Happy Holidays from ACCSS!

Brothers and sisters,

On behalf of the ACCSS board, I’d like to take this opportunity to wish you and your loved ones a very happy and blessed holiday.

We are currently in the midst of celebrating Chanukah - the Festival of Lights. I’d like to share with you a profound and timely message from my teacher and mentor, the Lubavitcher Rebbe:
“Light, brightness, radiance, are metaphors we use when we wish to speak about hope, wisdom, or goodness. The candle flame, the ray of light, the glowing coal — these are the images in which we recognize our yearning for a better world, for a wiser, more virtuous, more G-dly self.

We are encouraged by the fact that a luminous body like the sun, can have such a profound effect on entities and beings millions of miles away, enriching them with light, warmth, energy and life. We are encouraged by the fact that a tiny flame can banish a roomful of darkness. If so, all is not lost. If our own souls are "candles of G-d", then little me is not so little after all. All we need to do is be what we truly are, to act out our innate goodness, and the darkness will melt away.

Once a year, we celebrate this truth. For eight days and nights, we celebrate the power of light: in ascending number — one little flame on the first evening, two flames on the second, three on the third — we kindle the Chanukah menorah, recalling that miraculous victory, 22 centuries ago, of quality over quantity, spirit over materialism, right over might. And pray for the day when such victories are no longer "miracles", but the way things are in G-d's world.”

It has been one year since I was elected President of ACCSS. From the moment I took over the leadership role, ACCSS has continued to work extremely hard in continuing and furthering our mission. Overall, we had a very successful year in partnership with various stakeholders, culminating
with the recently completed Chaplain regional trainings, held throughout the state.

Considerable time, effort, and cost was invested in these trainings, and I am thankful and grateful to the ACCSS board, who worked vigorously behind the scenes, as well as the various departments in
the state, and all the numerous other individuals who graciously assisted and hosted us.

On a personal level, it was a true honor and privilege to have had the opportunity to attend all the three trainings and be able to meet and interact with all of you face-to-face.

While the trainings were an overall success, there are specific areas in which we could have done even better. We created a survey to help us gather your feedback which will ensure that upcoming trainings
will be even more useful. Thank you to all those who have already responded to the survey. Your opinion matters. If you have not yet responded, please take a few moments to do so here. We are listening, and we value any and all feedback you may have.

The accss.org website transformation is nearing completion. We hope to have a more user friendly, intuitive, and useful website. We will continue to add content helpful to all of us. Please don’t hesitate to share content for possible inclusion. Your input and feedback would also be most appreciated.

We are also updating our logo. The current logo is outdated and does not reflect our mission or the departments we serve. We are hoping to have a more modern and inclusive logo in the very near future.

ACCSS is looking to apply the momentum of the recent successes to the year ahead. We will not be resting on our laurels. We will be working hard to continue, and increase, our influence in helping the Chaplaincy in any capacity we are able to.

May you have a joyous and meaningful holiday filled with light, warmth, and hope. May you all be blessed with an abundance of good in all areas of your life - materially, spiritually, and mentally.

Thank you for your support and friendship.

Benzion Lew