THE HIGH HOLY DAYS’ MESSAGE FROM OUR PRESIDENT
Summer is almost here, and with it the countdown to the High Holy Days, 5779, starting on September 9. In this, my first as board president of our great shul (but having been around as a member and volunteer for years!), I welcome you.
This has been an amazing year at Shir Libeynu, starting off with the Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur services and wonderful musical offerings services with our Rabbi Goldberg and Chazzan Gesundheit guiding us. Since then we have held many Shabbat services, holiday events, a speakers’ series, as well as our Pride events, and partnerships with other organizations for Shabbat dinners. They have attracted record numbers of enthusiastic people eager to experience the vibrancy and warmth that the community offers.
This coming year will see the launch of the second year of our weekly supplemental school for children ages 7-11. Our bnei mitzvah program will continue with a new group of young people. We are very grateful for and excited about the work that Rabbi Goldberg and the education committee have done to develop and nurture these programs, including finding talented, young educators to teach them, and a new downtown venue to house them.
Of course, there is plenty for adults in addition to the monthly services downtown, including lectures and discussions with specialists from the worlds of academe, art and literature. Ahead for the third year is our film series, serving as both an educational and social opportunity. We are planning new study groups (stay tuned!) and other exciting educational and social programs. There will be more, including what YOU may bring as volunteer facilitators of interesting, future events.
For our upcoming High Holy Days, Rabbi Goldberg will lead our congregation in prayer and reflection, while Chazzan Gesundheit conducts the musical array that includes volunteers and professionals alike in song and worship. All these services will take place at the mid-town First Unitarian Congregation of Toronto site.
This year, our fees and ticket prices, as in previous years, will be help us fund our services and events while respecting a decades-old commitment to financial accessibility for our members and congregants. But, as an unaffiliated congregation, without any current funding from foundations or major donors, we rely on you to keep this little shul that could, and did, running.
Please buy your memberships and tickets now, knowing that the funds from them and your donations constitute our only source of revenue. They both pay for all that we offer at High Holy Days and all services/events through the year ahead: staffing, rentals, administration, kiddushes and other free meals, adult education including the speakers’ series, the Shabbat children’s program and all other costs. They help subsidise fees for those who cannot afford full payments. We do so much with so little because of a small group of dedicated volunteers who carry the load, along with staff members who go well beyond the call of duty. But love takes us only so far. We cannot do without the funding from our membership fees and ticket sales. Please also consider an additional donation to our shul with your fees, keeping in mind our many needs. Please be generous, and join us for another great year at Congregation Shir Libeynu.
With Respect and Regards,
President, Congregation Shir Libeynu