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As we approach the High Holidays and the end of another chapter in our Book of Life, let’s reflect on the past year.
 
The year 5781 was filled with potential, hope and anxiety as we adapted to life in a world fighting a pandemic. We had our individual moments of joy and sadness and despite our social distancing, we were able to share these moments with our community. We learned that we are stronger when we face life, its simchas and its challenges together. The familiar theme of our people coming together, often against difficult odds, to overcome the challenges we face is not new.  It is at the heart of our story.
 
In the past year we found innovative ways to celebrate Shabbat and to observe the High Holidays. We continued to celebrate the coming of age of our B’nai Mitzvah.  We joined our Confirmands as they led a moving and meaningful service.  We continued to celebrate the births and marriages of our congregants and their families, and comforted our bereaved loved ones as well.  Through our commitment to repairing the world, we fed the hungry in our community and helped the homeless. We mobilized our volunteers to keep in touch with everyone isolated at home and to assist one another getting those difficult and coveted vaccine appointments when they were first available. We continued to educate our students in our ELC and Religious Schools, we offered outstanding Adult Education programs and created opportunities for our youth groups to remain connected.  It wasn’t easy and we did have some bumps in the Zoom world, but through the tireless efforts of our clergy, staff and volunteers, we adapted, persevered and overcame the obstacles. Throughout this most difficult year we continued to contribute funds over and above our annual dues commitments.
 
During this truly unprecedented year a wonderful thing happened…the Reform Jewish community of Western Monmouth County became stronger and more focused with the integration of Temple Shaari Emeth and Temple Rodeph Torah.  Together we are stronger.  Together we will improve the world with our united and unified commitment to Torah, to justice, to Tikkun Olam and to pursuing a world of peace. And together, as a unified community, not only will we continue our customs and traditions, but we will write a new future together as we maintain and strengthen the Jewish community for generations of Jews to come.
 
As the new year of 5782 approaches, once again we recognize that there is still uncertainty, but there is tremendous potential and hope that we are emerging from the trials and tribulations we have faced. We continue to adapt and to navigate in an uncertain world, but now and for the unlimited future we are going to do this together and stronger!
 
The arrival of the High Holidays also marks the beginning of our annual Community Appeal, this year together as one united congregation.  Although we are all asked to pay dues, they don’t cover the costs of all that our unified Temple provides for our community.  This year our goal is to raise $150,000 so that we can continue to bring our community together in prayer, in learning and in making the world a better place. Each donation lays the foundation upon which we maintain the present and build for the future of our Jewish community.
 
Whether it’s donuts, s’mores or ice cream at an outdoor service; hearing beautiful voices and music at a service or ceremony; religious school and youth programming; a strong social action and Tikkun Olam effort; educational opportunities with Torah study and Lifelong Learning or the many activities offered by Renaissance, Sisterhood or Men’s Club; there is just so much going on and so much more to do!
 
As we launch our 5782 Community Appeal this year, consider being a part of something bigger than yourself by helping to sustain and to continue to build our vibrant Jewish community. Every single contribution makes a difference. Together we can reach 100% participation this year!  Remember, we are not just supporting a “Temple”, we are supporting our “Community”.
 
Please return the included form or visit www.shaariemeth.org/appeal (Shaari Emeth members) or www.trt.org/appeal  (Temple Rodeph Torah members) to donate now to the 2021 – 2022 Community Appeal. 

 

Shana Tovah and may we be inscribed in the Book of Life.

This form is for donations from current Temple Shaari Emeth (TSE) membersPlease click here if you are a current Temple Rodeph Torah (TRT) member

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Sat, September 18 2021 12 Tishrei 5782