This week’s Torah portion, Acharei Mot, continues the tale of the Israelites’ journey toward Israel and the formation of an ancient nation. And this week, Shabbat is punctuated by Yom HaShoah, Yom HaZikaron, and Yom Ha’atzmaut. It is a week of remembrance, for those who perished in the Holocaust, those who died serving Israel, those who have been killed in terror attacks, and those whose courage and dedication helped build the State of Israel.
So it feels fitting to both reflect on our contributions to our Jewish community—that which is close to home and that which is scattered around the globe—and to acknowledge the passing of two individuals who dedicated their lives to the Colorado Jewish community and to Israel: Dr. Mort Mower and Mr. Harry Sterling.
In the case of Harry and, indeed, Harry’s father Sam, that contribution took the form of what has become a beloved rite of passage for Denver teens: the Joyce Zeff Israel Study Tour. The story of how IST came to be encapsulates the drive and determination of this community to ensure that our Jewish community remains strong and that the values that we hold dear are passed on, l’dor v’dor, from one generation to the next.
This Shabbat, may we honor those who came before us by remembering this is what our ancestors did for us.
Rabbi Jay Strear
President & CEO
Please email Rabbi Strear at CEO@JEWISHcolorado.org with comments or questions.