Leonie’s View: A Rosh Hashanah Message…

The Talmud describes that on Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish people are “vekulan niskarin biskira achas” – viewed together with a single glance. Our sages explain this to mean that not only is Rosh Hashanah an opportunity for introspection on both an individual and a communal level.

Our community’s volunteers deserve special recognition. They have recognised the potential of the individual, and the priceless value of extending a hand to their neighbours.

In June, we were able to offer a fraction of this recognition.  Community organisations, representing the entire spectrum of our community, assembled at our inaugural Jewish Volunteering Awards, supported by HW Fisher and Company. True to form, many of the volunteers were surprised by all the fuss!

Greatness, it’s been said, is the capacity to go beyond oneself. To step into others’ worlds, and care. And suddenly, life literally expands. As one’s concern grows to include the wellbeing of others, one’s narrow self-centred reality withers away. Inevitably, one becomes a “bigger” individual. One achieves greatness.

Zalmi Finn, winner of the Young Volunteer award, typifies this notion. The 21 year old volunteers at Camp Simcha as a “big brother” to Yonni, a five year old boy with cancer. “When you go into a child’s house, and you’ve heard over the week that he’s been in hospital and he’s depressed, you think to yourself: “I’m really going to give him a good time.”

But in truth, every one of our community’s volunteers has achieved greatness. While they’d be far too self-effacing to agree, their commitment proves otherwise. And our community owes them a tremendous debt.

The JVN couldn’t work without our own volunteer team. A big thank you to our hard working trustees and advisory board. It’s been a big year, but we’ve got even bigger plans for the coming year.

Our volunteers bridge the gap between the individual and the community. And so, when we are viewed together with a single glance, we can be assured that any merit we have is due to their heartfelt work.


Categories: Leonie's View


Hi, I'm Mike, JVN's Youth Co-ordinator and blogger. I'll be blogging about all sorts of issues affecting the volunteering community, with a particular focus on how recent developments might affect the UK Jewish community's volunteers. I'm always interested to read the comments you make. If you have something you want to see in the JVN blog, e-mail me at mike@jvn.org.uk and I'll be happy to talk. And if you're inspired by any of my blogs to volunteer, log on to www.jvn.org.uk and register to find your perfect volunteering opportunity.


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