Wednesday September 8 , 2010/29 Elul 5770

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Rosh HaShanah – A Time of Renewal
Tonight we begin our celebration of Rosh HaShanah, the Jewish New Year. Over the next two days we will be gathering together in homes and synagogues with family, friends and fellow community members to pray, to reflect, to eat. As you have the opportunity this Rosh HaShanah, take a moment look around at the people gathered around you.

There are many messages embedded in our Rosh HaShanah liturgy and rituals but one of the most important is implicit, drawn from the fact that over the next two days Jews around the world will be united together in observance of the holiday. The strength we draw from being together is one of the defining characteristics of the Jewish people as a whole, and of our corner of the Jewish world here in the Lower Mainland. Many of our most important rituals and practices are practiced as a group – as a community gathered together. The narrative story in our history that most defines us as a people – the exodus from Egypt, leading to the revelation at Mt. Sinai and our entry into the Land of Israel – is a collective story, rather than something that happened to a single individual.

We may differ in how we pray. We may eat different foods based on family customs and our country of origin. We most certainly have a wide range of views on issues that affect us as Jews and as people in the world. But it is our collective identity, and the unity that flows from it, that enables us to join together to celebrate the creation of the world.

Jewish Federation and our Annual Campaign are a vitally important reflection of this collectivity. It is through the campaign that we are linked as Jews to our global community and that we make our contribution to sustaining that global connection.

In that spirit, I invite you to join together with our community during this High Holiday season. Join us in making the 2010 Annual Campaign an outstanding success. Join us on Monday, September 20th to hear Alan Dershowitz, and draw strength from the large crowd that will be gathered together. Join us in working together to build and nurture a stronger, more vibrant and caring community. Together, let us make the new Jewish year – 5771 – a year of peace and fulfillment for all of our community members, for Jews wherever they may live, and for all with whom we share our world.

Birthright Registration Opens This Week
Registration for this winter’s Taglit-Birthright Israel trips opens at 7:00 a.m. P.S.T. on Tuesday, September 14th. In the past decade, about 1,000 British Columbia young adults have travelled to Israel for free, 10-day experiences that connect them to the homeland of the Jewish people. If you are Jewish and between the ages of 18 and 26, you are probably eligible. This year, our Federation has increased its funding to make sure our young adults don’t get lost on waiting lists. All the information you need is at

Shanah tova u’metukah!

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