Thoughts on the season


This is the season of introspection.

Fran Ostendorf, EditorHow do you prepare for the High Holy Days?

Do you clean, cook, bake? Do you sign up for one of the many available study sessions centered around the month of Elul? Perhaps you sit down and take stock of relationships with those around you. Or maybe you are gearing up for a flood of relatives who will soon descend on your home.

Many look back at the previous year and evaluate what’s happened before looking ahead. It’s difficult to move on without understanding where you’ve been.

I’ve chosen to conquer a few personal fears.

The seniors from Temple Sinai asked me to speak at their September meeting. Normally, I’d run in the other direction. Most people who know me, know that I say I can’t speak in front of more than three or four people. But their representative, Helen Abrams, was most gracious and persistent.

What a lovely group of ladies – and men! It was a pleasure to meet them and discuss The Voice with them. I don’t think I stumbled much along the way, and they gave me some valuable input on the kind of paper they’d like to see. In turn, I tried to explain to them a few aspects about putting out our little paper.

Buoyed by my newly conquered public-speaking fear, I’m moving to my ongoing fear that nobody really cares about personal words in a column. So here are some personal thoughts:

I’ve been editor of The Jewish Voice for about five months. I’m grateful to all the readers I’ve met, whether in person or by phone or email, who have offered encouragement over the course of this “honeymoon” period. Taking the reins of a paper like the Voice is a big responsibility. It is literally the voice of a community. Everyone in the community seems to feel a connection and everyone has an opinion. Thank you for voicing that opinion, and then stepping back and waiting to see what the new editor does.

To the staff of The Voice, I can only offer unabashed gratitude. We are an extremely small group. The paper would not get published without each of you giving 150 percent. Have I forgotten to say thank you often enough? I’ll try to be better at that in 5775.

To the volunteers who help when we need it: Thank you, thank you, thank you!

My thanks to the staff of the Jewish Alliance of Greater Rhode Island who step up with articles and ideas and support when they are needed most.

My family has been nothing but supportive. Readers have met them in these columns. You’ll continue to meet them in coming columns. That’s’ because I’m very proud of every member of my family. I love them all and am thankful to be wife, mother, sister, aunt, cousin and daughter every single day.

Best wishes to each and every reader for a sweet and healthy new year.

L’shanah tovah!