Dear Akron Community,
We would like to thank all of the people for being so welcoming to us when we first arrived here at Akron. Thank you for the phone calls and the invitations to welcome us into your homes. We are very grateful and we would love to come and be a part of any idea, participate in any program you may have, or even just sit and talk about life over coffee. Before our arrival, we thought about the meaning of our Shlichut and what we’d like to accomplish during our time here in the community.
We believe in a strong, thriving Jewish society that has a powerful connection to the state of Israel and the Jewish values.
Our vision is to strengthen the Jewish identity within the Akron and Canton communities and work to empower Jewish community life. We believe that by sharing holidays, memorial days and special events the communities can grow stronger and be more meaningful for the people.
From our life experience we have learned that when people volunteer and give to each other while taking nothing in return they become united and lead a better community life. We would like to encourage people in the Akron and Canton communities to be involved, to share and to be a part of the community they live in on a daily basis. We wish to, in any way we can, powerfully connect the people from the Akron and Canton communities with Israel. By learning about life in Israel from various aspects and experiencing the Israeli culture, we believe that the communities will feel more related and connected to Israel and to their Jewish identity.
Many people are not aware that, despite the gloomy and bit daunting image that stuck to it, Yom Kippur is defined as the most important holiday in Jewish life. This does not mean we have to go out dancing and singing in the streets, but on the other hand, we can develop a more positive attitude toward it and treat it favorably. Yom Kippur is a special day of introspection and deep personal insight. On this day we were given the option to stop our lives, take a break from the crazy days we are leading, and approach our inner selves. This day opens up spiritual insights and each person can connect to it in a different and special way.
An apology is perhaps the best-known and accepted practice of Yom Kippur. “Sorry” is not just a word, but a special point at which a person begins to understand that there is power in the spiritual world that links the great unity of all our souls into one. We would like to learn from this insight as a community. When people understand that the power of love can bring them together and put all their anger and disagreements aside, there can be amazing connections that can benefit all.
We wish everyone a wonderful and meaningful Yom Kippur. We hope that each of us, in the way they choose to celebrate this day, will connect to their inner selves and to others around them. We wish the community on this day to be united and be there for one another. We would love to be there for all of you this coming year.
Be sure to check out our “Israeli Wall” near the fitness center in the Shaw JCC. We will feature a new theme on the wall every month. Also, on our Facebook page we have an ongoing “Israeli song” tradition. Every day, we will have a different person choose and dedicate a song. We welcome you to write us your favorite ones.
Thank you again for helping us begin to feel at home!
Ofri & Tohar Kait, Shlichim