While Labor Day has come to mark the unofficial end of summer, it was enacted as a federal holiday in the 1890s to celebrate the contributions of the organized labor movement to American society.
While I would guess that few Kehilat Shalom members are currently members of unions, if we look at our family history I suspect a lot of us would find some union members and activists. My late mom was a member of the New Jersey Education Association and her father was a member of the “Big Six” Typographer’s Union in New York City. One of my great uncles was a leader of the taxi drivers’ union in New York and my uncle was for some time the president of the livery drivers’ union in the city. Early in his career my late father moonlighted as a union taxi driver on weekends while moving up the corporate ladder in the company where he worked. Those of us who have a higher education and white collar careers often enjoy the advantages we do because of those who came before us and were active in the labor movement.
I want to once again note that I have switched my weekly day off to Monday instead of Tuesday. As we start to do more programs with other shuls, and as more and more professional seminars and webinars take place, I have found that the vast majority of rabbis take Monday off and scheduling meetings with other rabbis has become complicated. The one exception is that on Mondays when we have a synagogue board meeting, I will work on Monday and take Tuesday instead.
I am having drop-in hours on Thursday afternoon from 2 to 4 at the shul. You do not need to make an appointment -- that would negate the whole point of drop-in hours -- but I’d urge you to check and make sure I am there regardless as sometimes there are unavoidable pastoral or other emergencies which might take me away from the building.
As always, if I can do anything for you or you need to talk, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 301-977-0768 rather than through the synagogue office. I am happy to meet you at the synagogue by appointment. I have been spending more time in the synagogue recently but if you want to speak with me it’s best to make an appointment rather than assuming I will be there when you stop by.
Rabbi Charles L. Arian