Rosh Hashanah, our sacred time for personal reflection, is a moment to remember the blessings of community and to renew our commitment to the values and traditions that still provide the scaffolding for our daily lives.

Imagine living in a community where no individual ever goes hungry, where no one is without a place to call home or any other necessity for a safe, healthy life. Imagine a place where families are offered the means to prosper, in both good and difficult times, and where children are taught the values of kindness, compassion and charity. Imagine a place where every older adult is treated with respect and afforded the ability to live in comfort and dignity. Imagine a community built upon a profound sense of love, connection and responsibility for one another.

To many living in our complicated and challenging world, this may seem like an idealistic vision. But for us, here in Jewish Detroit, it is the essence of who we are as a community. To be part of this community is to be included, embraced and supported.

Matthew B. Lester
Matthew B. Lester

It also means we hold the sacred responsibility of taking care of one another and extending ourselves to those who need support. In fact, these are two sides of the same reality. The security and stability we enjoy comes only from our personal investment and commitment to each other and to our enduring history as a people.

Rosh Hashanah, our sacred time for personal reflection, is a moment to remember the blessings of community and to renew our commitment to the values and traditions that still provide the scaffolding for our daily lives.

Dennis S. Bernard
Dennis S. Bernard

The New Year is also a time to look to the future and, as we do, we must remember that the strength of Jewish Detroit, and the welfare of all those who live here, can never be taken for granted. In fact, as we have learned from the recent global pandemic, we can never fully anticipate events that may be on the horizon. We can expect, however, that the year ahead will have challenges for our community.

Inflation and the rising cost of living has affected many households while at the same time making it more difficult for our agencies and organizations to provide the programs and services for those in need. Mental health issues continue to affect many of our young people, still reeling from the impact of COVID. We have a large and growing population of older adults, many of whom need community support. And the threats of antisemitism, hatred and physical security concerns require ongoing attention, advocacy and vigilance.

Steven Ingber

As always, though, we have reason to remain both grateful and optimistic. Despite these challenges, we know that — thanks to the commitment of Jewish Detroiters of every age and background — we will continue to have the means to take care of all who need support. We will remain a place where no Jew is ever truly alone and where Jewish life continues to thrive.

This is the mission of the Jewish Federation and United Jewish Foundation and, together with our partners across the community and around the globe, we have spent the past century taking care of our most vulnerable individuals and building a vibrant Jewish future for all. We are grateful to all who share this work and especially to those who generously support us.

On behalf of the Federation and Foundation, we wish our entire community a meaningful holiday and a healthy, peaceful and joyful New Year.

Matthew B. Lester is president of the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit.
Dennis S. Bernard is president of the United Jewish Foundation.
Steven Ingber is CEO of the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit

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