Thursday, September 29, 2016

#Blogelul 26 Create (the State of Israel)

Shimon Peres, Z"L (Zikron L'vracha, may his memory be a blessing) died this week in Israel.  He was instrumental in creating the state of Israel, preserving it and making sure it exists through 5777.  With his death we witness the end of an era which includes the founding generation of chalutzim, pioneers in Israel.  He was a warrior for peace and served his county selflessly.  It is to his credit that President Obama, former President Clinton, Secretary of State John Kerry are traveling to his funeral in Jerusalem on Har Herzl, Friday September 30, the 27th of Elul.  Also in attendance they have announced President Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian Authority will be in attendance as well.  President Obama has also ordered that flags fly at half mast at government buildings this week in the United States.  That is quite a statement.  It shows us not just the importance of Shimon Peres on the world stage but also that he was very well liked.

Here is a very short bio:

Born Szymon Perski; (August 2, 1923 – September 28, 2016) was an Israeli statesman and the 9th President of Israel, serving from 2007 to 2014. Peres served twice as the Prime Minister of Israel and twice as Interim Prime Minister, and he was a member of twelve cabinets in a political career spanning nearly 70 years. Peres was elected to the Knesset in November 1959 and, except for a three-month-long hiatus in early 2006, served continuously until 2007, when he became President, serving in the role for another seven years. At the time of his retirement in 2014, he was the world's oldest head of state. He was considered the last link to Israel's founding generation.
This is a youtube video made only 2 years ago after Peres retired from the Presidency, which is mostly ceremonial as opposed to being the Prime Minister who runs the government.  It is Peres retiring and then looking for a job.  It is very funny and there are sub titles and if you think of all the peace conferences and all of the government jobs Peres has done over the years it makes it even funnier.  

There are many articles, pictures and quotes on line about Peres and I am sure there will be more this weekend.  Take a read, pick just one.  I admire Peres' generation for what they did for the Jewish people in Israel and all over the world.  He will be missed.  Shana Tova.  

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Kickoff 5777-2016 School Year; What do I understand?

We are now in the month of Elul, which precedes the month of Tishri; the month of the High Holy days.  During Elul we are to prepare ourselves for the upcoming holiday season.  There are many different ways to get ready and as usual I am personally preparing for the High Holy days by preparing our educational program at Lakeside Congregation. School this year will look a little different and a little like it has in the past.

On the first day of school we will have a Kickoff for Lakeside which will feature a Firetruck bouncy house, a police car, an opportunity to say and write thank you notes to our local first responders.  music, making s'mores, and information tables by our Lakeside affiliates.  It will be a fun morning for the whole family and for prospective new members. I hope to see all of you at our opening program.

We are also very excited to launch our new Lakeside Academy for grades 5-10.  Students will be able to chose from a list of electives for the 2nd half of class.  Students will have a core curriculum from 10:30-11:15am and from 11:15am-Noon they will be able to chose an elective.  Here is a video with some of the electives we will be offering. Lakeside Academy Electives

Other ways to get ready during the month of Elul is to #BlogElul.  I hope to start blogging shortly and here are the topics that I will participate in Rabbi Phyllis Sommer of Am Shalom.

It is daunting to try and blog every day and I have never been very successful.  It does push me to think, prepare and get ready in many different ways.  Today's blog is understand.  I think to understand you must first know what you don't know.  After opening school for over 30 years (27 here at Lakeside) I almost always have butterflys the night before.  I have come to understand that I can't always anticpate everything that will happen or 100% accurately predict how the day will turn out.  I can do all the hard work before hand over the summer to insure there will be a modicum of success and continue to build on my understanding to make next year even better.  I look forward to blogging Elul and preparing for the High Holy days.