From the Desk - Returning to the Sanctuary
I hope you and your family are healthy, well, and safe.
Amazing Education Program!
This has been a very busy time at Beth Ora and I thank all those who have been working hard for the community, including those volunteers who dedicated themselves so admirably in aid of our raffle.
I am excited to remind you about the program we are running in these weeks running up to the High Holidays, which begins tonight! At 8 PM, I’ll be talking to Tema Smith and Rivka Campbell, two black members of the Jewish community who are doing important work to address racism and promote inclusion. The title is “Black and Jewish: Are We Blind to Racism in Our Community?” Please join us on Zoom at this link and make a note of our programs on The Struggle for Soviet Jewry (Tuesday, September 1st at 8 PM) and the Israel-Palestine conflict (Sunday, September 13th at 2:30 PM).
Returning to the Sanctuary!
It has been more than five months now since we have davened inside our beloved Sanctuary. With immense gratitude, I’m delighted to let you know that this Shabbat we will be resuming services inside the Sanctuary. We do so, not only conscious of the need for continued precautions, but also with an increased appreciation for what our Sanctuary represents. I hope that having been absent from our Sanctuary for so long will give us a new appreciation for the sanctity of the place we go to for prayer. We can no longer take for granted the blessing of having a place to commune with Hashem as a community. Let us take upon ourselves to better honour this space by devoting our speech and actions to holy purposes while we are within its sacred walls.
Our core policies of stringent distancing and strict facial covering remain in force. We will be asking attendees to sanitize their hands before and after using the railing by the steps, and to use only those seats marked with post-it notes.
We more than understand those who aren’t ready to come back, but if you don’t have health concerns about it, please come back to synagogue – we miss you, we want to daven with you, we want to say Shabbat Shalom to you, we want to be inspired together, especially as we approach the High Holidays.
We thank Hashem for the opportunity to once again enter His home and pray that it be with good health and blessing.
Children at Beth Ora
At Beth Ora, it is very important to us that we reach out to and engage the children in our community so that they know that Beth Ora is their home.
Last Sunday, we enjoyed a wonderful “Chalk the Walk” event where we welcomed more than 20 children who did a beautiful job chalking welcome messages to greet those returning to the synagogue. The rain undid some of their good work but we still have the evidence!
We invite children aged 3-7 to join us each Shabbat at the park opposite Beth Ora from 10:00 AM – 10:45 AM for “Group on the Grass.” In addition to playing in the park, we will be doing Shabbat songs, prayers and Kiddush. Under 3’s are welcome but should be supervised by their parents.
We look forward to continuing to explore ways of engaging all members of the Beth Ora family!
May Hashem keep us all safe, and may we have the ability to come together in friendship and growth.
Rabbi Anthony Knopf