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JCF Blog


Posted by: Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Hartford on 7/26/2012


Celebrating 40 Years

The Hebrew word Hineni is used only a few times in the Torah, but each use comes at a moment of great significance. Abraham is quoted as using the phrase three times during the heart wrenching and dramatic story of the binding of Isaac. Moses too says Hineni as God calls out to him from the burning bush. 

Most often the word is translated as “here I am”. Yet, the real meaning of the word seems to be much deeper than this simple translation would suggest. Some would say that the word really means that the person is fully present and attentive to the moment (that is, I’m going to put my cell phone away while I’m having lunch with you). Yet, it might have an even deeper, more significant meaning. 

When Abraham responded to God’s call by saying Hineni, he was not letting God know his physical location or even that he was paying full attention. Perhaps instead, Abraham was saying, I understand that you have called me for a higher purpose and I stand ready to take on the responsibility. Abraham did not wait for God to spell out the task, he responded by acknowledging that he was ready to respond regardless of the nature of the request. (Given what was to follow, this kind of response shows a remarkable degree of trust and commitment to a higher purpose).

So you may be asking yourself – this isn’t a Torah study group, why is he writing about this? Here’s why.  I have been thinking a lot about the history of the Foundation and about our donors in this 40th year of our existence. It occurs to me that when the Jewish Community Foundation (representing the long term future of the entire Jewish community) called out to our donors you answered Hineni. Here I am, ready to shoulder the responsibility of making our community a stronger, better place, to assure the continuity of the Jewish people or simply to make a difference in the lives of people in need. Your generosity to the Foundation, to the Federation and to our many non-profit organizations has been remarkable.

For that, we are deeply and profoundly grateful. 

Celebrate with us – 40 years of building the future and fulfilling the philanthropic dreams of our donors. Consider making a gift to assure the long term future of the Jewish Community today. Visit our website or call to find out how you too can say Hineni.

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Randi Piaker
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