Dear Friends of JCCA,

For those following the Jewish calendar, the High Holy Days, referred to in the Torah as the Days of Awe, begin Sunday at sundown. The word awe, implying a sense of both amazement and humility, also describes something I often feel when reflecting on our work at JCCA. I’m in awe of the remarkable commitment and dedication of our staff. And I’m in awe of the trust and hope our clients place in us in their moments of deepest need, difficulty, and vulnerability.

Sunday evening marks the beginning of Rosh Hashanah, the two-day celebration of the Jewish New Year. Traditionally, Rosh Hashanah is celebrated by the blowing of the shofar (ram’s horn). The shofar is said to voice the wordless sound the of the heart, expressing both pain and hope. These, of course, are two core elements of JCCA’s work: meeting people in their trauma and challenge, and supporting their wish to heal and move toward a better tomorrow.

This past year––these past few years––have been hard in so many ways. The challenges our clients confront and the inequities they encounter are enormous. The work our staff undertakes day in and day out helps ease the way. As we recognize the Jewish new year, we at JCCA are taking the opportunity to acknowledge the blessings and accomplishments of the past year: the launch of new programs to meet urgent needs, new partnerships and collaborations, successes in public advocacy, our 200th Anniversary, and the kick-off of our Capital Campaign to reinvigorate our Pleasantville campus. This is to say nothing of the countless life-changing successes we see in our client-facing work.

Like any new year’s observance, Rosh Hashanah offers time for us both to reflect on the past and rally optimism for the year to come. May we all remind ourselves of the message JCCA’s work conveys to our clients every day: the future does not have to be defined by the past.

I wish you all a joyful and peaceful New Year.