As we approach the end of the year and Thanksgiving, there are many things we can be grateful for. Sadly, recent events affecting the Jewish community leaves us with much to be concerned about. I want to give a “shout out” to the many services and programs our wonderful committee volunteers provide at the synagogue. These include our Caring Community, Social Action, Welcoming and Membership, the Committee for Spiritual Practices and the Shabbat Blessings Committee. In addition, the PTO (parent teacher organization) helps to plan and carry out many activities and programs that are religious or social for the children of our congregation. Each committee relies on the generosity of congregants to provide financial support in order to continue these services.
The Board and our Finance Committee sets a budget each year in anticipation of what the Temple might receive from dues and other forms of income including donations. It is hard, however, to predict the unexpected expenses that the Synagogue has each year. We are once again facing a large shortfall. Therefore, I am asking for your help.
The recent acts of hatred and anti-Semitism, which took place in Pittsburgh, are very disturbing. We must not be afraid to stand proudly as Jews and be an active member of our community. We must also be able to practice our beliefs in the safety of our synagogue. The Board of Trustees recently met with representatives of the Ulster County Sheriff’s department and NY State Troopers and discussed ways to secure our building in order to protect our congregants, staff and especially our children attending religious school. We can all agree that safety is everyone’s number one priority. However, in order to secure the building, particularly during school, religious services and our many special events held throughout the year, we are going to need additional funds that we had not anticipated.
Therefore, I am asking you to consider making as large as you can, a tax-deductible contribution to Congregation Emanuel. You might wish to designate a specific committee, program, or the general fund to receive your contribution. We are living in challenging times. The Temple continues to strive to be a warm, welcoming place where others may come to participate in our services and be a part of our community.
We are coming to the end of our fiscal and calendar year. Your year-end contribution will go a long way towards helping to sustain our Temple for next year and in the future. You may donate on line on the Temple web page (www.cehv.org), by credit card or mail your check to the Temple directly.
I am hoping everyone will enjoy a safe and wonderful Thanksgiving with family and or friends and participate in the spirit of the holiday and give generously to our synagogue and other programs of your choice.