Dear JCCA Colleagues:

For those of us who celebrate the Jewish High Holy Days, we are entering our days of awe — a time to reflect, resolve, and consider changes for the year to come. Whether or not one observes the holidays, the autumn season always heralds a time of new challenges and beginnings.

As you may know, the shofar, or ram’s horn, is sounded during the high holidays. The sound of the shofar reminds us that, through the conscious choices we make, we have another chance to improve ourselves, and the world around us, in the coming year.

The children we work with at JCCA face seemingly insurmountable obstacles: neglect, abuse, poverty, disability, housing instability. But it is here at JCCA that the shofar’s enduring, uplifting message is heard loudest.

Much like the vivid colors of changing leaves and the crisp air signaling winter ahead, the sound of the shofar is both somber and triumphant. This balance is echoed in our work here at JCCA. The introspection and commitment of Rosh Hashanah are reflected in the transformative work we do with children and families to develop the insight and skills they need to move forward. Our trauma-sensitive practice echoes Yom Kippur’s focus on forgiveness. Building on their strengths, we empower our clients with the tools to become stronger and more hopeful.

Thank you for all that you do, year-round, to make the shofar’s promise possible for the 17,000 children and families JCCA serves every year. Through your work and dedication, you bring new beginnings to thousands of vulnerable kids and their communities each day.

Wishing health, peace, and well-being to you, your family, and your friends. May the New Year and a new season refresh and renew you.

Ronald E. RIchter