Annual Appeal


Kindness • Compassion • Love

August 2018 – Av 5778

Dear Friends:

“The old shall dream dreams, and the young shall see visions.”  Joel 3:1.

Every Shabbat morning, a Lasell bus pulls up like clockwork. 12 seniors—11 women and one man, all in their 80s, 90s, and 100s—walk through the Rabbi Chiel Sanctuary doors. They are a living testimony to resilience.  They have all experienced loss—of loved ones,  of former synagogue communities, or both. And yet they find here renewal and joy. A new chapter, a new community, a new rhythm. They sit together, sing together, pray together, and eat lunch at Kiddush together every week. We recently met with them at Lasell and asked:  Why do you do this? They said this shul is their family.  Shabbat together at our shul is one of the high points of their week.

These seniors live out the words of the prophet Joel who said, “The old shall dream dreams.”  Our elders dream of family and friendship, of deep relationship, through all the ages and stages of their lives. They find it here.

But Joel also said, “The young shall see visions.”  That too happens here.

There is a young woman, 16 years old, who grew up in Boston.  Growing up, she did not belong to any synagogue.  Her father is an atheist. She had no Jewish education, no Bat Mitzvah, no Shabbat.  But somehow, on a recent trip to visit family in Israel, she felt a spark. She had a vision of how Judaism could lift her up.

She came back to Boston determined to find Jewish community. She came to Shabbat Alive and began coming every week, bringing her father. She joined USY.  She began studying with Rav Hazzan Berger for her Bat Mitzvah, which she hopes to celebrate when she turns 18. Her father says he never imagined he would willingly walk through the doors of a synagogue again. But now, he looks forward to coming to Shabbat Alive services with his daughter every week. He is so proud of what she has accomplished. He says, if only I had had this kind of Judaism growing up.

At Temple Emanuel the old dream dreams, and the young see visions, 365 days a year.  This is the one time a year we ask you to help make these dreams and visions a reality by supporting our Annual Appeal, which is the linchpin of our financial health, providing us with 28% of the revenue for our annual budget.

Thank you for your continued generosity which will allow us to inspire all of our members,  all generations, to find meaning, community, family, purpose, every day of the year.

Shanah tovah u’metukah,

Rabbi Wes Gardenswartz
Mady Donoff, President
Amy B. Klein, Co-Chair of Annual Appeal
Adam Suttin, Co-Chair of Annual Appeal


Read Rabbi Gardenswartz’s Annual Appeal remarks.

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