A Few Words From Our Executive Director


Words cannot express how happy I am to be back within the Emanuel community! I’ve enjoyed catching up with those I already know and love meeting the new (to me) faces. I hope to meet all of you over the next few months. Please know my door (also my zoom link) is always open for a coffee date!

One thing you may not know about me is over the last several years as I continued (and still continue) my Jewish learning, I became a student of Mussar. Mussar is a Jewish based, spiritual development approach to awareness, wisdom and transformation. Each class focuses on a specific character trait with the belief that we all have these traits. What is unique, is where each of us currently falls on that trait’s spectrum versus where we want to be on it. It involves learning, meditation, discussion groups and journaling. It has been an incredible learning and growth experience for me.

This week we are focusing on the trait Responsibility. What fascinated me was the root word in Hebrew is achrayut. The word “Acher” (part of this root word) means “other”. How are "responsibility" and “other'' connected? In the book we use in class, Everyday Holiness by Alan Morinis, it says helping others “cultivates your soul” and “frees ourselves from the grip of the ego” (p.205). This has been my focus over the last week and I find it fascinating this hit at the same time as re-joining Emanuel, a community that takes so much care and responsibility of each other. So the question I kept asking myself this week is what is my responsibility to this community? With that in mind, here is my promise to all of you.

It is my responsibility to:

  1. Listen your voices

  2. Help us move in the direction, continued and/or new, envisioned by our community

  3. Help us continue to help those in need, both in Emanuel’s community and the greater one

  4. Help fulfill our mission.

My list will continue to grow. So now I turn the question to each of you: What would you name as your individual responsibility (your way of helping) our community? This is not to say you are not already doing it! This question stems from a place of acknowledging constant personal reflection and recognizing we have changes in our desires and motivations as we experience changing in our community and our own lives.

If you are open to sharing your personal list with me, I would love to hear about it. If you have ideas on what you want to identify as your responsibility to the community but are unsure of how to connect them into actions, I can help! There are so many ways to help in the community, I know we can connect everyone to something that speaks to them.

I look forward to hearing from you,

Sarabeth Salzman

sarabeth@emanuelcong.org

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Emanuel Congregation  5959 N. Sheridan Road Chicago, IL 60660

(T) 773.561.5173 (F) 773.561.5420  info@emanuelcong.org

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