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Shanah tovah, gut yor,

It is a busy time of the year for all of us. Schools are starting, new program years are beginning, holiday preparations are made and, as the season changes from summer to autumn, many of us are transitioning into a new phase in our lives.

This month has been filled with much activity as I transition into my new role as the Executive Director of CSJO. I approach this with mixed feelings. I am definitely full of excitement and motivation to make this a very successful move. I am also feeling tugs at my heart as I take over from our previous Executive Director, Rifke Feinstein. I take pause to thank her for the years of collaborative work and leadership. I am happy to say that while relationships may change they do not end. She continues to be very involved with and a wonderful support to CSJO and to so many of us individually.

Recent Election
We have recently held a special election for Vice Chair. As I write this, the last of the ballots are arriving and are being tabulated. Soon we will announce the results. Thank you to Karen Knecht for chairing the nominating committee and coordinating this election.

Upcoming Board Meeting
We have an upcoming board meeting the weekend of November 11 in Farmington Hills, Michigan. Our meetings are open to the general membership. If you are interested in attending, please email me at so we can prepare for non-board member attendees. This is a great way to get to know the board and have an inside view of the governance of CSJO. It also gives you a great introduction should you choose to run for a position in any of our future elections.

Secular Coalition for America
This past month I have also been in contact with the Secular Coalition for America as they get ready to announce CSJO as a new voting member organization. You will soon see our name on their website at Go to the website and look around. Let me know what you think of the issues that they are presenting.

Affiliate Newsletters
I have been receiving electronic copies of affiliate newsletters. If you are interested in receiving them, please email me and I will be happy to forward them to you. It is great to see all the wonderful things that our affiliates are up to. Lots of exciting programming!

Great Event in Philly
The International Institute for Secular Humanistic Judaism has arranged a wonderful event for the weekend of October 28: "Jewish, Secular and Humanistic American: Learning Tour of Philadelphia." It is not too late to join this exciting tour. Go to the Institute's website at to learn more. I hope to see you there.

Visiting Our Affiliates
CSJO has a group of vibrant young adults on our board who are eager to visit the youth of our affiliate organizations. Please contact me if you are interested in having them come to your group. They have a strong commitment to our organization and a bright vision for our future. Their enthusiasm is contagious. I am also looking forward to traveling to all of our affiliates. Please contact me so we can set up a date that fits your schedule. Representatives from our youth and I can come as a team so let me know what works best for your group.

Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are times of reflection and potential, an opportunity to look at our mistakes, face how we have missed the mark and seize the chance to try again. It is a time to make a commitment to do better this time around. We face our shortcomings not to burden ourselves, but to inspire ourselves to reach our potential as healers and shapers of this world. This is a time to take action to ensure we continue to grow, prosper in the direction of justice and well-being and to teach these values to our children and our children’s children so that we can continue to come together as a community, an extended family.

May this year bring us the strength and wisdom to support each other to build a bessere velt (better world).


The world that we bequeath to our children is contained in our own actions. — Max Rosenfeld
Now Available

"Matza Balls and Easter Eggs"
by Roberta "Rifke" Feinstein

Cost: $5.95

To order, email
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