We each have passages where we transition from one place and from one state to another.
And it is through those passages, that we often intersect and form a significant connection.
A human connection.
Now that we are in the highly spiritual season of the High Holidays, I reflect back on this past year and ask: how did I connect, to family, to friends and neighbors, to our land and nation, to our community, and to the world at large.
In Baltimore, Maryland, we recently received a new opportunity.
I am part of the Israel Education committee at the CJE; Macks Center for Jewish Education, an agency of the Associated Jewish community federation of Baltimore.
We have a program called Shinshinim, where two young Israelis, come as emissaries and in partnership with our sister city, Ashkelon. They are post high school, and pre army. They come for one year. They are highly motivated, and experienced in leadership, and are delightful and creative and bring ruach, the spirit of Israel.
This year will be different.
Baltimore was chosen by the Jewish Agency to create a Shinshinim Hub, with “eight” young men and women.
We gathered together two weeks ago to say our goodbyes to this past years amazing duo and to welcome the new arrivals.
There was such transformative excitement in the air.
“Eight” young vibrant, skilled young women and men from the North to the South, here to bring and infuse Israel into our community, our schools, our camps, our Jewish Supplemental programs, our Synagogues, campuses, JCC s and more.
Leaders, educators, community members of all ages, and now “Eight” host families were present to welcome this dynamic new crew.
There was one word in a line that simply stood out for me that evening, when one of the returning Shinshinim spoke:
” I was happy to be here. I am taking so much back to Israel with me too. I was most grateful to be a part of creating a BRIDGE between Israel and the North American Community here”
A ” Bridge”
in hebrew ; ” Gesher”
This said so much.
We need more human connections to build more bridges.