Shabbat Shalom ~ Sukkot 2023

Missed one of the rabbis sermons over the High Holidays or just interested in hearing it again? Please click here to read them (more will be published soon!).

Dear WJC Family,

I hope you had a meaningful High Holiday season with us. I know that I speak for all of the clergy when I say we are so appreciative of the roles so many of you played in making these liminal days successful in so many different ways for so many different people. I want to extend special thanks to Harold Treiber and Susan Miller, our High Holiday Task Force chairs, Tracey Levy, our Spiritual Life Committee chair, and Larry Thaler, WJC president, for the extraordinary thought, effort and commitment they put into the holidays. I know it is hard to imagine, but these folks have been meeting with each other and with the clergy and various staff and participants for more than nine months in order to make everything work as well as it did over the last two weeks. It is no small task and I am so grateful for their partnership and dedication.

I also want to recognize the extraordinary group of people who took pulpit roles in the wide-variety of services offered. As always, it is my pleasure and spiritual gift to share the pulpit with Cantor Goldberg on the High Holidays and I am ever-appreciative of the partnership and co-leadership of Rabbi Dalton. I also want to wish a yasher koach to the leaders of the Study service, WJC’s own Rabbi Jennifer Tobenstein who took a professional leadership role here for the first time. I know how thankful the Study service for her rabbinic presence. And of course, Seth Schafler, the perennial prayer leader of the Study Service was as inspiring as ever, and we appreciate his leadership of the the mincha afternoon service on Yom Kippur as well. A special thanks goes to Rabbi Dalton and Matt Baum who led our exceptional, redesigned family service.

Additionally, David Nanus, Stephen Rabiniowitz, Mark Berger and Dan Rosenbaum each led parts of the service in the sanctuary. What an extraordinary congregation we are to have so many members who are not only gifted prayer leaders, but are willing to dedicate their skills to the community on these holiest days of the year. And what a blessing to serve as the rabbi of such a remarkable kehillah.

One last note, there is nary an individual employed by or who volunteers for WJC who is not responsible for the success of our High Holidays each year in one way or another. If you see any WJC employee, whether clergy, educational, office, custodial or kitchen staff, or someone you know is an active volunteer at the synagogue, please thank them for their part in these last few weeks.

Also, don’t forget to fill out the High Holiday survey so we know what worked and what could use improvement. A lot of the successful evolution of services this year came from last year’s feedback. We really do rely on your feedback to provide the best experience possible spiritually and logistically.

And now, after weeks of speaking about joy and happiness (our theme for the High Holidays) we have the opportunity to celebrate happiness itself. This weekend we begin Sukkot, known to the rabbis as Zman Simchateinu. I hope you will join us for one of our plethora of joyful events in the Sukkah starting this weekend and continuing all week. I especially hope to see you a week from Saturday night and Sunday (10/7-10/8) as we party Saturday evening for Simchat Torah evening like never before and honor all of our volunteers with a special BBQ Kiddish lunch after services on Sunday. See below for details about how we are honoring all of our volunteers and two very special leaders of our spiritual efforts.

Yom Tov services for Sukkot start tonight, with dinner in the Activity Center if you registered.

See you in shul,

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