My first experience as president during the High Holidays was wonderful! While sitting on the bimah, I was overwhelmed with the positive energy, vibrancy and warmth I felt from our clergy and congregants. For the first time, I attended services for Sukkot. To my amazement, on a Monday morning, our Sanctuary was filled with over 150 congregants plus about 35 children. We happily marched to Hoshanot with our Lulav and Etrog. There was an infectious enthusiasm that spread over the sanctuary. This beautiful service was followed by a feast in our Sukkah where we recited Kiddush as a congregation and ate a delicious lunch together. There was so much love amongst our Beth El family!
Many of my remarks from Kol Nidre were about thanking people and expressing gratitude to everyone who contributes to making Beth El such a wonderful synagogue. Now that the High Holidays are behind us, I look forward to Thanksgiving and Chanukah. It is the time of year when we reflect on what we are thankful for in our lives. At Beth El, we have so much to be thankful for-our beautiful building, amazing clergy team, strong leadership and dedicated staff and teachers. I am especially grateful for the continued commitment from our congregants, who make Beth El the special place we are today. This is also the time of year to recognize that there are members in our community who may need our help. In Judaism, we believe in Tikkun Olam, repairing the world. Tikkun Olam has become synonymous with social action. Through the efforts of Beth El’s Social Action committee, there will be a holiday mitzvah project in December where we will partner with JFCS to donate requested items to local families in need. Beth El has the opportunity to make a difference in our community. Please consider participating in this mitzvah project as your generosity will help brighten the lives of people who need our help.
The first night of Chanukah is Sunday, December 6. On Chanukah, we celebrate with our families by lighting the candles on the menorah, singing songs, saying prayers, spinning the dreidel and eating latkes. It is a joyous time of the year. On behalf of the Executive Committee and Board of Trustees, I wish you and your families a Happy Chanukah.
~ Lauren Soll