Today is November 14, 2019 -
In 2006 I looked at the land in front of the Daughters of Sarah campus. I saw grass. While all I saw was grass, other people envisioned a Jewish communal building. A few very special people among us not only imagined this structure, but used their philanthropic vision to build it.
Last night we hosted a very successful Annual Meeting at the Federation’s Golub Center. We needed to set up seating for 100 people (which actually wasn’t enough) in the Massry Community Room, as well as tables and displays in the Miness/Farber Israel Discovery Center and the Larner Lobby. We could not set up the Massry Community Room until late afternoon because we had to wait for the Capital District Board of Rabbis to finish their conference. Since the rabbis needed the room for most of the day, their meeting displaced the weekly gathering of the Grinspoon Foundation’s PJ Library program for young children. Therefore, more than 20 children under the age of two years old gathered with their parents or grandparents in the Stern/Farbstein Conference & Study Center.
It was this very same day that Hadassah needed a meeting space for a dozen or so of their members, so we set them up in the Evan Family Education Center. Their get-together displaced a standing meeting of the Capital District Hebrew School Principals’ Counsel, which was relegated to a small conference room in the back of the building.
We name rooms and buildings, not only to give kovod (honor), but also to inspire us to see things that do not yet exist, but could in the future.
I can only imagine that what I saw yesterday is what our philanthropic visionaries saw back in 2006, when they pledged to make the dream of a Jewish communal center a reality.