We can now look forward to a sweet new year, 5777.
I want to thank all of you that keep our Synagogue operating. Thank you to the Officers and Directors. Thank you to the Committee Chairs. Thank you to the Committee volunteers. Thank you to the Religious School faculty. Thank you to all our members. And a big thank you to my dear wife, Nieves.
In the Book of Exodus, God tells Moses to instruct the Tribe of Israel, “Let them make a Sanctuary that I may dwell among them.”
The Torah is alive and is speaking to us today. We have built a Sanctuary here in Vallejo so God may dwell among us. May we Jews build a world in which God would want to dwell.
This is my 6th year as President of Congregation B’nai Israel. Thank you for this honor. Allow me to look to the past for a moment and then to the future.
At my first Yom Kippur Appeal, I yelled at you from the Bima. I said, “Don’t make me the President that has to close this Synagogue.” Financially, we had been operating in survival mode. With Synagogues around the nation closing, I feared that might be our fate.
At my second Yom Kipper Appeal, I yelled at you again. I shouted “HELP”. Help keep the B’nai Israel doors open and the lights on. We were still in survival mode.
Today I want to yell at you and say, “THANK YOU.” Rather than trying to survive, we can look to the future.
With your support, we have been able to invest in the future of our Synagogue. At Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur we worshipped using new prayer books. Recently we have refurbished the Religious School classrooms. We have redecorated the courtyard. There is a new floor in the kitchen and new toilets in the bathrooms. There is a new audio/visual system in the Social Hall, new security cameras around the property and we are currently refurbishing the Rabbi’s office. The leaks in the roof have been repaired. The Sukkah has been enlarged and upgraded. This year we will have a new security fence around the property.
All this and more is due to the generosity of our members – THANK YOU.
Now we need to continue our mission to serve the Jewish Community of Solano County. I am asking you to please be generous with your High Holiday donations. I am asking for your help in two ways, 1)Financial 2) Volunteer.
Please make as generous donation as you can, so we can balance our budget. This year, when a member gives a donation of $500 or more, B’nai Israel will honor you with a leaf on our beautiful Tree of Life. Let’s fill the Tree of Life with new leaves.
Beyond the financial, I am asking for volunteers. On page 2 of our directory is a list of committees. I want every member of B’nai Israel to serve on at least one committee. Please contact me or any Board member and volunteer. Also, let us know if you are interested in serving on the Board of Directors. We all need to work together to keep B’nai Israel alive and well.
2019 will be the 100th anniversary of our congregation. I ask for your ideas and input on how we should celebrate this milestone.
As I said from the Bima on Yom Kippur, “I ask forgiveness for any hurt I have caused this past year. Forgive my errors. Those of you I have angered, disappointed or ignored, I ask your forgiveness.”
My wife, Nieves, and I wish you a sweet year filled with kindness, good health, laughter and joy.
May you and your families be inscribed in the Book of Life.
Congregation B’nai Israel
1256 Nebraska Street
Vallejo, Ca. 94590