Jim’s Journal: Looking Towards the New Year

To prepare to write this month’s blog post, I looked back at what I wrote last September as we were heading into the High Holiday season. I started the post last years with these lines: “Someone once said, “Life is nothing without a little chaos to make it interesting.” This, coupled with the old Yiddish curse, “May you live in interesting times” very clearly defines what is happening in the world of higher education at the moment.

A year later and not much has changed. We’re still doing our best to be as flexible as possible as our programs and policies are forced to shift as we adapt to the current reality. Our undergraduate Brothers are working hard to develop meaningful programs on their campus within the current protocols and our alumni are looking for ways to gather without putting anyone needlessly at risk.

The world is a little safer than it was last year but we, obviously, need to be as cautious and safe as possible.

So, the more things change, the more they stay the same.

And, to me, that’s what makes Rosh Hashanah so special this year. The more things change in our world and on our campuses, the more they stay the same. Yes, my family and I will again be attending Rosh Hashanah services via zoom but this year I really need that constant…to hear the shofar, to chant the prayers and to be a part of a community (even virtually) that is celebrating the start of 5782.

Things are different now, but a lot is still the same.

Our undergraduate Brothers are either going home or joining with each other to celebrate the New Year. Our alumni are gathering with their families in their homes to celebrate responsibly with each other. We’ll enjoy our brisket, apples and honey and honey cake. And, we’ll make a commitment to ourselves, to each other and to G-d, that this coming year will be the best year ever, full of mitzvot and good health and happiness.

My best to all of our undergraduate and alumni Brothers, parents, friends and supporters for a year filled with good health, happiness and much success. Let’s all work together to make this an even better year so that next year at Rosh Hashanah we can celebrate even more.