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Rabbi's Week In Review- 10/07/2020

10/07/2020 06:52:01 AM

Oct7

I have often said that of all the categories of prayer, my favorite is gratitude. As it states in Midrash, Vayikra Rabbah, in Messianic times when all other prayer is unnecessary, we will still be required to offer prayers of gratitude.  

Having gathered mostly virtually for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, this is a time, for me, of enormous gratitude for all those who have put in so many hours to make our worship meaningful and keep our community together.

Without music, we really do not have worship. Our music director, Lara Steinel, puts extraordinary time and talent into the music and, this year, has managed the choreography necessitated by livestreaming our services. Brendan Howard not only sings and plays guitar with beauty but also transforms all of us by bringing his full spiritual self into prayer. We always look forward to Karen Engebretson and Will Perry bringing their beautiful music into our High Holy Day worship. Also, thanks to Terry Smith for enhancing our virtual experience with PowerPoint photography.

Thanks to our lay leaders. Our president, Ellen Karp, and our executive committee of Ray Berger, Wynne Begun and Mark Kenneally have put in an incredible number of hours to ensure the integrity of how we function as a sacred community. Jerry Nevins and Deborah Hirsch have guided us toward enormous improvement in communicating our work and keeping our community connected.  

We are into our second year of our Family Experience program, teaching Jewish values to our kids and giving them positive Jewish experiences and connection to our Kol Ami community.  Thanks so much to Erica Clinton and Cheryl Gates for their commitment and care for our kids.

Pat Clinton has given structure and purpose to our social-justice efforts. We have renewed focus with our identified partners: (1) our community garden, spearheaded by Steve and Linda Sackin, in partnership with the Manheim Park Garden Conservancy; (2) MORE2 — the Metro Organization for Racial and Economic Equity; (3) the Migrant Farmworkers Assistance Fund; and (4) the Martin Luther King Jr. School.

Thanks to Allan Katz for his moving words as he gave our guest sermon for this year’s Rosh Hashanah service; to our other service participants — Gary Kretchmer, Erica Clinton, Ellen Karp and Saul Epstein; to Lara Steinel for leading our meditation service.

My thanks to all of you for helping create this caring, committed Jewish community. I remain honored to serve as rabbi of this unique kehilah.

Fri, October 30 2020 12 Cheshvan 5781