First of all, I want to thank Julian Landau, the immediate past president, for all the time and effort he has invested during the past 4 years to help AACI continue its vital work for English-speaking olim.
Some of you have met me at the Blood Drives or Health committee programs, but I'd like to take this opportunity to introduce myself. I was born and raised in Indianapolis, IN and attended Camp Ramah in Wisconsin as a camper and staff member. I made aliyah from Chicago with my late husband Steve with 2 boys in 1978. Our daughter was born here a year later. We moved to Elazar in Gush Etzion in 1988 and I continue to reside there. I am trained as a physiotherapist and have worked as an Administrative Assistant for many years.
My goals for my term as National President are to balance the budget and widen our base of support by offering programs that will attract singles, couples and families, while maintaining and enhancing the ongoing programs that are well attended.
Please feel free to send me suggestions for programming, and even constructive criticism. I hope to help AACI continue to be responsive to the needs of the relevant English-speaking public. My e-mail address is: president@aaci.org.il.
At this time of the year, our thoughts center around various aspects of the circle of life both in relationship to our personal selves and family and the Jewish traditions and Torah in general. Before the next edition of the Voice is received, we will have finished reading the last Torah portions of Deuteronomy and started over again with Genesis in an unending cycle. Jewish tradition is filled with round symbolism in the life cycle – garbanza beans at a bris, the round wedding band, eggs and lentils during shiva. During the High Holidays many eat round challot (with or without round raisins) and on Pesach many eat round hand shmura matzot.
The special prayer book we use on the High Holy Days is called the Machzor, which means “cycle.” In a never-ending circle, we return to the High Holy Days year after year.
The cycles of our lives are not closed circles, but spirals. Yes, we come back to the High Holy Days year after year, but we are not in the exact same space. Furthermore, we have some ability, and therefore responsibility to influence whether the spirals of our lives are upward or downward spirals.
As we open a new machzor in our lives this Rosh HaShana, may the words of our mouths and the meditations of our hearts strengthen our resolve to move this year in an upward spiral, our faith that we can do so, and our clarity how to do so. May we come around to this season next year knowing that our voices have been more productive and more active and that we have all contributed just a little more to the success of AACI.
Shana Tova, U’Metuka
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