It is not even officially summer yet but, because we like to stay ahead of the curve, welcome to our annual Summer Celebration issue (June 10)!
Also ahead of the curve is the weather, which has seemed like summer throughout much of the spring. This has been a glorious boon to we who enjoy the innumerable outdoor activities this region has to offer – even if your choice of outdoor activity is simply relaxing on a patio with a hot or cold beverage.
The mostly warm and dry weather, of course, brings challenges. The danger of wildfires has been horrifically demonstrated by the tragedy of Fort McMurray. We also each have a responsibility to do our part in preserving water resources. A brown lawn, nowadays, is a sign of pride and respect for the environment.
Being the Jewish newspaper, as we are, we emphasize events and activities oriented specifically toward Jewish British Columbians or that are in some way connected with our community. There is a vast array of opportunities and we hope that you will keep jewishindependent.ca bookmarked for at least the next months so the first time a kid or teenager complains of boredom – or when it seems like they have spent time enough on electronic devices – the plethora of activities highlighted here will inspire a fun day. Or a welcome night out sans children.
Last week in this space, we discussed the challenges created by transportation and real estate prices in this region. Throughout the year, in these pages, in other media and in everyday conversations, Vancouverites have a habit of kvetching, particularly during those long wet, grey autumn and winter days. But summer is what really brings out the best in this city and province.
Take some time to put aside the daily worries and woes and throw yourself into some of the superb offerings the city and the region has. Let the Independent inspire you!
Areyvut, a New Jersey-based nonprofit organization whose mission is to infuse the lives of Jewish youth and teens with the values of chesed (kindness), tzedakah (charity) and tikkun olam (repairing the world), has released its 2016 A Kindness a Day Calendar.
This flip calendar offers 366 suggestions (it’s a leap year!) for people of all ages to better themselves, their communities and the world at large. For example, Jan. 1’s entry suggests, “make a New Year’s resolution that will positively impact someone else’s life.” Other entries remind readers to “call and wish Shabbat Shalom to an out-of-town relative” or to “assist someone who is unemployed with writing a resumé and finding a job.” Beneath each act of kindness is a traditional Jewish text that explains from where the act of kindness is inspired.
Areyvut debuted A Kindness a Day in 2005 and continued to create calendars through 2009, the last year that the flip-book was published. Despite a six-year hiatus, the A Kindness a Day calendar is back with suggestions, sources and inspiration that will hopefully help readers to play a more active role in their families and communities.
“Charity, kindness and social justice must be an integral part of everyone’s day,” said Daniel Rothner, Areyvut’s founder and director. “The 2016 calendar allows for these core Jewish values to become more aligned to the context of people’s daily lives. A Kindness a Day is a great educational tool for children and adults alike; as well as homes, schools and other organizations, both as a guide to help instil Jewish values into one’s life and as a springboard for discussion and study.”
The 2016 calendar also includes a thematic index that categorizes the acts of kindness by theme (for example, loving your neighbor, tzedakah, tending to the sick, volunteering, prayer, etc.) and a glossary of terms. Calendars can be purchased on Areyvut’s website areyvut.org/shop. For sample pages, and additional information, email [email protected].