Shabbat Shalom ~ Shoftim 2022

Shalom WJC Family,

The calendar says September, Monday is Labor Day, and the days are getting shorter (Shabbat Friday and Saturday evening services will move to 7:00pm, and earlier time reflecting the earlier sunset.) I know many of us feel sad to see the summer of 2022 behind us. This summer often seemed like the “summer of freedom” as people traveled or went to pools and beaches for the first time in years. For our family it was a great summer with more time together and trips to Colorado, Utah, and Israel and fun experiences at camp, so in many ways I am sad too. Still, I am also excited for fall, my favorite season. I’m excited for activities to start up again at the synagogue, for the schools to get going so that we once again hear children’s laughter and playing in our halls and for Elul and the approach of our most exciting shul days, the High Holidays.

In light of all of these “re-starts” that come with the new school year and new Jewish year, I want to remind you about a few other shul re-starts. After Labor Day we will be reinstituting evening minyan in-person in the chapel every weekday night at 7pm. Like the current weekday morning minyan, these in-person services will also be available virtually at the same Zoom link we’ve been using, but going forward we will need a minyan, at least ten people over the age of bar or bat mitzvah, to be present in-person for the recitation of the Mourner’s Kaddish. When there is not a minyan present at a service, we will go back to our former custom of reading the alternative prayer for mourners.

This means we need your help with a couple of things: 1) While there are enough people in the congregation to expect a minyan is possible on any given morning or evening, that does not necessarily mean we will get one. Can you commit to coming one morning or one evening every week? Maybe every once in a while? Whatever you can do would be a huge help. It often helps if there is a captain for one evening – might you be willing to take responsibility to rally the troops for one service? If you are not so familiar with weekday services, let me know and I am happy to answer any questions. 2) If you want to come to say kaddish on a given day, please bring friends. We always have some people for a minyan, but by asking 4-6 of your friends and family to come with you, you can insure the opportunity to say the actual Mourner’s Kaddish prayer.

I also wanted to mention that in September, starting on Saturday morning September 10, we are restarting Saturday morning Torah Talk. We will meet in the library (in-person only) for some learning from 8:30am-9:10am every Saturday before services start at 9:15am. The opening topics will be about the High Holidays and I will pick relevant topics from there. The Zoom classes on Thursday evenings that have been replacing the Saturday morning class will still meet, but not every week, so please pay careful attention to the offerings and topics. The first Thursday evening classes I will be teaching will be on the subject of blessings and will meet on September 15 and 22 as we prepare for Rosh Hashanah. I hope I’ll see you on Saturday mornings and Thursday evenings.

I also hope we’ll see you this Friday evening and Saturday morning for Shabbat services and Kiddish—the first Shabbat with all of our clergy leading since June! Thank you so much to all our awesome summer daveners and drashers, and especially to Cindy Heller for coordinating the efforts.

See you in shul,

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