From the Desk of CEO Judy Halper: September 2019
High Holidays a time for introspection; and also a call for action
I was talking with a friend recently about the upcoming Jewish High Holiday season, our memories we cherish, and building new experiences during this time of year that incorporate our contemporary views. I was reminded of the sacred feeling that comes over me each time the shofar (ram’s horn) is blown. While the deeply moving sound is truly a call for introspection, it also serves as a compelling reminder to listen, hear and act.
Our work at Jewish Family and Children’s Service of Minneapolis requires each of our gifted and compassionate staff members to truly hear and understand what our clients and participants are asking for. They also listen for greater indications for when JFCS can offer services that benefit clients beyond the original reason they came to us. As we often say, our JFCS value of creating a more perfect world, tikkun olam, is a process of assisting one person at a time.
On a larger scale, our advocacy efforts have increased significantly over the past several years. One might say the call to action, the sound of the shofar, grows ever more important in complement to the service we provide to individuals and families. Recognizing that our voice – comprised of community volunteers, Board members, and stakeholders – can make a difference in allocations of resources and shifting systems, we are dedicated and disciplined in balancing our work that is conducted on both a micro and macro level. We believe this will have positive impact for our neighbors, fellow citizens, and those who are often marginalized or otherwise go unseen (people living with mental illness, children experiencing food insecurity, and older adults enduring isolation, to name a few).
The art of listening and really hearing is a real gift, and judging by a survey we conducted a while ago, highly valued. Respondents said the number one and two words they would use to describe JFCS is “caring” and “compassionate.” Combining these very human experiences with action/advocacy will remain our focus and our promise to our community. I am ready to hear the sound of the shofar and be reminded and moved. Are you?