As I sit down to introduce myself to you, I reflect on the past week and our Pesach gatherings. Myfamily hosts many such holiday gatherings, both religious and secular.
But our extended family doesn’t just travel from other points in Rhode Island or Boston or even Hartford. We are schlepping to the airport to meet the plane from D.C. We’re waiting for those driving from New York. There’s a car coming from Vermont. If we’re lucky, the Pennsylvania contingent shows up. Even family from Chicago might come in.
Holidays, especially Pesach with all the cooking and cleaning, are a little chaotic. But isn’t that the case at your house also?
Once the family is gathered together, there’s a tremendous satisfaction in seeing everyone, hearing the chatter (or trying to sort out the conversations as each person tries to talk over the other one) and enjoying the celebration.
We’ve been following this same routine ever since we moved to greater Rhode Island. I know I don’t qualify as a native yet. I’ve lived all over the country. Started in Pittsburgh. Spent my school years in suburban Virginia. Went to college in Chicago. Lived for a bit in Utah north of Salt Lake City. Spent some time in Cleveland (the West Side for those Clevelanders among us), worked in Elyria (yes, that’s right next to Lorain) and finally landed in Seekonk. So I’ve seen a lot of the U.S. and experienced the Jewish communities wherever I’ve lived.
And what’s impressed me about each place I have lived is that sense of community and welcome you get when you walk into a synagogue as a stranger in a community big or small. There’s always a spot for a newcomer.
So, as the newcomer to The Jewish Voice, I appreciate the warm welcome I’ve received in my first few weeks on the job. And I look forward to covering our community. We have a unique opportunity here to tell the story of a community rich in diversity of tradition and people. I look forward to hearing from many of you, meeting still more of you and helping to tell your stories.