President’s Pen, March 2020

Purim is almost upon us. On Sunday the 8th our congregation will be the Purim Capital of North America. In addition to the service, there is also a Purim Carnival. And there will be plenty of Hamentaschen for us, since the week before our Sisterhood has a Hamentaschen baking party at the synagogue. This is followed by our Sophie & Jack Edwards Scholar in Residence Program beginning on Friday the 13th; Dr. Barry Wimpfheimer’s topic is: When Jewish Law Gets Too Technical. At the end of the second full week of April, Passover begins. A time when we will gather with friends and family on the first night to celebrate the holiday and everything it means to us. On the second night we will gather together for the Congregational Seder. On April 17th our annual weekend Congregational Retreat begins. And before you sit down to relax, on May 2nd is our 60th Anniversary Celebration Concert titled: A Night of Comedy and Songs, featuring Rabbi Andie and Jane Cosnowsky.

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. From the opening of school and the Brotherhood’s BBQ picnic and Carnival in the fall to the end of school and the Brotherhood’s ‘end of school’ BBQ, much is going on at Etz Chaim. Our community is very active. We are fortunate to have people volunteering to help make these events possible. And every year additional activities are added by members who have an idea and wish to see who is attracted to it. It keeps us vibrant.

You have probably seen what this is leading up to. I am suggesting that through this year that you stretch yourself and help in making an event come together. Perhaps it is only setting or cleaning up. On the other hand, you may be able to help produce advertising for an event. Or you have some other skill that you can bring to the ‘party.’ There are a number of different committees who are always up to something. The Retreat Committee is busy right now preparing a weekend at OSRUI that should keep both the children and adults busy and entertained; the theme of the retreat is: Celebrating Our Super Heroes. I am NOT directing you to any particular activity. The opportunities are there; if something appeals to you and you have the time, from singing in our choir, working with children, helping with gardening, or adding your expertise and experience to improving our facility, etc. Your choice. Check it out, dip your toes in, and see if there is something that catches your imagination and looks interesting. Where to start? Check our website, www.congetzchaim.org , and get a sense of what is going on and who you can contact. And do not forget to join your fellow congregants at the various events to see friends and make new ones.