On Monday June 20, 2016, 7:30 PM at the Bernard Horwich JCC, 3003 W Touhy Ave, the Jewish Community Council of West Rogers Park will hold its annual meeting, at which time we will take stock of our progress over the last year and focus on our agenda for 2016/17. Your attendance and input will help to shape our priorities and just as important, will provide us with the crucial communal participation that will allow us to achieve our goals.
In many ways JCCWRP and other organizations like it are at the cutting edge of community building in Chicago. With the city and the state mired in political gridlock and financial chaos, it is more important than ever that we step forward to help to shape the destiny of our neighborhood, and in so doing, contribute to the future well-being of the city which for many of us has shaped our lives. Your involvement will enable us to extend our impact. Now more than ever, our community and our city needs us to step up to the plate.
In the Friday, May 20, 2016 New York Times, David Brooks wrote about, “The Fragmented Society.” http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/20/opinion/the-fragmented-society.html?_In his column he refers to a recent book by Yuval Levin entitled, “The Fractured Republic.” During this time of the election cycle it is easy to grasp the things that divide us. How much more important to focus on the things that can bring us together. I was particularly struck by the following two sentences in the article, because they capture the essence of our mission. “A society of empowered local neighborhood organizations is a learning society. Experiments happen and information about how to solve problems flows from the bottom up.”
We live in a city and a state where top down has always been the rule. When that works, it has been the way things got done. But at this moment our city and our elected officials need all of the help that they can get if anything is to be achieved. At this time in the history of Chicago we can make a big difference in what the future will look like.
On day one we formulated the following mission: “JCCWRP is an organization of neighborhood residents and Jewish community leaders who care deeply about the past, the present, and the future of West Rogers Park. We aim to promote and encourage commercial, cultural and residential development designed to sustain a thriving community for generations to come.” On day one those were just words on a website. Today they are a guiding principle which has led to some meaningful accomplishments. Hopefully in the year ahead we can add additional achievements that can further secure the future of WRP.
I look forward to seeing you on June 20!