A new year message from the chair
I wanted to write to wish you all a very happy New Year and Shana Tova.
It was lovely to see so many people over Rosh Hashanah. I was in Shul on the first morning and it certainly felt a lot more normal than last Rosh Hashanah. To be able to sit with family, in a Shul that was fuller than it has been for the past 18 months, even if we did have to wear masks, to be able to sing again and to enjoy the traditional songs of Rosh Hashanah all felt wonderful. I know masks are not universally popular, but I am grateful for your understanding. All of the Honorary Officer team and the Shul Council take our responsibility for the safety of the community very seriously. The advice from the Chief Medical officer was to continue with mask wearing indoors and we certainly didn’t feel qualified to disagree with him. We are however, getting closer to how things were, and after Yom Kippur members will no longer need to book to attend services.
I also know it was quite close to Rosh Hashanah when all members who wanted to come to services and were on the waiting list had their places confirmed. We’re working hard now to try and ensure all who want to come for Kol Nidre and Yom Kippur can, so please bear with us on that.
Huge thanks must go to Jo, our administrator who worked incredibly hard on the arrangements for Rosh Hashanah. Our wardens and Rabbi also made sure that the services ran smoothly and felt as close to normal as possible, and that only happened with a lot of thought and hard work, so thank you also to them. And talking of our wardens, a huge Mazletov to Helen and all of the Style family on Noah and Katie’s wedding in America. Bon Voyage to them on their travels.
It was also wonderful to see children back in the building and services start again at Eden, a huge well done to Yeva Robinson and her volunteers for making it happen.
It is so exciting to see our building project kick off over these last few weeks after an enormous amount of hard work by Greg Swimer, Marc Rubinstein, Sam Clarke and Phil Style on the building committee. In a few months we will have a brand new, larger, flexible space in our upgraded Beit Hamidrash. then not long after that our new kitchen, function hall, new security room and foyer will be ready to use. We are already working on exciting ideas for the launch of the new areas from next Spring. Watch this space for news of family services in the Beit Hamidrash, and a series of events and kiddushim to showcase the new areas. I’d love to hear from you if you have any ideas for events for these new spaces, or would like to get involved and work with Beth on planning them. A huge thank you to all of the generous donors in the community who have made this project possible and if you’d still like to donate and be part of our thank you donor board, its not too late, you can donate here.
Also watch out for an email on Monday about this year’s Kol Nidre appeal, like last year, I won’t be making a speech in Shul on Kol Nidre but have recorded my appeal in a video which will be sent to you in the email next week. We are supporting three fabulous and worthy charities as ever, MyIsrael, All People, All Places, who run the Winter shelter we have supported over the past few years, and Jami, the mental health service for the Jewish community. Please give as generously as you can to the appeal to help these charities. The link to donate will be sent next week.
Looking ahead, our building project has made us think creatively about how to do things differently and for Succot this year we are excited about a community Succah crawl event. Don’t forget to let Beth know if you have a Succah that you’d like to offer.
It’s been a tough eighteen months, but it feels like we have definitely now got a lot to look forward too and lighter, brighter days ahead.
With very best wishes and well over the fast next week
Karen and all of my family
Chair Muswell Hill Synagogue