Celebrating those who make a difference

Rabbi Elizabeth Hersh received a B.A. from Skidmore College and was ordained as a Rabbi from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. She is fortunate to be involved in so many facets of the community including serving as the chaplain for JF&CS and an instructor for CAJE. This will be her fifth year serving as the visiting Rabbi in Decatur, Ill. She has also served congregations in both Sydney and Perth, Australia. When not writing her weekly BLOGS, she can be found running marathons.

By Rabbi Elizabeth Hersh

There was a party at the new Harvey Kornblum Jewish Food Pantry. Hunger knows no prejudice. The opening event was attended by all facets of the Jewish and general communities. We were honored by families whose vision and generosity made this idea a reality. We heard from various local and state leaders. Young and old, Jewish and non-Jewish, African American and Caucasian alike joined forces to continue to fight the hunger that plagues this community. Volunteers and employees spent countless hours planning for this important day.

However, this journey is not complete. It takes a village, so to speak, to continue to feed the hearts, minds and bodies of those in need. It is tiring work. There does not seem to be a finish line, either. Just when you may think you see the horizon, it moves just a little further from your grasp. On days when my colleagues question the efficacy of their roles, I hope they will remember this day with a feeling of wholeness and peace.

Like any party, I could sense missing parties. I had to leave that place of negativity and celebrate those who found this day momentous enough to attend. These individuals are my heroes. In a society that always speaks about how busy we are, I saw hundreds of people who made the opening of this facility a priority. You are the people who count. You are the ones I will think of as making a difference. You have your open hand extended in humanity.