I've been traveling a little the last couple of weeks, first attending a rabbinic conference and then going to Los Angeles to present an award. There is nothing better than the sense of true community that exists for me at the ONEG rabbinic conference, where the rabbis are bright, accomplished, talented, inspirational, interesting and above all incredibly mutually supportive. It's a great group, and always refreshing to spend time sharing learning and collegiality.
On a personal note, I had the privilege last week of presenting the Cohon Memorial Foundation Award to two outstanding individuals who work to make a difference in the Jewish world. They were the 2013 winners of the annual award given by my family's foundation in memory of my grandfather, Rabbi Samuel S. Cohon and my grandmother, A. Irma Cohon, to those who make a major contribution for Jewish unity, education, arts and culture, or rescue. The two winners were Harriet Rossetto, who started a great program called Beit Teshuvah in Los Angeles which rescues Jewish addicts and newly released prisoners, and Rabbi Kinneret Shiryon, the founding rabbi of the Reform congregation in Modi'in, Israel that does wonderful work with developmentally challenged children in Ramle, Israel. Both very deserving, and wonderful people as well.
There is really nothing more energizing than feeling as though you are helping those who are doing God's best work in the world. May they continue to go from strength to strength.