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From The President/CEO's Desk

My Cup Overflows: Reflections of Gratitude and Community After One Year as CEO of JCC Greater Boston

Lily Rabinoff-Goldman sitting in front of her desk.

Dear Friends, 

After dinner this past Saturday evening, my husband, Hillel, pulled out a song book so that we could remind our kids about the end-of-Shabbat songs they would encounter at camp in the coming week. Many years ago, before our children were born, though we are remarkably poor musicians, Hillel and I often finished Shabbat meals with the songs we loved from camp, but our kids are… antsy at the dinner table, and we never sit for long enough to sing anymore. That was true last week as well. Eli and Addie stayed in the dining room for long enough for Hillel to tell them about Shabbat singing, at which point they cleared their plates and left the room. He and I, however, did a little singing, which included the beautiful, keening melody to Psalm 23, which is traditionally sung to close out Shabbat. Though famously, that psalm includes the line, “though I walk through a valley of deepest darkness, I fear no harm, for You are with me,” that’s not my favorite part. Instead, what I love best is the following verse, which describes an abundant table set in contrast to a world of difficulty and ends with one of my favorite images: “my cup overflows.”  

Today marks the end of my first full-year cycle as CEO at JCC Greater Boston, and simply put, my cup overflows. I am filled with gratitude for the opportunity to lead this organization that means so much to all of us. I don’t mean to overstate the analogy, but when the psalmist writes that he “[lies] down in green pastures,” is “[led] to water in places of repose,” and is filled with a sense of renewal and purposeful direction, it resonates. It probably goes without saying that taking on this job, following in the footsteps of the amazing Mark Sokoll, and trying to wrap my arms around everything that the JCC does has been challenging! There’s so much to learn and so much good work to be done! Even so, the experience of being here this year has been one of renewal, purpose, and joy.  

Part of the reason the psalmist is able to articulate this message of gratitude and faith is because of his steadfast belief that he does not walk through the world alone. I know full well that the reason my cup overflows at the JCC is because I, too, am not alone. Our JCC staff is incomparable. This team is just the best crew of “do-ers” I’ve ever met, and their commitment to our work and our mission inspires me every day. Our Board, led by Mara Riemer Goldstein, who is my partner, collaborator, and friend, is dedicated, smart, ambitious, and fun to be around. The families we serve, the members we see every day, every single one of you who is part of our family, make this work worthwhile. The power and support of an entire community that wants to be part of something larger than itself is an amazing thing, and one that gives me great faith and strength for the work ahead. 

In the coming year, in addition to running the programs that touch the lives of thousands of people in our beautiful, multi-generational Jewish community, the JCC will design a strategic plan, celebrate our 40th anniversary, and break ground on a crucial renovation to our Leventhal-Sidman Center lobby and security infrastructure. I know that not every day or every year will be green pastures, but I do know that everything we accomplish we are able to do because we do it together. Thank you for being a part of this experience – my cup overflows. 

Shabbat shalom, 


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