Why Do I Waste My Time on Community?

Why do I waste time on my community? Hold on, don’t get mad. Just read.


I am blessed with the most amazing family here in Campbell, just the four of us; my husband, our two daughters and myself. Oh, and don’t forget the cat we brought with us from Israel 11 years ago when my husband, my fiancé back then, got admitted to Stanford University and our new addition to our family, the cutest puppy ever, Milky. We are also blessed with an amazing family in Israel. We only meet them once a year in the summer, making sure our time together every summer compensates for all the months we spend apart. There is no doubt here, I love my family.

I am grateful for my work, especially these days when COVID-19 impacts our life and the entire world, I don’t take it for granted. I work a full-time job for an amazing company, as part of the corporate marketing team. My job is hectic and very demanding most of the time, but still – there is no doubt here, I love my job.

Earlier this year I was offered a new role within the Board of Directors of the new merged organization – JSV – Jewish Silicon Valley, a merger of the Addison-Penzak Jewish Community Center and the Jewish Federation of Silicon Valley – the Chair of the Programs Cabinet. Initially I wasn’t even sure what it means. I’m familiar with most of the programs and I’m already addicted to most of them, but I’m from Israel and in Hebrew a chair means just a chair you sit on. I’m just kidding. Please ignore my humor and continue to read.

I asked for some time to think about this appointment, although already knew I’d say yes. I wanted to make sure I understand the commitment, the responsibilities that come with this new role and that I can serve my community well. I replied with a big YES and I was so excited. A few weeks later, the pandemic got me overwhelmed, with all of us in a single house jumping from one Zoom meeting to another, not remembering what the word ‘social’ means anymore. Suddenly I’m a wife, a mom, an employee, a teacher for two kids learning from home and a volunteer. Too much, right? Why do I waste time on my community?

I knew I needed to meet the committee members. Well… we can’t really meet in person now, so I decided to virtually meet every committee separately; I met the entire committee together, the Chair of the committee or the committee staff. I wanted to learn more about all the programs JSV offers to our community. But more than anything, I needed their passion and drive to reenergize me. I know it sounds weird and maybe even weak; I should be strengthening them and not the other way around. Thinking back, it’s very simple, this is the power of community.

Very quickly I learned how different and unique each committee is, how each one of them found their own way of reaching out to their community once COVID-19 hit. I was amazed to see the endless motivation, love, energy and creativity they bring to work every day, even if they can’t actually leave their home every morning to go to their office. I ended every call with them with tears of excitement, energy, inspiration and awe in my eyes. Every meeting made me stronger.

There is no doubt here, I love my community. In so many ways and different levels this community is my family here in the Bay Area for a while now and I would do anything for my family. I look forward to this meaningful journey together and I’ll do everything I can to empower each one of our committees and together, empower our entire community.

I would love to hear from each one of you. Yes, you. I want to learn more about the community you dream about. I want to hear how we can empower you and support our community. We are stronger together and we can turn these dreams into our reality.


Michal Shoham