A Pledge from the Heart

A Yom Kippur 5776 Message from the Co-Presidents

Shana Tova! It was heartwarming and profoundly inspiring for all of us to be celebrating the first high holy days together as a united Jewish community.

During the high holy days, we embarked on a period of reflection and assessment, punctuated by new resolve and commitments. These days were in some fundamental way about change; about changing the way we think and act; about aspiring to do better; about taking a different, perhaps higher path.

This year has also about another extraordinary change: about bringing our area’s Jewish community together in order to build a more vibrant and more stable foundation for our future.
Looking back over the year that has just ended, it’s almost incredible how much change we’ve experienced as a community. But as Jews, we truly are one big family bound together by history, culture, belief, and tradition. Here, together, as one community, we can continue to observe our traditions, any of which have been handed down from generation to generation for over 5,000 years.

We noted from the very beginning that in building a new synagogue, there would be things we wouldn’t want to, we couldn’t change. Those were the things that define our essence; our uniqueness. We may all have different ways of expressing these attributes, but for us, the unique qualities of our legacy synagogues are our sense of family; our connectedness; our commitment to children’s education; our affection and respect for our clergy; our emphasis on music and song in our worship.
One of the values that resonated so powerfully throughout the early discussions and continues to echo so powerfully today is the commitment both legacy synagogues historically have made to extending membership to all who wish to join irrespective of financial ability. Opening the doors of our synagogue to all who seek to enter is one of those attributes that defines our essence; that is truly at the core of who we are. It is rooted in our sense of family and our sense of connectedness. It is something that cannot change.

Community and connectedness means that we need YOU, each and every one of you! We ALL have something special to offer! We need your talents, your imagination, your time and, your financial support! We need YOU to be truly engaged; to understand that without the commitment of your heart and your dollars, we each put at risk the very presence of a Jewish community! WE NEED TO LIVE OUR VALUES! The leadership of our legacy synagogues, including our rabbis and cantor, has demonstrated this commitment, and we are asking that every one of us do the same.

You may not be aware of the fact that our collective dues, tuition and fees only cover approximately 70% of our expenses; so, we must rely on your contributions at this time each year.
We’re counting on you to demonstrate your generous support as you have in years past. Whatever your circumstances, any amount and EVERY donation is greatly appreciated and needed!

On behalf of the entire board, Rabbi Burstein, Rabbi Reiner, and Cantor Katchko-Gray, may 5776 truly be a happy, healthy, peaceful, and prosperous year for each of you and your loved ones! G’mar chatimah tovah…a good final sealing!

Your co-presidents,
Gale Berman
Glenn Kurlander
Steve Landzberg
Hal Wolkin