Dear clients and friends:

I hope this letter finds you and all your loved ones in perfect health, and ready to celebrate America’s Independence Day! I hope that on this day, you take some time to enjoy the company of family and friends in a traditional outdoors picnic, which (let’s face it) will not be complete without hotdogs! In fact, we eat a whopping 150 million of them on this day alone, enough to stretch from Los Angeles to Washington, DC five time!

This year is, of course, a presidential election year, and soon (if not already) our news will be dominated by talk of politics. While the next few months may be a bit tough on us all, I really hope we pull together as a nation to honor the unforgettable promise of our Declaration of Independence, which established our nation on July 4, 1776. That
document proclaimed that we are all created equal, and that we have a civic duty to defend the rights granted to us: the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness!

There has also been a lot of talk about flying flags this year, and that made me want to look up our current flag design – where did it come from? Well, although our nation is 248 years old this year, our flag design is much younger! In 1958, Bob Heft, a high school student, created our 50-star flag as a history class project. Funny enough, Bob’s teacher was unimpressed and gave him a grade of B-minus on the assignment. She also told Bob she would consider changing the grade if Congress accepted his flag design!

Bob accepted the challenge, working hard to lobby Congress and the White House to get his flag approved. Incredibly, just two years later, Bob got a personal phone call from President Dwight Eisenhower, inviting Bob to come to the White House to watch his 50-star flag design be raised as the new official flag on July 4, 1960! How neat is that!

There is wisdom in Bob’s story that we can learn from. It’s about being undeterred in the face of adversity and continuing to do the “Avodah” (Hebrew for “work”). It is through Avodah that we contribute to “Tikkun Olam” (Hebrew for “Repairing the World”). My friends, while our nation and our world may be innately good, G-d purposefully left room for us to continue improving our circumstances, and in the words of the Constitution of
the United States, “to form a more perfect Union”! Let’s continue doing the Avodah!

Thank you so much for your friendship and fellowship!