I’m writing to share three pieces of good news.
First, I’m very pleased to announce that we have hired Rabbi Matt as Education Director and Assistant Rabbi! His first day will be June 16, 2020 and he will be working, on average, four days a week. The Hebrew School will be his top priority and he will work with Rabbi Harry to set his schedule and his specific duties. We are currently planning how best to acknowledge and install Rabbi Matt in this new role …more to come on that soon.
Second, the recent fundraising drive exceeded our expectations; we raised just under $55,000! And that is on top of $40,000 that was raised in the initial stage by Ruthi Wicks. I want to thank, in particular, Ruthi and Jean Dragushan, Chair of the Fundraising Committee. As you know, your generous donations will cover the salary and related financial costs of hiring for this new (as of now, one year) position. It will also help defray the ongoing financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The success of a fundraising campaign at this challenging time demonstrates the deep level of support that exists within our congregation for what our synagogue does and is—what it means to all of us. This is a time of financial uncertainty and stress for many of us. For others, with the capacity to give, there are many competing and urgent fundraising appeals to consider. And still, when your synagogue asked, you gave. Thank you!
And the third piece of good news is that last night the Board tasked our COVID-19 Committee to develop a plan to re-open the synagogue. We are not going to rush this—it’s too soon to know when we will resume regular services and other activities, and what they will look like in our new normal. In the interim we will continue to work to improve the zoom experience. But we’ve taken the first step. Let us hope that in the not too distant future we will once again have a safe and welcoming space for us to daven and commune together.
President, Congregation Emanu-El