Today is September 25, 2020 -

Congregation Sha'arey Israel

A Conservative Jewish Congregation serving the spiritual needs of the Middle Georgia Jewish community since 1904

611 First Street, Macon, GA 31201
Phone: (478) 745-4571
Email: sect@csi.mgacoxmail.com

Preparing for the High Holidays Online

It is kind of hard to believe we are at the end of August. As we move into September, we have the High Holidays coming. Yeah, I agree it is too hot to think of the High Holidays. Looks like it will cool down a little over the next couple of weeks.

Rabbi and his team (Zohar and Sharona) have been putting a lot of work into preparing for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur services online. Services will be streamed from the main sanctuary. Many of you have already sent recordings of the readings of your Torah portions to the Rabbi. Thank you!! While we strive to make this the best experience possible, please keep in mind we are using technology which at times can have a mind of its own. We all saw in the news this past week how Zoom had servers go down for a substantial amount of time. While we hope this will not happen during services, we are in the process of looking at backup options in the event this does occur.

While it’s a little further out, we will be celebrating Sukkot. With us not all being able to meet together in person, I highly recommend you consider building your own Sukkot, particularly those of you with kids. It is not that hard and is a lot of fun. Let’s see how many sukkots we can put up in our community this year. If you need help with design or how to do this, please call me. Also, if you are interested in having your own Lulav and Etrog, you need to get your order in ASAP to the CSI secretary, Stephanie.

I really appreciate everyone’s participation in the online annual meeting. I mentioned a list of projects that we will be working on over the coming year. To move these projects along, it is very important that our committee structure works properly.  While many of these items are not urgent, they are extremely important, and we’ll need your help in handling these tasks.

Rabbi and I have had several discussions on how to increase the feel of community in the Covid-19 era. We have been working on an idea of having weekly or bi-weekly Zoom meeting “rooms” on various topics of interest to our congregants. Here are some examples: Parsha Discussion each Thursday evening; gardening one week, cooking the next week, knitting another time; CSI alumni under 40 every other week on a topic of their choice; monthly joke telling session (need Alan Goldman to lead this!); etc.  Please give us your feedback on the kinds of  discussion groups you would like to see. We feel this is an opportunity to create a stronger sense of community in the Covid-19 environment and beyond.

With the limitations that we face because of Covid-19, we will be challenged this year with our normal fund-raising activities. For those of you that can, please consider doubling your Annual Fund commitment from last year. While many of our expenses are down, we still have the fixed cost of salaries and building upkeep that must be paid. We need your help.

As I write this article, I am sad with the news of the passing of Morris Cohen. Morris has been a dedicated member for many years to CSI, and we will all miss him.

With Rosh Hashanah just around the corner, Marty and I wish everyone a Healthy, Happy, Safe New Year.

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