President Bruce Ives' March 2018 Column: March Madness
The NCAA Basketball Tournament, fondly known as March Madness, is my favorite sporting event of the year. For three exciting weeks, 68 teams from colleges large and small battle through an elimination bracket to determine a national champion. Every year there are shocking upsets and thrilling finishes, and always some very compelling stories of young athletes on their own personal journeys. You also get to see some great coaches who always seem to be near the top, year after year, with a rotating roster of players. They guide, encourage, admonish and cheer their young charges through victory and defeat, for every team, except one, will end their season with a loss.
March brings a little madness to the Jewish calendar this year as well, with our maddest of all holidays, Purim, kicking off the month and Passover beginning at the end. We’ll mix silliness and spirituality as we continue to derive joy and meaning from our ritual celebrations. We, too, are fortunate to have some amazing coaches to guide us through these busy days and to help us keep our focus on the message behind the ritual. Our all-star clergy and program team endure their own version of March Madness leading us through this busy season, always with humor and patience; they never let us see them sweat. No banners hang from the rafters of the Social Hall to celebrate their accomplishments, yet we witness their victories every day in the strength and spirit of the congregation they lead.