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D'Var Torah

May 27, 2016

This is my final Shabbat message as CEO of AJFCA.  On June 6, I am joining the National Human Services Assembly, an organization committed to the advancement of human services across the United States.  I am excited about the move, but I am sad to be leaving this wonderful organization, and, particularly, the incredible professionals and lay leaders across our network who work so passionately on behalf of the clients and communities they serve.  Writing my weekly messages has been one way for me to connect with many of you, and to connect the work you do with the Jewish values and teachings that inform and inspire so much of what we do.

A few years ago, Lisa Budlow and I co-authored a piece called "Jewish Family Service Agencies Collectively Perpetuate the Jewish Way."  One of the themes we shared was the following:

The Jewish story is an amazing chronicle of survival through the ages.  From our suffering as slaves in Egypt, through years of exile and wandering, surviving pogroms in Russia, the horrors of the Holocaust and centuries of attack, the Jewish people has overcome and reached freedom and prosperity.  Without our sense of amcha, of Jewish peoplehood, this survival would not have been possible.  Today, our network of Jewish family service agencies provides a platform for us to stand and be counted as Jews who survive and achieve.  We were all slaves in Egypt, we were all present to receive the Ten Commandments at Sinai and we are linked together generation to generation, each taking our place in this long and distinguished history.

It has been my privilege to stand with each of you as participants in this rich history of the pursuit of justice.  I know you will continue to go from strength to strength, together, a people.
 
Shabbat Shalom and Kol HaKavod.
 
(As of June 6, my new email is lsherman@nassembly.org, let's stay connected.)

Lee I. Sherman
President/CEO