By Michelle Cohen
Moving to a new place and finding connections with the local Jewish community can be very difficult to do. Even in the Lehigh Valley, smaller than many metropolitan areas, there are 11 synagogues, a variety of charitable agencies and a great number of programs. Every other year, the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley publishes a magazine guiding people of every age and life stage through our vibrant Jewish community.
This year’s issue of Shalom Lehigh Valley is on its way to homes across the Valley, as well as synagogues, realtors, shops and community organizations. Thanks to a partnership with ArtsQuest and Christmas City Printing, many non-Jews in the Lehigh Valley will learn about the lively Jewish community. Although some articles focus on newcomers, there is always something new for members of our community to discover even if you have lived here for many years.
A project two years in the making, this edition of Shalom Lehigh Valley features a theme of Jews and the arts, including profiles of local Jewish artists, a walkthrough of the art gallery at the Jewish Community Center and information about creative programs like the Jewish Film Festival. Fun facts about Judaism and the Jewish community are sprinkled through the pages to provide an entertaining reading experience.
Even if you think you know what you need to know about the Lehigh Valley Jewish community, consider perusing the pages about community involvement, profiles of local volunteers and participants in community programs and much more. Find new friends and new ways to connect in colorful pages filled with photos from across the Valley. Check the helpful timeline in the center of the magazine for key ways to get involved at every age from babies to older adults, and everything in between. Shalom Lehigh Valley also serves as a resource for candle lighting times for the next two years and is home to a directory of synagogues and agencies describing each organization in their own words.
As editor of Shalom Lehigh Valley, I am very excited to present you with this portrait of our community, and I invite feedback as you encounter our community from a new lens.