The President’s Blog

Happy New Year! It seems we exchanged this sentiment not too long ago. Even though there are significant differences between Rosh Hashanah and the secular New Year, they both motivate us to share our hopes and dreams for a healthy, happy, prosperous New Year with those closest to us.

It’s customary for many of us to make New Year’s resolutions. We consider what we can do differently, and how we can better ourselves and the world around us. This year, our resolutions may be tempered somewhat with anxiety about the near and distant future. So much is unknown about what changes lie ahead and the impact they might have on our lives; the lives of our family and friends; our community; and the world.

In times like this, it is comforting to retreat to the familiar for connection, grounding, support, and care. One such familiar place is our Temple community, Washington Hebrew Congregation.

WHC is chock full of opportunities. We can connect with our heritage through worship. We can learn something new alongside fellow congregants. We can help ourselves by helping others in need. We can speak up or simply listen. We can interact with people of like backgrounds and expand ourselves by engaging with our diverse metropolitan area.

Looking toward the future?

This month, we offer you the opportunity to share your vision for Washington Hebrew Congregation’s future by participating in a Visioning Workshop on Sunday, January 8 at the Julia Bindeman Suburban Center. You can also learn more about and begin to make plans to travel with us to London in March and Israel in July at an informational meeting — there are several scheduled. If your travels take you to Florida, we hope you will circle Monday, February 13 on your calendars and join us in Palm Beach for our annual Florida Reunion concert and reception.

Hoping to root yourself in history and tradition?

Expand your mind and gain a new appreciation for our rich history and heritage with WHC Academy. This month, the Fall session wraps up (it’s never too late to join), and the first Spring session begins. Back to Basics and Conversational Hebrew are also welcoming in new participants and welcoming back continuing learners. In the Amram Scholar Series, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Kinney will share an eye-opening account of the Nazis’ rise to power uncovered in the long-lost personal diary of Adolf Hitler’s chief ideologue, Alfred Rosenberg. 

Seeking ways to help heal the world?

Our 31-year tradition of honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy will bring our interfaith partners to Temple on the 13th for a special Shabbat dinner and service. We are especially honored to have the Reverend Dr. William J. Barber II speak at our services. You can learn more about Rev. Dr. Barber and the impact he is having — not just in his home state of North Carolina — but across the country here on our website. This tradition of reflecting on Dr. King’s good works extends to MLK Day of Service, where hundreds of us will make Monday, January 16 — a day off from work — a “day on” for tikkun olam. There are many ways to get involved, starting now! 

Of course, Washington Hebrew Congregation offers so much more than I can write about in one column. I hope you will explore the January issue of the WHC Journal and read Life@WHC, emailed every Thursday morning, to learn about the opportunities that abound. I look forward to seeing you and wishing you, once again, Happy New Year.