From the Desk of Jeri Zimmerman

The monthly column of Jeri Zimmerman, executive director of the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley

Miracles and light

“Miracles sometimes occur, but one has to work terribly hard for them,” — Dr. Chaim Weizmann, Israel’s first President and Founder, Weizmann Institute.

This year has brought a lot of darkness, uncertainty and suffering. But what if we each took a moment to remind ourselves of the li…

Giving thanks

In an article, entitled “The Power of Gratitude,” Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks tells us that “thankfulness reduces toxic emotions such as resentment, frustration and regret and makes depression less likely. It helps people avoid over-reacting to negative experiences by seeking revenge. It…

To everything there is a season

One of my favorite holidays is Sukkot—possibly because I appreciate that Sukkot represents a change in season and in mood. My birthday usually coincides with Sukkot, and back in the day, I became a Bat Mitzvah during the holiday. Sukkot is known as the “season of our rejoicing,” and th…

Restored, revived, renewed

We are now in the month of Elul, the weeks immediately preceding the High Holidays, ushering in the new year. Traditionally, the shofar is sounded each day at morning prayers (except Shabbat) in order to awaken us to prepare ourselves for the year ahead. This is the time of introspection, of…

Looking ahead

Editor’s Note: Jeri delivered a version of the following remarks at the Federation Annual Meeting on June 11. They have been updated and edited to fit this format.

It was Thomas Paine who said: “These are the times that try men’s souls ...” While trying, this year has also been grat…