Of change and hope and a new year


The temperatures have started to drop already. The last few days of August were unusually cool. Clearly summer is on the wane. In the Jewish calendar, we’ve reached Elul, which is the month of reflection, and I’m certainly feeling that.

At this time of year, my thoughts turn to beginnings and change. Back to school. Change of seasons. The harvest season. Back to routines. It’s even a new sports season: football begins and baseball gets serious. 

It’s time to reassess the closet and bring out the cool-weather clothes.

Gone is the laziness of a more relaxed summer schedule, but the upcoming year brings new hope and promise.

Even the paper has seen a new beginning recently: we have a new publisher as the Jewish Alliance of Greater Rhode Island welcomes Adam Greenman as its president and CEO.

Outside the sphere of little Rhody, there’s change and hope too. Hurricane Harvey ravaged Houston and much of the surrounding area in Texas and Louisiana. But the selflessness of those who helped others brought together a country torn apart by the events in Charlottesville.

Despite the terrible storm, there is hope in Houston, I’m told. That’s what helps people recover. And from my viewpoint, people are now focused on doing good and helping rather than arguing and fighting. That reflects on the basic goodness in us all.

When I was a teenager, we used the words to a famous Pete Seeger song in many of the alternative Shabbat services that our youth group wrote: “To everything, there is a season, turn, turn, turn.” This phrase, from Ecclesiastes (3:1-8), always seemed appropriate for just about any change in the calendar – and it still does today. The Byrds made the song a hit in 1964, and it’s been covered by many others, including Dolly Parton and Judy Collins, which speaks to its relevance.

Every new season is an opportunity to make a turn. A fresh start. A new beginning. A different perspective. A healing.

It has been a difficult summer. For the nation. For Texas. Even for the Jewish Voice, which is struggling to grow advertising sales and donations and to find enough staff to maintain our coverage.

This is our annual Rosh Hashanah issue, which always has more than our usual number of advertisements. Many of our friends and neighbors in the business community place ads in this newspaper wishing us all a happy new year. Take a minute to look at the ads in this issue. And we hope you’ll remember to tell these businesses where you saw their ads. Advertisers want to know that they are getting something from the money they spend with us. In turn, our readers see businesses that care about our community.

Many people come together to bring you this newspaper every other week. We are grateful for the village that makes this paper possible.

L’shanah tovah!