Rabbi's Message: December 2013
|Rabbi Rachel Gurevitz|
Now that all aspects of congregational life are in full swing, post High Holy Days, Congregation B'nai Shalom is buzzing with activity. Take a look at all of the recent updates and upcoming gatherings highlighted in this month's bulletin.
Over sixty-five congregants, so far, engaging in our Ritual Practices project to test out and decide on whether to adopt the Reform movement's upcoming High Holy Day prayer book.
Our Security Task Force implementing the plans that were researched, voted upon, and initially shared with the congregation over the High Holy Days.
Rabbi Eiduson launching "Demo Days" to engage parents of our younger students in a conversation about community life and learning.
Our Social Media and Marketing Task Force helping us use our Facebook page more effectively. You'll find that our website is becoming a better resource for getting all the information you need about upcoming events -- more to come from this project in the coming months.
Our Early Childhood Committee (now also with its own Facebook page) organizing a rich and varied program for the year, such as last month's baby animal visit and this month's Ḥanukkah party (both made possible with the generous support of the Lisa Elaine Feingold Memorial Fund).
Social Action organizing and hosting a community-wide Forum against Gun Violence.
Membership launching a new "Kesher" program to welcome in our newest members, and continuing to look at ways to help different groups of members get to know each other better.
Our Board spearheading the Congregational Ambassadors program, which you may read about on page 5.
Adult learning has engaged nearly a hundred learners these past two months at our Sunday morning classes, Spiritual Journey Group, and Lunch and Learn over at the Willows.
Word getting out about the amazing youth programs that our new, full time Youth Educator, Debbi Morin, has been organizing, assisted by our Senior WAFTY Advisor, Em Rubenstein, and the over forty madrichim who are assisting in Religious school and youth programs.
A great community concert for all ages with Eric Komar coming up in January, and a wonderful social event and our largest annual community fundraiser when stand-up comedian, Rabbi Bob Alper, joins us in February.
Yad b'Yad (our caring committee) is helping to sponsor several programs in 2014 to provide resources and support for congregants on a range of issues affecting our lives -- more information on these will follow in upcoming bulletins.
I apologize for all the other wonderful volunteer work and new initiatives that I'm leaving out. Congregation B'nai Shalom has always been a congregation that makes a lot happen -- that's part of the vibrancy that drew me to serve this community as your Rabbi. Today, we are beginning to see the implementation of a renewed vision of purposeful and engaged community, with many doorways into leadership and participation. What is significant is not simply a long list of programs and events, but the number of congregants of all ages and backgrounds who are actively participating and connecting through the work that we are doing together. We are just getting started, and we'd love for each of you to be a part of any and all of the above that speak to you. And I'd like to hear your ideas -- you can help us identify unmet needs and ensure that every member of our community can find his or her place in this spiritual home.
Rabbi Rachel Gurevitz