By Elizabeth Schuman
Ten, nine, eight … in those last few seconds of a current year, anything seems possible for the next. Whether you watch the ball drop at Times Square or call it a night before 10 p.m., there’s something fresh and inviting about the first heady days of a new year.
Some of us make resolutions: Lose those 10 pounds. Start that exercise program. Organize that closet. Fix. Repair. Change.
If only it were that easy. As we all know, promises made in the turn of a calendar page dissipate as the days pass. The chocolate chip cookies are too tempting and it’s too cold to exercise. Sometimes, when we focus solely on the “I,” motivation can be tough.
There is another way to look at the promise of a new year. Instead of trying to fix what we believe is wrong with us individually, let’s look outward. Consider the power of a communal resolution.
Here’s one to start: Strengthen our community.
You might think why bother? After all, Baltimore is considered one of the strongest communities in the Federation system nationwide. The distinction is certainly due to the enormous generosity of donors and the outstanding array of community and volunteer endeavors accomplished under THE ASSOCIATED umbrella. From donor to service recipient, our appreciation for such a robust community only grows each year. (Read our donor and service recipient’s stories>>)
Still, there are people who may not know about our work of funding 14 agencies and hundreds of programs and services here and overseas. Our safety net ensures a Jewish tomorrow – from our leadership programs for volunteers and Jewish communal professionals to our on-the-ground services for impoverished Jews in the former Soviet Union.
What better time than now to make it count more? It’s our responsibility to reach outward and engage new people in the many programs, services and energy of THE ASSOCIATED.
Share your belief in what you do. Engage others in activities that touch their hearts. Reach out to involve those who are on the sidelines. Invite friends and family to join you. The beauty of THE ASSOCIATED is that all are welcomed: High-powered executives, entrepreneurs, stay-at-home-moms, teens, newlyweds, empty nesters, people who have been married for 50 years and people who have never been married. No matter how one observes Judaism, at THE ASSOCIATED there is a role one can fill, a place to go, a way to help.
Whether you involve someone in volunteering, learning more about ASSOCIATED programs, or giving to the Annual Campaign for a bright Jewish tomorrow, this is one resolution that affects us all. In this time of promising to do better, it’s time to make your communal resolution to build a stronger community.