Page 5 - 2020 High Holiday Shofar
P. 5

Jonathan Gelchinsky


        It’s  hard  to  believe  that  it  has  been half  a  year
        since  we  gathered  together  in  person  at  our
        synagogue. Since March, all prayer, celebration,

        mourning,  and  learning  has  taken  place  from
        home  or  in  small  groups.  While  we  may  join
        together through our screens, we remain distant,          Meanwhile, our building is undergoing a much-
        and  that  loss  of  connection  and  community  is       needed rehabilitation. The courtyard project is

        palpable.                                                 nearing completion, and is going to impress all
                                                                  who step foot through the new space. And, using
        The pandemic still ravages our country, and our           funds from the sale of the land across Deering
        state,  and  leaves  us  feeling  vulnerable  and         Ave.,  we’ve  embarked  on  a  number  of  major

        anxious about the months ahead. To say that this          building  repairs  and  renovations,  including
        is  a  difficult  time  would  be  a  vast                roof  repairs,  replacement  and  updating  of
        understatement.                                           HVAC  units  and  controls,  mechanical  and

                                                                  electrical improvements, and grounds work.
        When  the  Board  passed  the  budget  for  the
        current term, it was assumed (for good reason)            Our 13-member Board is also off to a great start.
        that this would be a challenging year financially         We’ve     begun      our    new     organizational

        for Temple Beth El. We figured that dues would            management  and  leadership  development
        be dialed back as congregants struggled through           initiatives, and there’s a lot of creative energy in
        the economic effects of the pandemic, and that            the (virtual) room during our meetings.
        we might even lose members as personal ties and
     5781  connections were stretched thin and broken.            In closing, I acknowledge that this year’s High

                                                                  Holidays  will  look  substantially  different  from
        And, while there are aspects of this forecast that        anything  anyone  has  experienced  in  the  past.
        did  prove  true,  I  am  pleased  to  report  that  the  But,  Temple  Beth  El  is  finding  ways  to  stay

        picture  for  this  coming  year  is  substantially       connected  with  its  congregants  despite  the
        better  than  we  anticipated.  Membership  dues          physical distance, and we will all continue to be
        are  flowing  in,  and  are  tracking  what  we’ve        there  for  one  another  during  this  challenging

        raised    in   previous     years.   Our     overall      time.
      רפוש   membership  continues  to  grow,  with  new

        members  and  families  joining  despite  the             L’shanah tovah, best wishes to all for a healthy
    5   closure of our physical space.                            new year.
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