to children, reflecting “l’dor v’dor”—from generation to generation. I love watching the pride in people’s eyes as they pass down their spiritual knowledge and cultural traditions to their children and grandchildren. It really is a beautiful thing to see generations celebrating Jewish traditions together.
Here in Howard County, we are lucky to have many multigenerational families that the Federation helps bring together. This is especially evident at the annual Great Challah Bake, where 200 grandmothers, mothers, and daughters celebrate the tradition of making challah together, singing and dancing together while they wait for the dough to rise. I also love to see children, parents, and grandparents participate together at Mitzvah Day on December 25, giving back to the community on their day off.
And of course, this month also brings us Chanukah, another opportunity for families to get together and share traditions, like menorah lighting, eating latkes, and playing dreidel games. This year we hope you will join us on December 22 at the Community Candle Lighting with the County Executive to celebrate our heritage and share traditions as a community.
I look forward to meeting you and your families this year at these and other events. And I hope you will give or pledge today and support us as we power future Jewish generations in Howard County.