The man who inspired Father’s Day was a single dad and a Civil War vet….
The National Holiday exists because of a woman.
William Jackson Smart was a twice-married, twice – widowed, Civil War veteran and father of 14 children, one of who dedicated her life to the creation of Father’s Day in honor of her devoted and selfless dad. William daughter, Sonora Smart Dodd was attending one of the first Mother’s Day services in 1909 at her church in Washington, where she decided if mothers deserve a day of honor why not fathers?
In 1910, Sonora brought a petition before the Spokane Ministerial Alliance to recognize the courage and devotion of all fathers on June 5th, her dad’s birthday. The local clergy liked the idea but couldn’t pull something together so quickly, so they settled on June 19th, the third Sunday in June. On the first Father’s Day in 1910, church sermons across Spokane were dedicated to dear old dad, red and white roses were passed out to honor the living and the deceased fathers. The Mayor and Governor issued proclamations and Sonora found her calling. She would spend much of the next 60 years pushing for the recognition of Fathers as a national holiday.
The first Father’s Day celebration in Spokane might have remained local tradition if not for the perseverance of Sonora Smart Dodd. Following the 1910 Father’s Day observance, William Jennings Bryan a famous politician of the time, sent Sonora a congratulatory letter, which sparked a rush of national media attention on Sonora and Spokane.
Sonora won the support of her congressman, who began to lobby for the creation of the national holiday. In 1916 President Woodrow Wilson celebrated Father’s Day in Spokane during a visit to Washington. Much more than a Father’s Day booster, Sonora Smart Dodd was an accomplished artist, poet, children book author, funeral home director and founding member of just about every civic organization in Spokane. But she never let go of her determination to give fathers like hers the recognition they deserve. William Jackson Smart died in 1919.
It wasn’t until 1972, six years before Sonora death at the age of 96yrs, that President Richard Nixon finally signed a Congressional resolution declaring the third Sunday in June to be Father’s Day. Her dad no doubt would have been proud. And on behalf of all the FATHERS past, present and future we thank Sonora Smart Dodd.
We watched the events from Washington DC in the last 24 hours with dismay but also steely resolve to pursue peace and justice as our sacred tradition demands. What we witnessed is unparalleled since the Civil War. The violent crowd, storming into the U.S. Capital and attacking the two Houses of Congress. This is an outrage. The Mishnah teaches us that we must always pray for the government. It is imperative that the Jewish community, stand together as one. We must not allow political division to undermine the unity of our community
May God restore peace to our nation, and may God bless America.
Prayer for our Country
Our God and God of our ancestors, we invoke your blessing upon our country, and upon the leaders of our nation, and of our communities. Inspire all who lead and serve to conduct their affairs faithfully and with devotion to justice. May peace and security, happiness and prosperity, right and freedom abide among us. Unite the inhabitants of our country, of all backgrounds and creeds, to banish hatred and bigotry, to safeguard our noblest ideals, and to preserve the institution which nurture liberty. May this land under Your Providence be an influence for good throughout the world, helping to unite all peoples in peace and freedom, and bringing closer to fulfillment the vision of Your prophets; “Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.” “For the work of the righteousness shall be peace, and the effect of righteousness calm and confidence forever.” AMEN
“Those who slander us shall
Have no hope, and all their
evil ways be gone (lost)
We are looking forward to many more wonderful years here at Temple Beth Shmuel- Cuban Hebrew Congregation. Contrary to what you have heard as awful continuing gossip we will ALWAYS be Temple Beth Shmuel – Cuban Hebrew Congregation of Miami Inc. You have heard we would close many years ago but we remain functioning and we will continue to keep our doors OPEN to the community. I thank you for your support and look forward to 2021, in which we will share and participate in many cultural, educational and social events in our beautiful sanctuary and newly renovated starlight Olemberg Ballroom.
Stay safe, distance and always wear your mask.
Becky Kobrowski, President and the WL Board
Now is the time to find the spiritual connection inside, not inside a physical structure, but inside ourselves. The community will connect with the help of technology. But we must also find the way to create our own spiritual connection. Perhaps we can make the environment in our personal home help ignite the spirit. For some candles, artwork and religious symbols could help decorate the environment, and feel like a personal sanctuary. For some it might be the presence of family or friends in the same room, or even over a computer screen. Many will want to take a quiet time before or after the recorded services, contemplating the previous year and the next year, meditating on the hopes, dreams, expectations and potential surprises the world offers. We take time to remember the blessings and the challenges, while trying to feel blessed by both especially this year. We are truly challenged to make our home our sanctuary. Let us see Hashem before our eyes, in our home and in our hearts. Starting from such holy hearts, holy homes and holy minds, together we will make it a very sweet New Year.
Cuban Hebrew Congregation of Miami, Inc.
Cuban Hebrew Congregation of Miami, Inc. 1700 Michigan Avenue Miami Beach, FL 33139 US
Copyright © 2021 Cuban Hebrew Congregation of Miami, Inc. - All Rights Reserved.