Today is July 12, 2024 -

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

Resetting Our Priorities

Hmmmmm. Where do we start. A lot has happened since my last article.

On top of dealing with a major pandemic, we are seeing a major shift in issues which have needed attention for a long time. I am not sure I remember seeing a summer with so much tension and frustration on the part of so many. While I was a good bit younger, this summer kind of reminds me of the summer of 1968.

The difference is we are dealing with a deadly pandemic which will permanently change many things that we thought of as the “norm.”

While many of us will need to monitor how this affects our day to day living habits, we will be closely evaluating how we as a Kehilla should operate to give meaning and value to all our members.

We do have a very broad age range of members and will need to fine tune programs to meet the needs of the various age brackets.

There will be some changes that some will see as very positive and some will see as negative. I tend to think we will see many more positive changes. One of the positive changes seen so far is the active participation in services from some out of town members. It has also been heart-warming to see the smile on the face of an out of town grandmother as her grandchild led the Shema during services.

With safety as priority #1, we will be having High Holiday services online this year. The plan is for the length of this service to be similar to a Saturday morning service. Services should not be more than 2 ½ hours long. We will be working to get Mazhor’s delivered to all members.

We are working through the plans for religious school and hope to have firm plans soon. We are trying to balance what can be a meaningful experience for the kids along with what is already a long week of being in front of a computer for regular school. I realize this is a very challenging time for all parents with school age kids. We have to figure out a balance that works for everyone given all the current demands.

The pandemic will be a major reset button for us in so many ways. With the New Year coming, it makes you start to think very deeply of how should I reset my priorities to improve as a human being and improve my role in Tikkun Olam.

Final note: As I am finishing this article, I received note that Bess Cotton has passed away. I have such fond memories of my mom and Bess being involved in so many Shul functions. We will all very much miss Bess and her sense of humor. May her wonderful memories forever be a blessing to all her family.