by Yelena Gerovich
New American Acculturation Coordinator
Do you know that January 13 is Make Your Dream Come True Day? We do not know who created this day, when it started, or why, but according to Jewish tradition, the number 13 is a very significant one and considered to be a blessed number. When a Jewish boy comes of age at 13 years old, he becomes a Bar Mitzvah and is obligated to observe the commandments. The foundations of Judaism are based on the original 13 Tribes of Israel: the 11 sons of Jacob and the two sons of Joseph.
We would all love a fairy godmother or a magic lamp to make our dreams come true. But in their absence, it is up to us to make it happen ourselves. On January 13, this unofficial holiday honors all those who have had the courage to pursue their dreams and make them a reality.
According to the Research Institute for New Americans (RINA), there is a core Russian-Jewish population of 350,000 in the U.S. The enlarged Russian Jewish population in the U.S. is estimated to be 700,000. Emigration was prohibited in Russia during the Soviet era, but there were Jewish dreamers. They dreamed about freedom and the ability to celebrate Jewish holidays openly, not to be discriminated against and to get a proper education and a job. They created a plan, believed, and decided to take action. It was not easy and it was dangerous. But with the help from Jews from all around the world, their dream became true. Those dreamers are around us today.
In November, the New American Acculturation program invited our community to celebrate Thanksgiving. We also organized educational workshops and a Chanukah celebration in December. The New American Acculturation Program is helping with citizenship test preparations and planning educational workshops in January and February. The Russian-speaking community is very thankful to Rabbi Levitin and Rabbi Torenhaim for their help. Émigré families from all over Connecticut get together every year for Chanukah services and dinner. The Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven provides free transportation for low-income families.
On January 13, do something, anything, to move in the direction of achieving your dreams. View today as the perfect time to get started.
For more information about the New American Acculturation Program, including sponsorships of specific programs, contact Yelena Gerovich at (203) 387-2424 x321, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.