Skip to Main Content


  • 17 Oct 2023 by Lisa Samick

    I am not ok… and I know that you aren’t either.

    The events of the last week have been gut-wrenching, to say the least.

    I am not a historian nor a politician; there are other resources to help you better understand the issues, the complex history or what tomorrow may bring.  I don’t have any profound insight into where we go from here or how we heal.

    But I know that each and every one of us – whether we’re part of the Jewish community by religion or by choice – is broken and hurting.

    Amidst all this horror and chaos, Early Childhood Directors have been thrust into the role of therapist, risk management assessor, security expert and cheerleader – all while managing our own fears, anxieties, and devastation.  I wish I could give you comfort or reassurance.

    On several of our ECE-RJ calls this past week, several people talked about some version of “I prefer to deal with COVID”.  The pandemic was stressful and traumatic, but it was foreign and equally distributed.  This is terribly personal. The names and the faces are etched into my brain, and I somehow can’t get myself to turn off the news and step away from social media.

    All I can say is that I am with you. I urge you to please lean into this incredible community we’ve built, where together we will find comfort.

    Some of you know that I grew up in Young Judaea; and there is a song that we sang on Saturday nights that has been on repeat in my brain since I woke up on October 7th.  It’s painful, but somehow it gives me comfort and so I am sharing it here in case it helps you as well.


    Ain Li Eretz Acheret (I have no other country) by Ehud Manor


    Ain li eretz acheret,

    Gam im admati bo’erert

    Rak mila b’ivrit choderet

    El orkai, el nishamati

    Beguf ko’ev

    Belev ra’ev

    Kan hu beyti.


    Lo eshtok

    Ki artzi shinta et paneha,

    Lo avater la,

    Azkir la

    Ve’ashir kan be’ozneha.

    Ad shetifkach et eyneha.

    I have no other country,

    Even if my land is burning.

    Only a Hebrew word

    Reaches my veins and my soul.

    With an aching body,

    With a hungry heart,

    Here is my home.


    I will not be silent

    Should my country change its face.

    I will not give up,

    I will remind her and sing in her ear,

    Until she opens her eyes


    You can hear it here:  Ain Li Eretz Acheret

    I am thinking of all of you and I know that you join me in prayer for the return of the captive, the healing of the wounded and comfort to all who are in mourning.  

    Lisa Samick, President, ECE-RJ


    Resources and Donations for Israel



    Donate to the JNFA Campaign
    Jewish Federations are responding, working with our core partners to support victims of terror, help rebuild damaged infrastructure, and address the unprecedent levels of trauma caused by this horrific attack. 


    • Didi Kerler Thanks Lisa. If anyone has family or friends in Israel and you want to talk, to worry, to express anxiety, anger etc, please do contact me. My son is one of the 360,000 people deployed all over... see more Thanks Lisa. If anyone has family or friends in Israel and you want to talk, to worry, to express anxiety, anger etc, please do contact me. My son is one of the 360,000 people deployed all over Israel. My phone # is 812 345-4714. This is personal for all of us. If you are Israeli and need to speak Hebrew because sometimes that is the only language that works for you, it's okay. I can do that too. It has helped me so much to just talk with friends.
      5 months ago
    • Fern Katz Oh, Didi, my heart is with you.
      5 months ago
  • 19 Sep 2023 by Lisa Samick

    A wise friend, colleague and fellow board member once told me that the reason she took on a leadership position in BBYO was because someone reached out and asked her to fill a specific need. “I need you to bring the green Jello.” “It was specific, it was finite, and I understood the expectations,” she explained.

    So… here I am… asking you to bring the “green Jello.” Listed below are just a few of the ways you can get involved with the ECE-RJ. Each one is critical to the functioning of our organization. I am eager to speak with you, so let’s get this conversation started!

    Membership – Join our VP of Membership in working to ensure the best possible member experience for our ECE-RJ people. Be part of welcoming and onboarding new members, helping to engage potential members, or creating forums and opportunities for current members to network and connect.

    Learning – Join our VPs of Learning to craft and implement the professional development calendar for the year. Help brainstorm ideas, host meet ups, contact potential speakers… OR get involved in the conference planning!

    Finance – Join our VP of Finance in implementing our scholarship processes, fundraising and strategic planning.

    Marketing and Communications – Join our VP of Marketing and Communications to push out content on social media or help work on our amazing monthly newsletter, UNITE.

    Write an article!

    None of these requires more than a few hours/month and, of course, your enthusiasm, but makes a huge difference in our ongoing successes.

    Being President of ECE-RJ has been (so far – LOL) one of the most fulfilling and exciting experiences in my career and I am so grateful for the opportunity. But, when I think back to how I first got involved, I realize that I have received much more than I have given. Each committee and task force that I sat on, each board position that I have held, connected me to a network of incredible wisdom and support. I learned SO much about communication, advocacy and leadership and I am a better director today because of it.

    We will be following up with many of you to reach out and connect, but don’t wait for us! Feel free to reach out to me at or to our Executive Director, Tricia at

    • Sara Losch Great piece, Tricia. Once we get past the crying (us!) of the new year, I'll look at the volunteer opportunities. Thank you for doing all you do. G'mar chatimah tovah.
      6 months ago
  • 28 Mar 2023 by Lisa Samick

    I want to write something profound... something comforting... something that could bring any sense to the horrific tragedy today in Nashville, but I have no words....

    Our hearts are broken for the children, the teachers and the families of Covenant School in Nashville, TN. Their lives were cut too short, their innocence shattered, and we, as a country, once again stagger under the weight of another senseless school shooting.

    May their memories forever be a blessing and may we all find the strength to honor Evelyn Dieckhuas, Hallie Scruggs, William Kinney, Cynthia Peak, Katherine Koonce and Mike Hill and hold up their loved ones in our hearts.