A famous quote is “No man is an island” and here at Congregation Sha’arey Israel that is a good thing. Since our earliest days as a congregation, our efforts and growth as a synagogue has been reliant on teamwork. You know…the “together we can move mountains” mentality. Perhaps it sounds a bit cheesy, but it’s true! Recently, I attended a meeting at the shul that we term “Teacher’s Workday and Planning”. As I glanced around, I counted 20 or more people in attendance which included the Board of Education Committee, our Religious School Teachers and assistants, the Rabbi, and two ISJL representatives. It was a wonderful and collaborative effort by many people to ensure that we have another educational, fun and successful year of learning in our Religious School. This is just one example of a multitude of group efforts that take place all year long by all of our various committees, the Board of Governors and other member volunteers that enhance our synagogue and spiritual experience at CSI. I appreciate the dedication and service of all those both past and present who selflessly take the time to contribute ideas and energy to make our religious organization the best it can be for everyone. We welcome new volunteers ready to serve so no one feels overwhelmed or unduly burdened who has contributed years of involvement. This succession of service is important in any organization be it religious or secular.
Hard work year after year, ideas and inspiration, financial planning, a vision for the future and a loyal membership are some of the key factors that enable our synagogue to exist. Of the congregants who move out of the Macon / Bibb County area to relocate elsewhere, most continue to support CSI with membership and contributions. This loyalty is a testament to the dedication they have to the role our synagogue played in their life while living here. A connection to the shul continues through our bulletin, other mailings and communications. This loyalty and consistent support is valued and appreciated, just as it is with our local members.
Our new “user friendly” Shabbat prayer books seamlessly blend the consistency of tradition with modern syntax and other additional enhancements. And so it is through the years with our synagogue itself. A combination of a rich history of tradition merged with mindful, progressive change at times so that Congregation Sha’arey Israel can be the special place that is is… now and always.