It is my pleasure to wish each of you L’shanah tovah tikatev v’taihatem. Though the Jewish New Year 5776 is just beginning, our NCJW year began on June 30. Despite all the visitors crowding in during our glorious Maine summer, we’ve had a very busy and successful few months.
Our first event was the Wine Tasting and Mini-Auction August 13 at the new Press Hotel. I am happy to report that we raised more than $5,000. We also received incredible publicity on the Scene & Heard page of the Maine Sunday Telegram. The very favorable article on the work of our section was augmented online by a wonderful slideshow of photos of attendees.
Not to rest on our laurels, on August 30, a very hot and humid evening, 10 members met at Ginny Squire-Eklund’s home to pack 250 backpacks with pencils, erasers, pencil cases, crayons, scissors, and markers to be distributed to every entering kindergarten student at Reiche, East End and Riverton Elementary Schools in Portland. The entire operation was completed in one and a half hours while a photographer from the Forecaster took pictures. One of these pictures with an appropriate caption appeared in both the Portland and Northern Editions of the Forecaster. A few members met at Reiche at 8 AM, on September 3 to watch adorable kindergarteners ponder over which patterned backpack to select.
That evening we sponsored the opening of Welcoming the Stranger at the Maine Jewish Museum. Portland native Jo Israelson designed the installation, which highlighted the work of our Section in its very early years when members provided kosher food to immigrants detained at House Island. The opening attracted 150 people. A review of the installation was the feature article in the Arts Section of the Maine Sunday Telegram September 6. If you haven’t seen this wonderful installation, be sure to visit the Maine Jewish Museum before the exhibit closes on October 26.
Links to all these articles can be found on our website. I and my fellow board members look forward to having many of you increase your involvement with NCJW even as we seek new members to join us in our journey through the New Year.