From the CEO: Shalom Austin Celebrates Those Making the World A Better Place
By the time this edition hits homes across the Central Texas area, the High Holy Days will have most likely concluded. I hope that each of you had a meaningful and joyous High Holy Day season. During the holiday of Sukkot, the festival of booths and ingathering in preparation for the winter season, we are reminded of our ancestor’s journey through the wilderness, an opportunity to get back to our roots. Sukkot is also a time when we open our booths to those in need, to ensure that all are welcome and provided for in need.
As we conclude our series on the Jewish values that guide Shalom Austin, we focus on tikkun olam, the commitment to make the world a better place. This commitment is predicated on the idea that the world is not whole, that there are pieces of it that are in need of fixing and putting back together.
Our rabbis teach that the focus remains on ways to systematically change the world so that we are not finding ourselves in the same situation over and over. Throughout our community, there are myriad ways that one can be involved in tikkun olam in a Jewish context. Our congregational and organizational partners do tremendous work on a regular basis in this area. We also ensure that our teens learn and engage in ways to make a difference in the world through a Jewish lens.
I hope you will join us on Tuesday, October 16, as we gather for this year’s Annual Meeting. We will be formally kicking off the Bernard and Audre Rapoport Center for Jewish Culture and Education. Rabbi David Saperstein, a close friend of the Rapoport family, will deliver the keynote address. We will honor Tracy Solomon and Mike Rotman with the Community Service Award for their scared work in starting Hebrew Free Loan of Austin. We will also congratulate David Schaffer, a long-time Early Childhood Program faculty member with the Staff Exemplar Award.
While the holidays have come to a close, experiences continue during the fall season with JBookFest, Jewish Austin Men, Women’s Philanthropy, Austin Jewish Film Festival, to name a few. I encourage everyone to join the community for a few enriching experiences over the next few months.
Wishing each of you a year filled with sweetness and joy.
Rabbi Daniel A. Septimus