RISA DORFMAN

This past year has brought us forward in many phases. Our community has joined together to create a stronger, more unified bond, spiritually, religiously and in matters of individual or group assistance.

We have forged forward in financial planning and restructuring our basic monthly routines, of course always keeping our Charter and founders’ plans in mind.

Our various activities were supported by many.

Naturally, Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur has a solid turnout. Dinner with Am Haskalah friends was delicious and plentiful. Sukkot at Rena and Rabbi Melissa’s was wonderful – it was the first time for me seeing one being built. Harvest foods were incredible!

So many wonderful religious and social events! We had Borscht Belt movies and Wandering Jews dinners which could circle the globe.

So many of our Congregants held services in their homes which makes Am Haskalah more unified while embracing  each other and sharing our life’s experiences. From newborn babies to B’nai Mitzvah to traveling the world. We feel like we were right there with you. Thank you all for being so inclusive.

Our financial future is looking brighter since we covered our expenses last year, with a bit left over. Our financial restructuring will help us further in this area.

I want to personally thank each and every one of you for honoring me and putting your faith in me by allowing me to represent Am Haskalah and all of you as your Co President and President. It was my pleasure and certainly an honor.

I look forward to joining certain committees on behalf of Am Haskalah. Right now I am on the Finance Committee, the Rabbi Search Committee, and the Chesed Committee. I assist in Wandering Jews dinners as well. I hope you will all find at least one area where you can give a portion of your time for us.

 

Rachel Zane

This has been an exciting year. We have seen moderate membership growth (3 families). This growth has shown that it is how we invite our friends and acquaintances​ into our synagogue life that is the first step to membership growth. In the current world climate, people do not seek out religious life so much as they seek out communities of likeminded folks. By practicing open space Judaism, talking with the people we meet in the world outside of Am Haskalah we show off this wonderful community we have created. This is what inspired me to join and likely most of you. So celebrate our intersectionality. Celebrate the places our lives cross paths with other Jews and share our love of community.

Our new student Rabbi will help promote our growth as we again find new excitement in Judaism through the fresh eyes of a new teacher. I look forward to finding out the aspects of Judaism that excites this person. We expect to share information in the next week on this person!

We will also be continuing a community dialogue that helps discover where our community’s successes, wants, and needs are, through a program called SWOT facilitated by our own David Smith. We look forward to hearing the thoughts the congregation shares.

Our Wandering Jews dinner this month will be June 19th at Zazibar kabobs. It is an amazing fusion of Indian and Swahili cultural foods as the cultures grew together in Tanzania.  Showing the interesting influences trade and immigration can have through food. A real valley treat and a must experience. Halal, vegetarian and gluten free options abound.

We have begun the search for our next administrative director. Filling Rena’s shoes will be a tall order and she will remain at work remotely and digitally until a suitable replacement can be found. We thank Adrian Shanker and his team of congregants for working on this important task.

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