Ribbono shel-olam, Majesty of the Universe, we gather today to rejoice in Your great miracles: enabling people to come together to form meaningful community; granting diverse individuals the courage to transcend their differences and join for common purpose; nurturing a flourishing center that has excelled at serving a growing community for decades. Awesome is your power for inspiring love, fostering connection, and illuminating possibility! We affirm the words of the Psalmist who sang, “Behold how good and how delightful it is to see brothers and sisters dwelling together in harmony!”
We thank You for the incredible gifts of the Weinstein Jewish Community Center: Thank You for this center of Jewish life and learning; thank You for the extraordinary fitness center that offers us health and healing; thank You for the exceptional spiritual, cultural and educational programming, services, and events offered here each and every day for people of all ages, stages, and backgrounds. On a personal note, thank You for the magnificent Dora L. Lewis Family & Child Development Center, where the youngest members of our community are taught to explore their world, expand their imaginations, and collaborate with their peers in a spirit of responsibility, dignity, kindness, community, tradition and respect. Thank You for the teachers and administrators who help our children thrive with so much love and joy.
Thank You, finally, for the visionary leaders, these Mensches of Richmond, who are committed to welcoming families from all religious, ethnic, and socio-economic backgrounds to fully experience all this Center offers, giving us a gift that truly keeps on giving.
Source of Blessing, we pray that You continue to bless the Weinstein Jewish Community Center, its volunteer and professional leaders, its supporters and sustainers, its faculty and staff, its members, and everyone in the Richmond Jewish Community, so that we all can continue to be blessed through it. Protect us and sustain us.
Guide our leaders, especially the new leaders who will be installed this evening, to heed the words of Your prayer: “My children…What do I seek from you? I pray for nothing other than that you love one another and honor one another.” Enable them to strengthen an institution that is committed to fulfilling the most fundamental obligations You have given us: “Teach [these words of sacred wisdom] diligently to your children” and “Rise before the aged and defer to the elderly”; “Justice, justice, you shall pursue” and “There shall be no needy among you”; “Choose life” and “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Inspire us to contribute in every possible way toward the achievement of those holy purposes.
God of Redemption, may the members of our community continue to dwell together in fellowship and friendship, leading us toward a world where all peoples will join in love, understanding, cooperation, and peace. And may it happen speedily in our days. Amen.