High Holy Days Offer Time to Reflect on Community's Jewish Connections, Generations Progress | Shalom Austin

High Holy Days Offer Time to Reflect on Community’s Jewish Connections, Generations Progress

CEO Message, Generations, The Jewish Outlook

Sep 1, 2020

Elul is upon us and our countdown to prepare and welcome the Jewish new year has begun. In only a few weeks, we will officially mark the year 5781 on the Jewish calendar. It’s hard to believe that six months after the pandemic began, our celebration would take on such an unusual approach. This year is truly different than all other years in recent history. The way we come together to observe, welcome and celebrate this High Holy Day season will need to be done in very thoughtful and innovative ways to ensure everyone’s safety.  

We should be proud of our clergy and leadership of the congregational communities of greater Austin. Each community is finding profound ways to meet the needs of their congregants in very challenging times. During this time of reflection, I would encourage each of us to find a community in which you can connect.  

I am super proud of how our camp team came together this past summer and provided a safe, fun and meaningful way for our children to experience camp. Our staff team and leadership continue to find ways to serve our most vulnerable and isolated during this time. The launch of All Day at the J this month will provide critical education support services to our families. 

The new year will also be marked by some new milestones. The Clifford Zeifman Family Early Childhood Program Center refresh is now complete, as are most of the deferred maintenance and energy efficiency upgrades in the entire education building. The Rochelle & Stanley Ferdman Family Aquatic Center construction will begin in the near future. Construction on the remainder of the project is targeted to begin by late fall. 

And, as you will read in this issue, Austin will be sending a record number of participants on the Young Judaea Year Course in Israel program. We wish them well on their journey to our homeland, the state of Israel. 

While all of us continue to experience this journey differently, our goal is to ensure we stay together as a community in the wilderness of this pandemic. I have seen firsthand the many inspiring ways we have brought light into each other’s lives.   

As we approach 5781, may we continue to be given the strength to support one another and be blessed by family, friends and community.  

Shanah Tovah u’metukah,

Rabbi Daniel A. Septimus

Latest Posts

The Story of JAMen

The Story of JAMen

Members attending a JAMen event. Courtesy: Jay Rubin. Burt Kunik and his wife Mary moved to Austin in 2014. A prominent endodontist, business executive and Jewish leader in Houston, the McAllen, Texas native relocated to Central Texas, to live closer to children and...

“Death Over Dinner” Demystifies the End-of-Life Process

“Death Over Dinner” Demystifies the End-of-Life Process

By Maura Kinney, LCSW – Grief and Loss Therapist  The Death Over Dinner Project was founded by entrepreneur and activist Michael Hebb in response to the startling statistic that, while 75 percent of Americans say they want to die at home, only 25 percent actually do....