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Marsha’s Musings – March Edition

Marsha Hurwitz, JEWISHcolorado Interim CEOMarsha’s Musings

Personal Transformation – Lessons from Purim

Tomorrow evening, Jews around the world will celebrate Purim, the festival of Lots. We will read the story of Queen Esther and how refusing to give up, she confronted the challenges of her life and converted them into an opportunity to save the Jewish people and transform herself.

Our sages identify a number of contemporary life lessons to be learned from Esther’s experience – allow me please to share just a few:

1. The obstacle is the way. Esther took the suffering that she experienced as an orphan and used it to make her stronger.  She knew she had the inner resilience to face new challenges. She used the obstacles of her past as the stepping stones to her future.

2. Live for something greater than yourself. The more focused a person is on finding happiness for themselves in this world, the more that happiness seems to be elusive. Esther’s experience of standing up for her people demonstrates how we can find the greatest happiness by giving to others and living for something greater than our own desires.

3. Reach out to others for help. We often may think we need to forge our own paths, without anyone’s support. Queen Esther could have decided to use only her own resources to save the Jewish people. Instead, she chose to reach out to others. She had the humility to say: “I need and want your help.” She knew we can go farther together.

4. Fight evil by inviting it to the party. We can often overcome destructive habits and desires by identifying them and channeling them into tools for good. Esther used her anger to fight for justice and her sadness to create joy.

Here at JEWISHcolorado we are committed to tikkun olam – transforming our Jewish community and our world into a better place.  We do that by partnering with our donors, our agencies, synagogues and organizations in gemilot chasadim – acts of loving kindness – each and everyday.

My thanks to each of you who joins us in transforming despair into celebration and stagnation into growth. May the lessons of Queen Esther’s path guide us as we overcome obstacles and move forward in Building a Vibrant Jewish Future – together!

Happy Purim,

Marsha Hurwitz
JEWISHcolorado Interim President & CEO

Program Spotlight: One Happy Camper

 Jewish. Overnight. Summer. Camp. A place where many of us built lifelong memories when we were kids. A place where we made Jewish friends, learned Jewish songs, and grew our Jewish pride. Studies show that children with meaningful Jewish camp experiences are more likely to become adults who value their Jewish heritage, support Jewish causes, and take on leadership roles in their communities. JEWISHcolorado is committed to helping kids start this exciting chapter of exploring their Jewish identity. We know camp can be beyond many Colorado families’ budgets, and that is why we partner with the Foundation for Jewish Camp on the One Happy Camper program, a scholarship program for first time campers to help defray the cost of Jewish overnight camp. We are still accepting applications, apply here today!

Since 2012, we have helped send over 600 Colorado kids to camp with an average scholarship of $1,000! Children can choose among the three Colorado Jewish camps as well as over 150 Jewish summer camps across the country. Our goal is to send over 200 kids to camp this summer. Will you help us? We are pleased to provide this program but our ability to offer scholarships relies on our community’s support. For summer 2018, 72 campers have received scholarships, yet 38 more are on the waitlist, pending additional funding. If we can raise an additional $80,000, we can send all 38 campers currently on the waitlist to camp and approve all the new applications we expect to receive in the next few months.

Please join us in making this dream of Jewish summer camp a reality for 200 kids with your financial contribution.

To give to this program, CLICK HERE

To apply for summer 2018: Coloradans can submit an online application at OneHappyCamper.org. Subsidies are open to children who are registered to attend an overnight Jewish summer camp for 12 days or more. Eligible children must be residents of Colorado, must not have attended Jewish summer camp before, and cannot attend a Jewish day school.  

Thank you for partnering with us to help Colorado kids embark on their Jewish journeys with Jewish overnight summer camp!


JCRC Luncheon
Thursday, March 22, 2018
Join us in honoring Rick Kornfeld, Community Leadership Award Recipient; and Senate President Kevin Grantham, Legislative Appreciation Award Recipient.

Yom HaZikaron
Tuesday, April 18, 2018
Join us in commemorating Yom HaZikaron: Israeli Remembrance Day for fallen soldiers and terror victims.

Yom Ha’atzmaut in Boulder – Israel Independence Day Community Celebration
Wednesday, April 18, 2018
Special ceremony celebrating Israel’s 70th anniversary, sponsored by the Boulder Israel Engagement Team, a partnership between the Boulder JCC and JEWISHcolorado. Free event with activities for all ages! Falafel, drinks, and desserts available for purchase. Activities include live music and Israeli dancing,
arts and crafts, games and stories for children, and more.

ADL 37th Annual Governor’s Holocaust Remembrance Program
Tuesday, April 24, 2018
The Anti-Defamation League’s Governor’s Holocaust Remembrance Program is one of the largest in the United States and allows Coloradans of all faiths to come together to honor Holocaust survivors, remember those who perished, educate the community about this horrible crime against humanity and translate those lessons into contemporary action.

Celebrate Israel | Walk + Festival
Sunday, May 6, 2018
Save the date and join us on Sunday, May 6! Registration opens March 1 for Celebrate Israel, once again at South High School, West Lawn.