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Sustaining our Traditions, Building New Beginnings

Sustaining Our Traditions, Building New Beginnings

Re-Opening/High Holiday Task Force


To every thing there is a season…a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted… a time to break down, and a time to build up…a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing…

These selected words from Megillat Kohelet, the Book of Ecclesiastes, seem fitting given the health concerns and unrest that have beset us. At no time in recent memory have we collectively needed the comfort of our faith and our community. Throughout this time we have been physically distant but spiritually close, and though our building has been closed, Synagogue Emanu-El has always been open. With this in mind, we want to update our congregational family on the process we have initiated in order to begin the re-opening of the building and resuming in-person services. We are excited about sustaining the rich traditions of our past, as well as the creation of new beginnings that come with new leadership and vision.

First and foremost, we want to thank the many lay leaders and staff who have deftly managed synagogue business, maintained regular remote worship services, developed educational programming for adults and children and innovated new creative ways to remain spiritually connected during the Covid-19 pandemic. We have smoothly bridged between executive boards and worked diligently with staff and volunteers to respond to both challenges and opportunities. This has been a difficult time, but our community has risen to the challenge. Now we are beginning to look ahead with commitment...and caution.

To address the physical re-opening of the building, and plan for our High Holidays, we are convening a Task Force to thoughtfully and quickly address health and safety. To this end, Al Hawkins has agreed to chair our “Re-opening/High Holiday Task Force”, which will begin meeting this week to address both short term and long term planning for the synagogue. We will be keeping health, safety, and spiritual needs as priorities for the Task Force. We are grateful to the following members and staff who have generously agreed to serve:

Chair: Al Hawkins
Members: Mitch Gilbert, Rick Segal, Tamar Sternfeld, Gabe Bluestein, Craig Browdy
Staff: Bob Greenberg, Rabbi Ravski, Rabbi Rosenbaum, Daphne Hubara, Leah Bowzard

Our goal is to update you regularly on plans, procedures, and helpful information as we look ahead to the High Holidays. While we know that the weekly and holiday experiences may be different than in the past, we also know that—like our recent Shavuot services—we can find deep meaning in Jewish traditions, and new ways to experience that meaning.

Please feel free to contact us if you want to learn more about—and get involved in!--the new beginnings that lie before us.


Rabbi Evan Ravski

Craig Browdy, President   

Bob Greenberg, Executive Director

Thu, July 9 2020 17 Tammuz 5780