Welcoming the Season of Light and Joy | Shalom Austin

Welcoming the Season of Light and Joy

CEO Message, The Jewish Outlook

Dec 1, 2022

While technically a minor holiday on the Jewish calendar, we all know that if we surveyed our children, and dare I say some adults, too, Hanukkah may be the Jewish fan favorite of all Jewish holidays in the United States. For Jews around the world, the meaning of Hanukkah takes on different meanings, some emphasizing the miracle of light or the military miracle itself. In Israel, for example, one can understand why the story of Hanukkah as it relates to the military victory and the rededication of the Temple after its desecration, would take on particular significance. Regardless of which part of the story resonates most, this holiday has become an integral part of our yearly calendar.

As Hanukkah approaches, some significant milestones are on the horizon. And in the spirit of dedication, we have some exciting announcements coming forward. First, we are only months away from the full opening the beautiful newly expanded and renovated Dell Jewish Community Center. The new center building will be transformative for our community, providing new and meaningful ways for all to connect with one another.

One key feature of the new center building will be the Jennifer and David Kaufman Family Living Room. This space will literally be the living room of the Jewish community, an area where all are invited to come and schmooze with one another.

As you will read in this issue, after sharing the history of our Early Childhood Program (ECP), we dedicate a new name for the school – Zeifman Family Early Childhood Program. We want to thank Clifford Zeifman and his family for their longtime generous support of the program and their transformative gift as part of Generations. ECP continues to thrive, providing a vital on-ramp into Jewish community engagement. A refresh of the facilities took place in the summer of 2020, and we are excited to make further investments in our professional team and facilities in the years ahead.

The upcoming Hanukkah season is truly filled with light thanks to the incredible support of so many in our community of the Generations project. You will also find local congregation Hanukkah programs and offerings in this issue. We encourage everyone to participate.

Wishing each and every one of you a chag urim sameach, a happy, joyous and bright Hanukkah,

Rabbi Daniel A. Septimus

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