As Rabbi Micha and Mrs. Rivky Greenland approached the dais at the Midwest NCSY Scholarship Dinner this past week, at which they were presented with the Guests of Honor Award, it was nearly impossible to miss the large shield baring the NCSY at 60 symbol. Rabbi Greenland, the International Director of NCSY, is a home grown product of NCSY: his journey evolved from Junior NCSY to National Board, to Advisor, to Regional Director and finally recently promoted to International Director of NCSY. Rabbi Greenland has spent half of NCSY's 60 years as a member, and yes, he met his bride there too. Though, the Greenlands are an excellent choice as honorees and the acceptance of the award allowed Midwest to have its most successful dinner in its history, there was also another story that was unfolding at this evening.
Multiple times throughout the night people mentioned that this was the 60th anniversary of NCSY, a major milestone that will be recognized in many ways in the coming year including but not limited to regionally held alumni events. Also acknowledged multiple times throughout the evening was the presence of Rabbi and Mrs. Pinchus Stolper, the founding director and the icon of NCSY. I found it overwhelming to see this moment in time. Less than two months into the milestone year of NCSY the new leader was being recognized for his thirty years of service to Midwest NCSY in the presence of the man which every banquet award honor was inspired by.
I visited with Rabbi Stolper at his home the next morning and I asked him what was running through his mind as the event unfolded. This giant of a man reflected for a moment and said, "a man plants seeds and hopes to enjoy a tree. I looked out last night and saw a forest."
May we all reflect on our life work and see a forest!