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CORRECTED: Thank You, Kol Nidrei, Sukkot

09/30/2020 12:54:40 PM




Thank You, Kol Nidrei, Sukkot


Greetings Friends,


Thank You. Yom Kippur was a wonderful success. More than 200 people - masked, distanced, and in limited groups - were welcomed over the course of the day. Each service was magnificent;  "normal," uplifting, and safe. I am especially grateful to our cantors, Meir Shapiro and Neil Kitainik for their beautiful and perfectly-timed davening. I also thank Jonathan Falik for his Torah reading, Lübba Wintzer and Choni Bellino for their help in setting up the sanctuary, Elie Yudewitz for his ushering, Daniela Sirotti and Gloria Mills for sponsoring the Break Fast, and Vincenzo Aiosa and staff for their hard work in preparing, disinfecting, and maintaining our building.


At Kol Nidrei - the service that surprisingly encourages us to pivot away from our more predictable behaviors - I discussed how tradition is sometimes counter-intuitively secured - and even enhanced - by flexibility and a creative spirit, and how this has long-defined my religious approach and my vision of our synagogue's role within Orthodox Jewish life. I applied this outlook to our safety as well, and detailed our ongoing challenges during - and successes despite - the global pandemic. If this vision speaks to you, if you have benefited from it, or if you would like to see it enlarged further, please consider participating in our Kol Nidrei Campaign. Your support is essential for our continued success. I remind you that any amount helps my efforts and lifts my spirits.


Sukkot. I am aware of the increase in Covid-positivity among certain segments of the Orthodox community, but assuming the local rates stay where they are, I am comfortable holding services over Sukkot. This will include evening evening services, morning services, as well as Sukka access. In order to help effectively socially-distance I have had a third Sukka built on the sanctuary terrace found on the eastern side of our building. We will have to be very careful and conscious of the space, maintaining distance, limiting exposure time, and and take turns. Wine and Challa rolls will be made available so that everyone can conveniently perform the mitzva. To be clear: Anyone who is feeling unwell, is immunocompromised, or is even nervous about exposure is released from the obligation of Sukka and may eat Yom Tov meals indoors. Finally, a plan for a modified Simchat Torah is in the works, but it is unfortunately too soon for me to make a firm commitment.


Thank you for your continued interest, flexibility, and support. Wishing you continued good health and a joyful holiday season,



Tue, October 20 2020 2 Marcheshvan 5781