fbpx

Federation Hosts Virtual Rosh Hashanah Gathering With Leaders

Moderated by Rabbi Ilana Grinblat of the Board of Rabbis of Southern California, the virtual Zoom meeting started with remarks by President and CEO of The Federation Jay Sanderson. “This is a bittersweet experience for me because as you know this will be the last time speaking to you at this wonderful event as president and CEO of The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles,” Sanderson said, referring to his leaving the post at the end of the year.
[additional-authors]
September 2, 2021
The virtual Rosh Hashanah event featured a number of different local leaders speaking about the holiday. Photo courtesy of Harvey Farr

Twenty civic leaders representing city, county, state and federal government participated in The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles’ annual Rosh Hashanah gathering titled “Hear Our Voices: Reflections and Visions for the New Year A Rosh Hashanah Celebration With Civic Leaders” on Monday, Aug. 30. About 105 people tuned in on Zoom. 

Moderated by Rabbi Ilana Grinblat of the Board of Rabbis of Southern California, the virtual Zoom meeting started with remarks by President and CEO of The Federation Jay Sanderson. “This is a bittersweet experience for me because as you know this will be the last time speaking to you at this wonderful event as president and CEO of The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles,” Sanderson said, referring to his leaving the post at the end of the year. “For almost 12 years I have had the honor to serve the Jewish community and community at large and working with such valued partners. I want to thank all for all you have done for the Jewish community.” 

Rabbi Grinblat then offered a brief overview of the weekly Torah portion, noting how Moses speaks to the Children of Israel, telling them that God has set before them two paths: the path of life and blessing and the path of death and cursing. Moses tells them to choose the path of life and blessing, and if they want, they can achieve it. 

It was an appropriate introduction to the many local, state and federal community and civic leaders who each spoke for about two minutes, offering recaps of the critical issues facing the communities they serve as well as the country as a whole. At the same time, each presentation struck an optimistic tone that the coming new year will bring solutions to the most pressing issues and challenges the entire community faces. 

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti reminded all participants and observers that, “Last year at this time we were locked out of our sanctuaries. This year finds us somewhere in-between together and apart,” Garcetti said. “We have seen a tremendous effort to meet the demands of an uncertain moment. The blast of the shofar will reawaken the strength in all of us to tikkun olam (repair the world).”

Speakers included Congressman Brad Sherman; State Senators Bob Hertzberg and Henry Stern; Assemblymembers Jesse Gabriel, Richard Bloom, Laura Friedman; Rep. Ted Lieu; Supervisor Janice Hahn; City Attorney Mike Feuer, City Controller Ron Galperin, City Councilmembers Bob Blumenthal, Paul Krekorian, John Lee, Mitch O’Farrell, Mark Ridley-Thomas; and Los Angeles Unified School District members Scott Schmerelson, Nick Melvoin and Tanya Ortiz Franklin.

Consul General of Israel to the Pacific Southwest Dr. Hillel Newman offered greetings from the State of Israel. “In Israel, at the start of the Jewish new year, on the radio they summarize the past year. We have seen a year of challenges and hardship with the pandemic, the rise of antisemitism on the streets of LA, radicalism and attacks from Hamas,” he said. “But we must also look at the past with inspiration. We have seen tremendous ingenuity with the development of vaccines and innovations coming out of Israel.  The Abraham Accords and so much more.  As we look forward to the new year, let us strengthen our ties to one another and especially Israel with the U.S.”

The event culminated with Grinblat reciting the blessings on the apple dipped in honey, signifying a sweet new year, followed by blasts of the shofar by Rabbi Joel Nickerson of Wilshire Boulevard Temple. 

Did you enjoy this article?
You'll love our roundtable.

Editor's Picks

Latest Articles

Print Issue: Breaking Barriers | May 17, 2024

In their new book, “Uncomfortable Conversations with a Jew,” Emmanuel Acho and Noa Tishby bring their vastly different perspectives to examine the complex subject of antisemitism in America today.

More news and opinions than at a
Shabbat dinner, right in your inbox.

More news and opinions than at a Shabbat dinner, right in your inbox.

More news and opinions than at a Shabbat dinner, right in your inbox.