Annual High Holy Days Giving 2017
I am truly blessed to be a part of a congregation that really is my home, made up of people who I am proud to call my friends. Whether we see each other once a year or multiple times a week, I know that each member of Temple Israel is someone who I can connect with, talk to, and create meaningful, holy moments with at pivotal points of our lives.
In the book of Exodus, Moses was tasked with building and sustaining the Tabernacle, essentially the predecessor of the Temple. He told the Israelites that each of them has a standard obligation to pay to support the Tabernacle, and beyond that everything was voluntary, though just as necessary. It is the same story we still experience today; we ask each of our members to pay standard dues so that everyone is giving at an equal, attainable level, yet charitable donations over and above dues are essential to the life of every synagogue. However, annual membership dues and tuition fees only cover approximately 85% of the actual cost of what it takes to keep our congregation open and thriving. I shared this message with my dear friends Jerry and Judy Levy, who, like so many of us, have their own story to share about the way that TI has supported them throughout their lives, and the way they in turn have chosen to give back so generously to help others in the congregation. I am delighted that they are serving as our Annual High Holy Days Giving Co-Chairs this year; I hope their model will serve as an inspiration for others to give as well.
Through your generosity during our Annual High Holy Days Giving, we are able to be accessible to every member through times of joy and sorrow, for worship, acts of social justice, and education. I’m able to spend the time that is needed with each of you, whether holding your hand as a loved one passes away, or sharing your joy as we say a blessing over your children and grandchildren, and all of the moments in between. By being a member, this community is your home, whenever you need it.
I ask for your help so that we can continue to be accessible to you for all of life’s most sacred moments. Please, join me to ensure that Temple Israel can continue to be there for you and for our future generations; giving at any level will help to ensure that we all have a place to call home. In Moses’ case, we read that every member of the community stepped forward to give above and beyond what he expected, to such an extreme that he finally told them to stop giving. Wouldn’t that be a remarkable thing to be able to say!
These High Holy Days are a time when we renew our priorities, our hopes, and our dreams. I hope you’ll consider a meaningful gift toward this Annual High Holy Days Giving opportunity so that our congregation may be renewed and continue to support you in so many ways throughout the year to come.
Amy Feder, Senior Rabbi
Annual High Holy Days Giving Committee
Susan K. Goldberg, Sally Heller, Amy Lampert, Rob Litz, Jeffrey Stern, and David Weinstein