Dear WJC Family,
Happy first email message of the new year. I know that the year may not be starting as we had hoped with the omicron variant of Covid-19 rearing its ugly head seemingly everywhere. So first of all, if you or a member of your family is stricken with symptomatic omicron and you could use some help or support (food, counsel, empathy, you name it) please let me, Rabbi Dalton, Cantor Goldberg or a member of our lay leadership know. We are here for you and will help in whatever ways we can.
Still, even with 2022 coming in like a lion, I am looking forward to the lamb coming soon. I am told by experts like the doctors on our Covid-19 Task Force that there is reason to be hopeful. First, this version of the disease does seem to be causing less severe symptoms (the vaccine and booster appears to help significantly with that too, so if you have not yet been vaccinated and are eligible, let’s talk about why getting vaccinated is a good idea). Second, if this variant follows the pattern of the delta variant, it should peak soon and hopefully there will be a very steep drop off in cases. And when this wave does relent, we have a lot to look forward to.
As it warms up we are looking forward to implementing more outdoor programming and services with the likely return of our parking lot tent. There are major programs planned, like the Gala in May honoring four of our great volunteers Marc Karell and Linda Alpert and Jennifer and Ian Winters, the (delayed) Installation of Rabbi Cornelia Dalton in March and our Scholar in Residence Shabbat with Chancellor of the Jewish Theological Seminary Dr. Shuly Rubin Schwartz. There are also plans to host more events to welcome our new members (it isn’t easy to join a new community in the middle of all this, and we want to make sure you know how glad we are that you are here). And we are very excited about our upcoming Strategic Planning Process to assess who we are after this tumultuous couple of years, who we want to be and how to get there.
And then there is the simple getting back to what we do best – we are looking forward to reinstituting Kiddish Lunch on Shabbat as soon as it seems feasible, getting back to offering our regular diverse set of programming and prayer experiences and, as amazing as our committees have been at offering programs under these difficult circumstances, getting back to the robust set of experiences that made us all love WJC in the first place. The pieces and planning are all in place and we are just waiting for the light at the end of the tunnel to hit the ground running. Don’t let the slow start of 2022 fool you, this year has a lot of potential. We are looking forward to getting there together.
And in the meantime, let’s stay connected. If you are not comfortable coming to services in person, I hope you are participating on the Live Stream. While that is good, I know it is not the same. So, let’s set up a Zoom so that we can catch up or get to know each other better. Maybe set up a virtual “Coffee with the Clergy” to meet with one of us and catch up on what’s going on in each other’s lives. Many of you have taken me up on this invitation since Yom Kippur and every time I put it out there, a few more of you follow up. I hope that this time, you are one of those few and that we get to meet soon and I am looking forward to it.
See you in shul or online,