January 20, 2021
Special Message from Rabbi Yael Romer
With heartbreak for the darkness, loss, racism, and violence we as a nation have endured, and with the hope for healing and for a better future for all people, I with many of you watched the inauguration of the 46th President of the United States of America with tears in my eyes.
Today’s inaugural ceremony affirmed Democracy, the peaceful transfer of power, the power and importance of unity, and the inherent value of every human life.
We have reached this moment, ushering in new Presidential leadership and optimism for the future, celebrating the place of the first black Asian female as Vice President, and affirming light over darkness.
We are painfully aware of the magnitude of loss endured this past year. There is a long road ahead of us, and today must be marked as historical and pivotal.
Shehechianu, v’keeyimanu, v’heegianu, lazman hazeh.
May we be strengthened, may we be empowered, may we translate this hope of healing and promise for a better future into action.
July 23, 2020
Congregation Emanuel of the Hudson Valley unequivocally affirms that Black Lives Matter
Our Congregation adopts the following Black Lives Matter Statement from the Union for Reform Judaism which underscores our Jewish commitment to Justice and Tikun Olam. We affirm this statement of principles and make it our own. We call on our community to commit to anti-racism and to fight for racial justice and equity. To be silent is to be complicit. Tzedek Tzedek Tirdof; as a Congregation we affirm our obligation to listen deeply, to hold ourselves accountable, to speak out with courage, and to be agents of change.
Throughout the past 400 years, Black people in America have been enslaved, subjugated, disenfranchised, murdered, and discriminated against. From generation to generation, white Americans, including white Jews, have failed to own and end the systemic racial injustices on which the nation was founded, and instead have actively or passively perpetuated these injustices.
Our Jewish tradition is replete with instances of moral reckoning when we are asked to be present and accounted for. “Ayecha?,” we are asked. “Where are you?” We respond with a full throated, “Hineinu.” “We are here.”
As Reform Jews committed to the spirit of this teaching, we say unequivocally, Black Lives Matter.
To affirm that Black Lives Matter is to commit to a human and civil rights movement, working to end systemic racism against Black people and white supremacy.
To affirm that Black Lives Matter is to recognize that we are a racially diverse Reform Jewish Movement, and that our diversity is a source of our strength.
To affirm that Black Lives Matter is for white Reform Jews to pledge to be in solidarity with Black Jews and Black people from all backgrounds against racial injustice and to act accordingly.
To affirm that Black Lives Matter is to recognize the imperative to live with complexity and know that we can be steadfast in our love of and support for Israel while working side by side with those who hold differing views and express them respectfully.
To affirm that Black Lives Matter is to accept discomfort, knowing that actions or inaction of white Jews have contributed to ongoing racial injustice.
To affirm that Black Lives Matter is to move beyond allyship and commit to long-term solutions both internally in ourselves, our own organization, and externally in our communities to disrupt and dismantle white supremacy.
To affirm that Black Lives Matter is to acknowledge that Black people risk their personal comfort and safety every day in white dominated institutions, and that white Jews must commit to risking their personal comfort and even safety in the struggle for racial justice.
To affirm that Black Lives Matter is to ensure that People of Color can be whole, never expected to choose between aspects of their identity and celebrate the multifaceted nature of humanity.
To affirm that Black Lives Matter is to commit to individual and organizational antiracist trainings, identifying specific antiracist hiring practices and lay structures, and outlining goals around specific racial justice action steps.
To affirm that Black Lives Matter is for white Jews to reflect on their own thoughts and behavior, to build meaningful relationships with Jews of Color and People of Color generally, and to work for reforms that will achieve real, lived freedom for Black people.
We affirm that Black Lives Matter.
Passed by the Board of Trustees of Congregation Emanuel of the Hudson Valley
July 23, 2020
June 8, 2020
Update from President Leslie Kidder
Dear Members of Congregation Emanuel of the Hudson Valley,
I am writing to let you know that our beloved cantor, Bob Cohen, will transition to the position of Cantor Emeritus as of June 30th, 2020. He will celebrate his final Shabbat as our cantor this Friday night (6/12) and Saturday morning (6/13). Please look for details about a special Zoom Kiddush in honor of Cantor Bob on Friday night here.
Cantor Bob has been a pillar of the CEHV community since the day he walked through the doors. His soulful music has added a deeply emotional dimension to our services, and he has touched our hearts with joy, humor, and above all, compassion. And how lucky for us that his kind, thoughtful wife, Pat, has generously contributed her ideas, time, and lovely singing voice as well. Together, the Cohens convinced so many of us that we could find our Jewish home in Kingston inside our shul.
In recognition of all they mean to us, Bob and Pat will receive a special lifetime CEHV membership. Bob will also receive an honorarium in heartfelt gratitude for his work, although there is no way to place sufficient monetary value on his leadership, friendship, and devotion. We hope the Cohens will remain involved members of our congregation for many years to come.
March 10, 2020
Message from President Leslie Kidder
Our Congregation prides itself on our sense of community and our frequent events and services. During this time of concern about Covid-19 and the many unknowns that come with it, we will be relying on local medical professionals, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Ulster County Health Department to advise us on the safety of hosting events and school at CEHV.
The Executive Board, in consultation with the planners, has decided to cancel the Second Night Seder and the Women's Seder. We can not predict what will happen in the next month and we want to avoid low attendance or last-minute cancellations.
We will be posting and sending frequent updates to keep you all apprised and will make decisions about large events coming up on our calendar as we go, keeping in mind that safety is our foremost concern. We ask that, if you or any member of your family is feeling at all under the weather, please stay home. This will keep us all safer.
President, Congregation Emanuel of the Hudson Valley