The Simple Pleasures - June 14, 2021

After over a year of being apart I was struck by the power that comes from being physically together.

Posted
June 20, 2021
Figure standing on side of mountain with arms outstreatched

The Simple Pleasures - June 14, 2021

After over a year of being apart I was struck by the power that comes from being physically together.

Posted
June 20, 2021

"This is the power of gathering: It inspires us - delightfully- to be more hopeful, more joyful, more thoughtful.
In a word, more alive." - Alice Waters

JFS Friends – 

On Friday night I attended Shabbat services in person for the first time since the beginning of the pandemic. We had been attending virtually from home every week but I have to say I was overwhelmed with emotion to be back together with my congregation in person - to be able to see their faces and to hear their voices as we prayed together.

Since that time, the song from Psalm 133 has been running through my head, “Hinneh mah tov umah na'im. Shevet achim gam yachad – How good and pleasant it is for brothers and sisters to sit together.”

After over a year of being apart I was struck by the power that comes from being physically together. Throughout the last year, my congregation – like many others – kept us all connected virtually with programming, life-cycle events, rituals and prayer services and I am deeply grateful for their diligent efforts but I experienced, in a new way, the reason that our tradition brings us together to pray as a community. The interpersonal connection of being together as a community in the same place, at the same time, hearing and seeing each other – is something that I now appreciate and treasure in a whole new way.

The past year has been full of challenges: personal, professional and communal – as we begin to emerge on the other side many of us will find that we have been changed in various ways. One of the things that I hope to take with me is a deep appreciation for the simple pleasure of being together with family, friends and community. I hope that I will no longer take for granted the joy that comes from sharing time in person with those that I care about and feel connected to.

As we begin a new week, I also want to express my gratitude and appreciation that we are able to return to work in person. Our agency has done remarkable work in this past year – we have continued to serve the community and to make our services available virtually in a way that was personal, effective and responsive to the needs of the community. At the same time, there is something special that happens when our teams can work together in person and when we can see our clients face-to-face.

It has been a source of great joy to see the building begin to fill up and to feel the buzz of activity in the hallways.

Even though I have seen each of you through Zoom throughout the year – I have missed being together in person and look forward to reconnecting with each of you as we find our way back to in person activities and services.

Take care,

Carl Josehart's signature

Carl E. Josehart, MSW (he/him/his)

Chief Operating Officer

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