From the Desk of CEO Judy Halper: December 2018

“The spiral is humanity’s oldest symbol, representing eternal change and reminding us that life is not a straight line. It symbolizes new beginnings, renewal and hope for the future.” Boy oh boy, do I wish I could take credit for that statement, but the best I can do is put it in quotation marks and send them along in this column. Where did I find this sage thought, you might be asking? (This is where I shrug my shoulders and admit the truth – on a bottle of wine I just enjoyed with others last Shabbat.) It is indication that I did not “over enjoy” with my glass of wine to know this enlightening comment was worth writing down and using in a column!

 

Judy HalperAs we approach year-end, eternal change, cycles of life (rather than straight lines), and hope and renewal are certainly useful images and constructs for thinking about what has just passed and what lies ahead. The help and hope that Jewish Family and Children’s Service of Minneapolis (JFCS) offers 365 days each year follows the cycle of the year and follows each individual’s lifecycle. It’s remarkable the scope of assistance that we can provide. We can help people to think about the barriers and obstacles that they confront in such a way as to address many things all at once with clarity, insight and kindness for themselves and others.

 

We recognize that all of us at some point in our “cycle” need a little support or direction, someone to listen, or someone to care. Even small acts of kindness result in big and positive outcomes. This is where I run out of space, but I could fill page after page with feedback from people we’ve helped: by providing a mentor through our Jewish Big Brother/Big Sister program; making it possible to attend a grandchild’s recital by providing a ride from the Garber Transportation program; responding to a family that needed shelter in an emergency by providing a grant or loan; or helping a child to be school-ready even though the odds were against him or her.

 

Our planet may move through cycles monthly and we may spin around the sun annually, but one thing remains the same – whatever the need, however we can help, JFCS will be Here For All…Always. Because life isn’t a straight line and the possibility for renewal and new beginnings are what we can offer.

 

Happy and healthy New Year to all,

Judy