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Ending the year on a high note of giving

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The year 2020 has been challenging. It has stretched us almost to breaking point. Lives and livelihoods have been lost. The coronavirus crisis has placed enormous strain on all of us – physically, financially, emotionally, and spiritually. We’ve all had to get used to a new normal that isn’t normal at all.

And yet, 2020 has also brought out the incredible resilience, strength, and comradery of our community. Together, we have rallied to meet these challenges. Together, we closed our shuls and schools. And together, we reopened them, taking every precaution to ensure they were as safe as possible. We have looked after each other. We have responded generously, supporting those in need, and we have emerged more resilient and ready for the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.

This year’s Shabbos Project arrives at this pivotal, poignant time, and reminds us what we learnt this year – that when we come together, we can do great things. Nobody thought it possible for Jews of all backgrounds to come together to keep a full Shabbat. Nobody thought it possible until we showed the world that it was.

Like everything else this year, the Shabbos Project is going to feel very different. We don’t have the large public gatherings that we normally would, but in a certain sense, we have something more profound and beautiful. We have each other, and we have our homes and families.

This can be the Shabbos Project that reminds us that Shabbos, after all is said and done, happens in our homes. Shabbos fills our homes with love and light, its unique energy helping us to connect with our family, with ourselves, and with G-d. The home is the heart of Shabbos. And Shabbos is the heart of the home.

This isn’t to say our influence can’t extend beyond our homes. This year, we have distributed reusable tote bags filled with opportunities to give and grow together as a community, to unpack and discover even more beauty in our shared Shabbos experiences.

As we approach the end of an exhausting 2020, let us replenish and elevate ourselves by giving. Let us continue to transform our challenges into opportunities to give, to connect, and to care. And let us all celebrate and appreciate this year’s Shabbos Project as we’ve never celebrated it before.

Let’s bring it home!

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