When we made the initial decision to close the building, we had no idea how long the situation would last.
With the recent murders of people of color and the injustice our friends in the black community have had to endure all of their lives, lends to the feelings of outrage. This on top of a global pandemic and subsequent lock down, disruption to our economic well being and the social unrest in our community. We are faced with the question: How can these events happen in a country that was founded on basic principles that all are created equal and are given the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness?
We take this time to celebrate Joyce’s life, to embrace the pain we all feel at her departure, and we mourn her death, a void which will never be filled.
It sounds like a lot is happening in a period of 8-weeks at our synagogue. The fact is that a lot happens at our synagogue.
The strategic planning committee has spent the past eight months surveying the congregation and identifying strategic initiatives to work on over the next five, ten and even fifteen years. We identified and discussed trends in religion and particularly Jewish religious life and gathered input from our congregation on what is important to them.
One of Etz Chaim’s own, Audrey Honig, was recently chosen as a Rosh Eidah, unit head, at OSRUI. Audrey is the daughter of Rob and Lisa Honig and is a junior at Kalamazoo College in Kalamazoo, MI. We are so proud of her and her many accomplishments! I asked Audrey to tell us about her love for all things OSRUI.
There is an old story of five people in a boat. None of them like each other that much, so they mostly keep to themselves. Everyone is happy to allow the other to do their own thing. One day, the person in the corner begins to hack at the wood in the bottom of the boat. At first, everyone is fine with this. However, it’s not long before a small leak appears. The people say that the person in the corner should stop what they’re doing. The person in the corner argues that they’re doing their own thing and it doesn’t matter. The people respond, “When your actions affect all of us, it’s not just your thing.”
Is there such a thing as Jewish Spirituality? What does it mean? It is not uncommon to hear someone say, “I am spiritual, but not religious.” However, what does that really mean. Come and explore with Rabbi Cosnowsky, the origins of spirituality in Judaism and how Jewish spiritual practice can become a part of your daily life. This program is sponsored by the Etz Chaim Foundation as part of their Sunday morning programs..
Rabbi Cosnowsky will be on sabbatical from February 4 to March 4, 2020. This will be her first sabbatical after serving our congregation for the
past 14 ½ years. Please read her column for the instructions on how communication will be handled for the month she is away.
I began writing this column on Thanksgiving Day for the January 2020, newsletter. Later today, most of our family will be able to gather for dinner. My wife and I have talked to our children who live out of state. We may not be physically in one place; we can be emotionally connected.