How often have you met someone and played “Jewish geography,” only to find that you are connected within two or three steps? We often delight in seeing how close the connections are among Jews, no matter where we live, as it gives us a sense of comfort, belonging, and community. It’s this same connection that many American Jews feel with Israel, regardless of whether or not they have visited there.
This Sunday, May 6, our community has a special opportunity to explore this connection at Howard County’s Israel At 70 Festival, taking place on the back lawn of Temple Isaiah from 1:00-5:00 pm. For the afternoon, you can immerse yourself in Israeli singing, dancing, and a beer and wine tasting, eat Falafel, and even try the army obstacle training course. There are activities for all ages, as we celebrate the successes of Israel over the past 70 years together.
We will have another opportunity to connect as a community on Monday, June 4, at our annual gala and fundraiser, Fed Live. This year, prepared to be amazed by mentalist Alain Nu, “The Man Who Knows,” as he shows us how we are all connected in different ways. We come together every year to recognize members of our community who actively demonstrate core Jewish values. This year’s honorees have made significant contributions to Jewish life and have impacted many throughout our community. We will also host our Give4Good Auction at Fed Live. Please be prepared to give generously to support the work of the Federation. This year’s causes include supporting young families and seniors, continuing to bring Israel to Howard County, and helping a sister Federation recover from devastation following the massive flooding in Houston this past year. These causes all support our mission of helping others in need and building community.
The Federation has been on quite a journey over the past year. We have brought on new staff and have refocused our priorities to serve the highest community needs. I hope you’ll attend our Annual Meeting at 7:00 pm on June 13 at the Oakland Mills Meeting House to hear more about what the Federation has accomplished this past year and where we will be focused in the coming year.