I’m an early riser. The alarm sounds at 5:30am and within the hour I’m on my way. I follow a routine, like many do—tune into NPR, make a wake-up call to a dear friend, hit the Starbucks drive-thru. From the moment I walk out of my front door, I feel the anticipation of the day.
That anticipation is derived from the inspiration I gain every day at the J. Sometimes, you don’t know where you’ll find it. An encounter in the lobby with a life-long swimmer, a note from a camp family, a walk-through early childhood, a chat in the hall with a staff member, a photo on Instagram.
Sometimes, you anticipate inspiration. An evening with Gordon and Carole Segal, founders of Crate & Barrel and Foodstuffs. The screening of Grace and discussion with Rachel Pikelny, David Allen and Grace Lombardo. Cycle Israel, a 6-week virtual ride across Israel with fellow members of the Marvin Lustbader Center.
Later this month, I will be traveling to the real Israel for the first time to attend the General Assembly. My husband, Sam, will be joining me and together we will take in key sites for a few days before and after the conference. Even though his brother made Israel his home 25 years ago, this will be Sam’s first time to Israel as well. So many of my staff have found their way to Israel for the first time with the J and have shared amazing stories and moments of their journey. Sam and I are filled with anticipation.
At the same time, I am going to miss so much while I’m gone. The Great Challah Bake hosted in partnership with The Shabbat Project. I attended the first with my daughter three years ago and can hardly believe we’re hosting in four locations this year. The experience of more than a thousand women and girls making challah together will be amazing. Our first Chi Shuffle. With both a Chi staffer and a camper in my family, I would love to be there to soak up some fall Chi magic. And, of course, there are those many, wonderful, in-between, unexpected J moments.
It’s a blessing to wake up each day and know that my heart will be filled. I encourage everyone to both anticipate and seek inspiration. It is around every corner…
By Addie Goodman
President/CEO, JCC Chicago