By Liraz Levi, Community Shaliach
Passover, one of my favorite holidays, is here again. This beautiful time of year, when winter is finally over and you can feel spring knocking at the door, is especially apparent in Israel, with its warm climate. As the Jewish people left Egypt long ago, becoming free after a long period of slavery, Passover represents for me a new start, a time to be optimistic, thinking about the future.
This year I’ll have the privilege to celebrate Passover back home in Kfar Saba, Israel. Last autumn I was thinking to myself, what holiday is the most important for me to celebrate at home? Passover was the right answer, as this holiday is the most “family-valued” for me. Reading the Haggadah, the story of Passover, around the table with people of all ages listening to the story and saying it out loud in rotation, reflects our story as the Jewish nation. And telling the story – or “passing the torch” if you will to our kids – shows the importance of Jewish education and the values of togetherness and family.
This year, instead of thinking about my family while sitting around the table during the Seder, I’ll actually be thinking about my overseas community, my Rockland family. Why is that? Because Passover will mark the first step of the end of my time in New York. Soon enough, in a couple months, I’ll end my two-year Shlichut term in Rockland County. In fact, when I visit Israel during Passover I’ll take my first steps toward planning my future, as I’ll use the time to look into some schools for next year.
When I return to Rockland after Passover, it’ll be the “Yoms” period (Yom HaShoah, Yom HaZikaron and Yom HaAtzmaut). Right after that we will celebrate Yom Yerushalayim together in a fun community event; Shavout will be around the corner and in early June we will march together again in the Israel parade, in the streets of New York, celebrating Israel and my last community event. Please visit our calendar for details!
Indeed, winter is over and spring brings with it new unforgettable moments.
Wishing you all happy holiday! –Liraz
Federation’s Community Shaliach program is made possible by the generous donors who give to the Annual Campaign. Thank you!