Rabbi Kravitz offers wisdom, advice for today’s youth

Rabbi Robert L. Kravitz (submitted photo)

Name: Rabbi Robert L. Kravitz, D.D.

Where I live: Mid-Scottsdale

When & why I moved here: 2000, because my son needed to be closer to his high school of choice, Horizon, and we were looking for a new ambiance; hopefully our final move.

What I like most about living here: The feeling of a neighborhood with (mostly) caring neighbors

Activities I enjoy: Volunteering for two police departments, having earned the Master Chaplain credential from the International Conference of Police Chaplains (ICPC); reading contemporary counter-terrorism novels; watching sports.

Clubs/organizations I’m involved in: I recently was elected president of the Board of Rabbis of Greater Phoenix; Jewish Community Relations Council (founding Board member); Phoenix Sister Cities (co-founder, Ramat Gan, Israel Committee); ONECommunity – supporting GLBTQ issues; AZ DPS- chaplain; City of Scottsdale Police- senior chaplain; columnist for City Sun Times.

My favorite charity or volunteer activity and why it deserves support from others?: ADL – the Anti-Defamation League for more than 100-years has driven efforts to stop the defamation of the Jewish people, and to secure justice and fair treatment for all.

In schools, ADL teaches respect for everyone and an end to bullying. In the business world ADL works with international corporations to put a stop to bigotry and prejudice, in person and online. With a millennium of demonstrated successes, the ADL and its mission to promote respect and good community inter-relations for all is worthy of individual, foundation and corporate support.

My No. 1 suggestion to new residents looking for ways to get involved in their community: To our new-comers into Scottsdale, find something you like to do, or identify something totally new to try. Read our local newspapers and magazines; check out the senior center message boards; go online to the Scottsdale website; ask a neighbor, or befriend one of our police officers. Then find the location in Scottsdale, and jump on board!

What one thing would you like to see changed in Scottsdale?: Would like to see improved public transportation, especially N/S.

My family: My Wife of 40+years; 2 adult children- our son-in-law and daughter and granddaughter live in Scottsdale; our son and his wife live/work in Boston.

What I do: I work part-time for Jewish Family & Children’s Service as its hospital chaplaincy coordinator, in 22 Valley hospitals

People who are an inspiration to me: My inspiration is the first century rabbi Hillel, whose words are even more resonant today than when they were originally spoken. He said:

If I am not for myself, who will be;

But if I am only for myself, what good am I;

And if not now, when?

My advice to today’s youth: Find something you can be excited about – band, choir, painting, writing, acting, mathematics, coding, real estate, etc. – and find friends who are similarly enthusiastic. Learn as much as you can about the subject and pursue it with vigor.

Get some exercise daily; read several newsfeeds; and stay away from foods that add pounds, but not good health. Never smoke, anything- lungs/hearts are too easily damaged.

Stay busy with friends and activities that stretch your mind. Do something good for someone else, without the expectation of being repaid. Be a kid, and don’t try to grow up too fast. Childhood is the time to dream, and sometimes to do nothing -except watch the clouds.

To volunteer in the city of Scottsdale, visit www.ScottsdaleAZ.gov/volunteer.

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