What’s Your Jewish Story?

Everyone has a Jewish story. Some
take twists and turns to far off
lands, heroic tales of overcoming
adversity and persecution, or even
connections to the great Talmudists
or sages. Some begin in the recent
past with marriage, the birth of a
child, participation in a life-cycle
event, participating in the annual
celebration of the High Holidays or
eating matza on Passover. What is
your Jewish story and how does it
connect you to community?

These are the questions recently
posed to the Jewish Federation’s
Board of Directors, a diverse group
of community leaders representing
the many facets of our community
from various geographies, congregations,
service agencies and schools.
The answers definitely surprised
some and inspired others, offering
insight as to why these volunteers
would choose to take time away
from family to give of themselves to
the greater community. This is the
essence of the why.

The good news is that almost whatever
the “why,” the Jewish Federation
system is working to meet that
need, issue or interest. The challenging
news is that with a mission and
network so broad, sometimes it may
be hard to know exactly how your
story—your why--fits in.

Where can you find answers, open
the door to learn more, and connect
with others?

Beyond the obvious—such as right
here in the pages of Shalom New
Haven, there are several portals to
connect with Jewish life. In addition
to Facebook pages, congregation
websites and the Jewish Federation’s
main website: jewishnewhaven.
org, where you will find a handy
video all about what Federation is,
we are welcoming an incredible new
platform, jclick. Jclick is the brainstorm
of people who participated in
the Jewish Federation’s leadership
development program, Yesod. They
saw the need for a broader platform
of all things Jewish and worked
together to create a gateway that
offers connection with just a click
of the computer mouse. The Jewish
Federation is excited to partner
with jclick and looks forward to even
more enterprising collaborations in
the future.

An additional feature of jclick is
Jclick Ambassadors. Jclick volunteers
are standing by to offer their
help in connecting with community.
Consider these volunteers as special
community concierges. Along similar
lines, Jewish Federation and JCC
past president Joel Karp is also
assembling a network of volunteer
leaders charged with connecting
and re-connecting with members
of the community. Each initiative
is designed with the individual at
the forefront. Every member of the
Greater New Haven Jewish community
is important and with more
people devoted to building commu nity,
all will benefit.

We are about to celebrate the holidays
of Purim and Passover. Each
holiday tells a story. They are simultaneously
about individuals and our
Jewish story (Esther & Mordechai;
Moses & Miriam, etc.) as well as the
greater Jewish people’s story. Along
with my wishes for chaggim sameach,
very happy holidays, I also ask
you the question -- What is your Jewish
story? And will you tell it to me?

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