‘Twas nearly the Shabbat before Hanukkah
And all through my belly
Not a thought was occurring
Except sufganiyot with jelly
Well, with all apologies to Clement Clarke Moore, this year’s Festival of Lights actually coincides with Christmas Eve and Day. So much for going to a movie and eating Chinese food next Sunday (although I suspect that the miracle of eating chicken wings and latkes would not be so terrible)? My mother has long said that wise people speak about ideas, and ignorant people speak of others. (I, of course, only hope she considers me to be a member of the class of the former, not the latter). But she is so correct: Knowledge is power, and communicating ideas to generate conversations only raises our collective bar of wisdom and learning. And, I can think of few better ways to generate ideas than by reading about the actual accomplishments, events and life stories of others.
The gift of a non-fiction Jewish book would make a tremendous Hanukkah present. And there are at least hundreds of thousands of them from which to choose. What could be better than reading a tremendous non-fiction Jewish book over Hanukkah? But alas and alack, I confess I have a motive for such gift giving. This fall, the Alliance along with the Board of Rabbis of Greater Rhode Island, Kollel: Center for Jewish Studies, PJ Library and Project Shoresh, launched a community reading initiative, Read Jewish Rhode Island, which will feature an event on Sunday, January 29 at the Jewish Alliance. I invite each of you to participate in our community read, and then let us know what you will be reading by registering online. This way we can connect one another to those who are reading the same book or topic. And at the event itself, we will continue to learn together by participating in conversations centered around the various topics of our books. I myself am reading In The Garden of Beasts, by Erik Larson. Please join me by not only reading a book of Jewish non-fiction and signing up on our website, but also by participating at our very special event (and on a football free Sunday, the week before the Patriots play in the Super Bowl).
And to all, a good Chag!
Have a wonderful Hanukkah, and Shabbat Shalom,
Jeffrey K. Savit
President & CEO