I hope this message finds you and your family doing well and in good health. As mentioned in the messages leading up to the Chag, our shul is completely full for all 5 (that’s right, 5!) minyanim on Rosh Hashana day. Baruch Hashem our community continues to grow, and our shul continues to provide us with a meaningful makom tefilla and a warm and welcoming atmosphere for our Kehilla.
As I approach the end of my term on the Vaad serving as president, I would like to express just how impressed I am with all of the magic which goes on behind the scenes in our Kehilla. Whether it’s everything our Rav does both publicly as well as privately with individual families, or the chesed, the education, events for adults and youth through our various committees, and the individuals committed to helping families in need or struggling through very difficult situations, we all have a lot to be proud of.
I am particularly impressed when I get a glimpse behind the scenes at how Tefilla and seating arrangements are prepared for the over 1200 mitpallelim our shul will host over the Yamim Noraim. Tefilla is a very personal activity. Everyone deserves the best environment for their Tefillot to be the most meaningful and effective. While not everyone can get the exact seats they requested, we did try to institute a fair process which we communicated well in advance to help provide our members and their guests with access to seats for the Yamim Noraim.
Putting things in perspective, we all owe a tremendous hakarat hatov to all of those individuals who dedicated their time, energy and resources to build our beautiful Beit Knesset building, all of whom spent many years davening with their families in gyms, schools, and other temporary locations in order to get us to where we are today.
After the Chagim, as presented in our Annual Membership Meeting last year, we will share some plans with our Amuta (Building Fund Membership) regarding expansion options for our shul, but for now our focus is on doing our best to ensure the most meaningful and inspiring Tefillot for our Kehilla for the upcoming Chagim.
As we approach the Yamim Noraim, the Vaad and I would like to to share a couple of messages:
First and foremost, we want to thank the many dedicated individuals who have spent an extraordinary amount of their personal time to ensure that there is a place to daven for the more than 1,200 people who requested and purchased seats. This is the largest demand we have ever experienced, and it’s becoming increasingly difficult to find space.
As in previous years, our seating charts will be shared on Erev Chag (and the same for Yom Kippur). The charts are final as the seating email is no longer monitored.
On Rosh Hashanah, there is only assigned seating in morning Minyanim. Everyone is invited to sit where they like in the evenings.
For the mornings of Rosh Hashanah, some people will be seated at one of our two extension minyanim (one at a Gan down the block from shul, the other at the Katz home).
This year, for daytime Tefillot, our downstairs minyanim will have assigned seating for our Amuta (Building Fund) member reservations only. Our Associate Members who are assigned to that minyan will appear on a list at the door, alongside the number of seats they have, but will be free to sit in any unassigned seats.
Lastly, and most importantly, I think it is important that we all keep in mind that the primary focus here is to enable a meaningful Tefilla experience for our Kehilla. We may not all be able to sit exactly where we want, but the level of Tefilla we reach as a community is completely within our control.
I ask, on behalf of the Vaad and seating committee, for mechila, forgiveness, for anything which may not have come out exactly the way people requested.
Wishing everybody a Ketiva V’Chatima Tova.