Jan 21, 2020

Night of Inspiration Lights Up Full Diversity of Jewish South Palm Beach County

650 Hear Renowned International Jewish Educator and Momentum Trip Leader Adrienne Gold Davis Present “We Are All the Chosen One: What it Means to be a Light Unto the Nations” as Federation’s Center for Jewish Education Celebrates Five Years

Amid a light show, powerful videos, live music and standing ovations, the Night of Inspiration on January 13 fulfilled its promise of a transformative evening. Of all ages and spanning South Palm Beach County’s diverse Jewish community, 650 people packed the Olympic Heights Performing Arts Center in West Boca to hear renowned international Jewish educator and Momentum trip leader, Adrienne Davis Gold, present “We Are All the Chosen One: What it Means to be a Light Unto the Nations.” They also celebrated the fifth anniversary of the Deborah & Larry D. Silver Center for Jewish Engagement (CJE), a division of the Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County that presented the program.

From the outset, the speakers and videos stressed the remarkable Jewish unity of this community and the critical importance of increasing it further in this time of rising anti-Semitism. 
“We must not be just a light unto the nations, but a community of blinding light,” said Rabbi Josh Broide, CJE Director who emceed the evening. “We’ve accomplished so much by bringing our synagogues, schools and agencies together, and we’re so excited for what will come next. We have incredible things planned to engage even more of the 135,000 members of our Jewish community in Jewish life in ways that are meaningful to each of them.”

“Our community is so special, we were recognized for it internationally, becoming the first and only community in the world to receive the prestigious Jerusalem Unity Prize,” Marla Weiss Egers, Federation Executive Vice President, told the crowd. “The efforts that led to this were driven by none other than our own Rabbi Broide and our Center for Jewish Engagement. Because we find ourselves at a difficult time in the world today, we need become even stronger and more united. Fortunately, our federation is prepared to respond to the current challenge.”
“The hatred, bigotry and murder we have seen in daily attacks have shocked and outraged us,” added Matthew C. Levin, Federation President & CEO. “We must treat this plague as Public Enemy #1 with a national movement. These are the moments that Federation is built for, and security for our Jewish community is a top priority. ”
Now an acclaimed international Jewish educator informing and inspiring people from across the Jewish spectrum, Adrienne Davis Gold was first a Canadian television personality for almost two decades. She is a cherished Israel Trip Leader for Momentum. Formerly Jewish Women’s Renaissance Project (JWRP), Momentum is dedicated to helping participants engage more with Jewish life - as it is meaningful to them. Amid their diversity, they connect to Jewish values, engage with Israel and our global Jewish family, take action, and foster unity without uniformity. 

More than 17,000 women and 1,200 men – including hundreds from the Boca-Delray area and more from other southeast Florida communities - have taken the transformative Momentum journey. 
“You’ve created a Jewish community where we all want to be,” lauded Davis Gold in her opening. “I’m blown away by your unity without uniformity.” 
From the Torah and Talmud to wide-ranging allegories, she brought home the importance of Jewish unity and the responsibility of each Jew to work on themselves to shine their light as bright as possible.
“When you are a Jew your family is the entire Jewish people. Focus on what unites us not divides us,” she said. “However you live your Judaism, each of us is unique, with our own role to play for our people to be a light unto the nations. In these times we need to be brighter than ever.”
The Helen & Irving Spatz Family Foundation was the generous sponsor of the 2020 Night of Inspiration.
Learn more about getting involved in the Jewish community from Rabbi Josh Broide, Director of the Center for Jewish Engagement, at joshb@bocafed.org or 561-852-3173.