Shabbat Shalom ~ Ki Tavo 2023

Dear WJC Family,

Welcome to September! As we move towards fall, I must express the incredible gratitude of WJC’s clergy to Cindy Heller and Amy Bennett. Cindy and Amy coordinated every sermon, Torah and haftarah reading, prayer leader and Adon Olam for all of July and August so that we could refresh, reorient and come into the New Year fresh and ready to teach, preach, daven and sing. It is a huge task and we are so thankful for these two super-coordinators and our uber-talented membership who use their talents and learn new skills during this time.. We are not only thankful, we are raring to get back to our roles and are so grateful to serve this extraordinary congregation!

The start of September also means we are more than halfway through the Hebrew month of Elul – the preparatory month leading up to the High Holidays. To encourage our process of teshuva (finding our way back to the path we are meant to travel) and cheshbon hanefesh (accounting of our deeds and relationships during the last year), as well as to raise up our theme of Joyful Together, we are offering a variety of opportunities for learning and celebrating. Starting with this Shabbat morning I will be teaching on these topics from 8:30am-9:15am in the library. This class will run for two weeks (this week and next) with independent sessions so come to either one or both.

On Friday night September 8th (one week from today) it’s A Joyful Rhythm & Ruach – or as I like to call it “Wedding Celebration Shabbat.” The Rhythm & Ruach Band will play like the bride and groom just entered the room and we will celebrate Kabbalat Shabbat like the kabbalists of Tzvat in the 15th century – like a wedding celebration for the Sabbath Bride! Great music, simcha (think hora) dancing and singing will be on tap along with a celebratory dinner. Register here! We are looking forward to celebrating with you. Then on Sunday the 10th it’s the first day of Religious School and the Annual Opening BBQ at noon. Lots to celebrate!

In other news, this Shabbat we will not only move back into the sanctuary for morning services, we will also hold Friday night and Saturday afternoon/evening services in the chapel. This is the first time since the COVID pandemic that we have been able to do the services in their most conducive spaces. In order to do it, we will be running two live streams – one from each room. For instructions on how to run one or both streams, and observe Jewish practice (halacha) as closely as possible, click here.

One last note – this year, in addition to the Yizkor Memorial Service at Yom Kippur morning services, we will be holding a Community Yizkor on Yom Kippur afternoon where I will deliver special remarks in honor of the occasion. It will be helpful if you register for this service so we know how many to expect.

See you in shul,

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