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Here For You

August 2019 — Av 5779

Dear Friends:

When they were in utero, they started coming regularly to Shabbat morning services at Temple Emanuel.  When they were born they were here every week in their double stroller.  As soon as they could walk, their first steps were to run onto the bimah, high five the rabbi, cantor and president’s hands as they opened the parochet and kissed the Torah scrolls, before running back to their parents.  Now, age 5, they climb up on stepstools and lead the congregation in Ein Keloheinu, which they know by heart. We are here for them.  They are here for us.

He was born in New York, the grandson of a Holocaust survivor.  She was born in Minnesota.  They met in one of Boston’s fine colleges, fell in love, and have been together ever since.  Not born Jewish, she wanted to convert.  They came to Temple Emanuel where they both attended classes; our clergy were with her at her conversion.  They are leaders of Yisod, our group of 20- and 30-somethings that meet regularly for prayer, for study, for drinks, for fun. On the magical day of September 1, 2019, they will stand together under their chuppah.  Aliza is flying to Minnesota to do their wedding.  We are here for them. They are here for us.

They came to us two years ago, empty nesters from another congregation. They joined Temple Emanuel because their children and grandchildren were members, but still they wondered: Was it too late to become part of a new shul?  Could they make new friends?  They started coming every Shabbat morning, they came with me and 30 of our members to study Torah at the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem this summer.  They now feel like they have been members of Temple Emanuel forever. We are here for them. They are here for us.

This has been a year unlike any other for the American Jewish community.  After Pittsburgh and San Diego, we will not be denied. We will not be deterred.  To the contrary, we are more determined than ever to be alive, vibrant, strong—and here for you.

To be here for you 365 days a year, in splendidly diverse ways that reflect the diversity of our community, takes substantial resources.  27% of the revenue for our budget comes from our Annual Appeal.  We can be here for you because you are, and have always been, here for us.

Communities like ours that provide members with friends, strength, purpose and joy are more necessary than ever.  In these unsettled times, we need our shul.  Our shul needs us.  Thank you for your generosity which will enable us to be here for one another for another new year.

Shanah tovah u’metukah,

Rabbi Wes Gardenswartz
Mady Donoff, President
Amy B. Klein, Chair of Annual Appeal


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