By Debbie Leon, Director, Family Engagement

The number seven holds particular significance in Jewish tradition. It is associated with wholeness and completion. Shabbat, our day of rest, is the 7th day of the week. Each Shabbat, 7 people (individually or in groups) are called to participate in the Torah reading (these are called aliyot). There are 7 weeks in the counting of the Omer –the period of time from Pesah to Shavuot. In the book of Leviticus, we are commanded to let the land rest every 7th year (this is known as shmita). When a close relative dies, we sit Shiva for 7 days. The Menorah that stood in the Temple in Jerusalem had 7 branches. At a Jewish wedding, 7 blessings (know as Sheva Brahot) are recited. These are just seven of the many dozens of examples I could offer.

This week, our One Book, One Jewish Community (OBOJC) program will celebrate its seventh anniversary when we join together as a community to mark the official beginning of the 2013-2014 (5774) book year. Our OBOJC partnering synagogues and organizations represent all seven neighborhoods of Philadelphia: Bucks, Montgomery, BuxMont, Chester, Delaware, Philadelphia and Lower Merion.

Here are seven reasons why you should participate in this year’s OBOJC Author Event and Book Signing (this Sunday, January 26th, 3:30pm at Congregation Adath Jeshurun):

  1. When you participate in a community conversation, you help build and strengthen community.
  2. You will be in the company of hundreds of men and women from all around greater Philadelphia who share your passion for reading and discussion.
  3. You will learn something or be exposed to an idea or perspective that you may not have considered.
  4. You will have the opportunity to personally thank an amazing group of volunteers who breathed life into this year’s OBOJC program.
  5. You may meet someone new or run into an old friend.
  6. You can participate in a Q & A with our author, Michael Lavigne, and have your copy of this year’s featured selection, The Wanting, autographed (we’ll be selling books, but you are welcome to bring your own).
  7. Last, but not least, we would love to see you.

 Join the conversation: What are you most looking forward to in this year’s OBOJC author event?