L’shana tova – may we all have a happy and sweet New Year! As you know, the top story of the past week was the Fourmile Canyon Fire in the foothills of Boulder. With nearly 200 homes destroyed and thousands of acres burned, the fire consumed not only physical property, but our hearts and minds as well this week. Marking the Jewish New Year during this already-emotional week was an extraordinary experience for many of us.
As of Saturday evening, the fire appears to be about 75% contained. You may have already read about Steve Schein, owner of Half Fast Subs on the Hill. Steve is a regular vendor at the Boulder Jewish Festival – with his Festival-special corned beef sandwich. His home was destroyed in the fire, but in a remarkable show of spirit, he has offered free dinners to other displaced families and first responders, and sponsored the printing of “Thank You Firefighters” posters placed around town over the weekend. If you have a chance to stop by for a sandwich – and want to meet a mensch – we hope you will show your support.
Many organizations throughout town have launched efforts to support those affected by the fire, and the Boulder Jewish Community Foundation was one of the first to launch a Fire Relief Fund. The Boulder JCC is also organizing collections of donated gift cards and other items. Look for more news about both in the coming days. This page, from the Boulder Office of Emergency Management, has the latest information about evacuees, burn areas, donations to the central collection center and more.
It is said that the “book of life” is written in at Rosh HaShanah, but not sealed until Yom Kippur, and during this time, tshuvah (repentance), tefila (prayer) and tzedakah (acts of justice/charity) can alter what is written. Yom Kippur begins at sundown on Friday, September 17. Let this be a week of healing and sharing in our community.