Chavurah u-mishpachah Mach hen domim l'chipat avanim
A community and a family are like a pile of stones
At noteil mimenah even achat v'chulah mit'ro-a-at
If you remove one stone, the pile will collapse.
At noteil aleha even achat v'chulah omedet.
If you add a stone to the pile, it will stand.
Be with us as we gather to demonstrate who we are
As a combined community
With long-time participants,
Accomplished and insightful leaders with many stories to tell,
And newcomers to the organization
Who may offer fresh perspectives to an already strong foundation
Of wisdom and commitment.
Remind us that we can strengthen the bonds that hold us together
As the rabbis suggested in Genesis Rabbah,
By adding new members into our circle
Who can enhance our collective expertise,
And by broadening our own horizons
Through the connections we make with the entire Jewish world.
Teach us that minor conflicts and even major disagreements
Need not prevent us from joining minds, hands and hearts
To care about Jews wherever they may live,
And to extend our assistance to people in need
Whatever their background may be
When their distress demands that we see their plight and act.
Help us, Loving God, to spread your love at times of celebration
And in moments when individuals commit acts of violence
That disregard the divine spark in every soul.
Help us to be partners in sustaining creation, the human family,
and members of Jewish communities wherever they may be.
May we do this with a generosity of spirit
That will plant seeds of hope everywhere.