Dayeinu - CAJE Is Grateful!!!

Posted on 06/07/2019 @ 01:00 PM

In the Pesach seder, Dayeinu is a song we all look forward to singing. It comes soon after we’ve recounted the plagues and is a series of praises enumerating all the kindnesses that G!D had done for the Jewish people.

In the Haggadah, Dayeinu recounts 15 things the Jewish people should be thankful for while journeying from slavery to freedom. In our tradition, the number 15 is associated with gratitude and thanksgiving as in the 15 special psalms that were recited while Jewish pilgrims climbed the 15 steps up into the Temple Mount.

Dayeinu means “it would have been enough for us” and is a kind of tikkun, a repair of the ingratitude expressed by the Israelites as they complained their way across the desert wilderness. As Rabbi Jonathan Sacks points out: “It’s as if the poet/songwriter of Dayeinu were saying ‘where they complained, let us give thanks.’

So in that spirit, here are CAJE’s Dayeinu’s for this year in no particular order...

#1-- If CAJE had brought in a balanced budget but not had a bit of a surplus this yearDayeinu, it would have been enough. But we have a surplus!

#2-- If Valerie Mitrani and Julie Lambert’s work in the Day school world had been published in e-jewish philanthropy but they were not invited to present at the Prizmah Day School Summit in November, Dayeinu, it would have been enough. But they were invited to present to national funders!

#3-- If all 154 teens on the March of the Living had returned safe and sound but CAJE wasn’t able to undertake a March of the Living Strategic Plan, Dayeinu, it would have been enough. But we have almost finished the Strategic Plan!

#4-- If the Miami Jewish Film Festival under the direction of Igor Shteyrenberg and his team had only premiered the largest number of films at the 2019 Festival in its history but not held over 90 screenings year-round and increased their Next Wave and regular membershipsDayeinu, it would have been enough. But they did hold that many year round screenings while increasing membership numbers!

#5-- If the Debbie Brodie-Weiss and the Film Festival Team had brought in only $73,000 more in donations, memberships, and sponsorships but Debbie and the Celebration of Learning Team had not brought in over $100,000 in revenueDayeinu, it would have been enough. But they did raise that amount of money!

#6-- If #JBlend Miami continued to work with only the four day schools it started with but had not expanded to four moreDayeinu, it would have been enough. But this coming year it will expand to 4 new schools!

#7-- If Joy Schandler and Congregational Education only brought our education directors together for excellent professional development, but did not have Federation Sharsheret grant money to incentivize more creativity, Dayeinu, it would have been enough. But we do have the grant money!

#8-- If the Teen Department were able to network the Teen Directors and produce post-Bar/Bat Mitzvah Task Force recommendations, but they hadn’t landed a $150,000 Covenant GrantDayeinu, it would have been enough. But they did get a Covenant Grant! 

#9-- If CAJE had maintained our old website, but had not transitioned to a new website with Federation’s helpDayeinu, it would have been enough. But we transitioned to a new website!

#10-- If CAJE only continued to offer a Robotics competition for 3rd and 4thgraders, but Audrey Maman had not envisioned expanding to 5th and 6thgradeDayeinu, it would have been enough. But we are planning to expand to 5th and 6th grade (with continued Federation funding of course!)

#11-- If Shoshana Brownstein (former Diller coordinator) had only recruited a full cohort of Miami Diller teens, but Lindsay Spiegelman (present Diller coordinator) had not had a successful Jewish Community Mifgash with the Yerucham Diller teensDayeinu, it would have been enough. But the JCM with Yerucham went great!

#12-- If the Early Childhood Directors only had wonderful networking meetings and professional development opportunities, but CAJE hadn’t gotten funding from Federation for Jewish Resource Specialist grants for our Early Childhood Centers, Dayeinu, it would have been enough. But CAJE got the JRS grant and five schools signed up to participate! 

#13-- If Carly Orshan had only continued her leadership of the Teen Department, but had not gotten into the first cohort of the national GenNow FellowshipDayeinu, it would have been enough. But she was chosen to be part of the Fellowship!

#14-- If the Adult Learning Department under Rabbi Richman and Carla Spector had only maintained its numbers and added 2 new Foundations classes aimed at parents, but had not engaged in a search process for a new director, Dayeinu, it would have been enough. But we had a very thorough search process spearheaded by our past chair Ronni Litz Merkin and present chair Becky Herrup and CAJE has a new Director, Rabbi Laila Haas! 

#15-- If CAJE only had a few people who cared about it, but didn’t have the care and participation and support of our wonderful board members, Dayeinu, it would have been enough. But we do have a great board of directors and for that we are very grateful!


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