L’Shana Tovah

As co-presidents of The Village Temple, we wish all of you a sweet and hopeful New Year! Our services for Rosh HaShana were lovely and we are looking forward to Yom Kippur. Hope you can join us. Here is an adaptation of Julie’s Rosh HaShana welcome:

We had lots of backstage excitement/anxiety before the High Holy Days this year. Less than three weeks before Rosh HaShana, Gerard Edery, our cantorial soloist extraordinaire, had emergency back surgery—big stuff, spinal fusion. Two weeks later Anita Hollander, our Shabbat musical director, fell and severely broke her hand—more surgery.

But these turned out to be the days of awe in more ways than one. Gerard sang beautifully all three days of Rosh HaShana services, and Anita was back for Shabbat services last week and Children’s services at Cooper Union.

Rabbi Koster pulled together services that were beautiful, meaningful, heartfelt–not knowing until the last minute whether she would be singing as well as praying! Thanks to all for this heroic effort.

And thanks to all of you for joining together for services. For some of you, this is an annual pilgrimage to childhood ritual. For others, this is part of a continuum, a spiritual journey that takes place throughout the year. Whatever your reasons, we all have one thing in common. In this space we find connections to some part of our souls that we can’t make anywhere else.

I love the fact that our High Holy Day services take place in the Great Hall at Cooper Union, where Abraham Lincoln gave the speech that foretold his future as the Great Emancipator. The Village Temple respects the past-…in the Jewish calendar this is 5776! And this synagogue has been here for 67 years.

We also believe in the future. You can see that in the faces of the 140 children who attended our religious school this past year—and in the many young people who were part of Rosh HaShana services.  You can see the seeds being planted, week after week, at The Village Temple, through conversation, prayer, study. Check us out in Kesher, our newsletter, or on the website—or drop by for a Friday night service—6:45, every week throughout the year.

As for the now, please join us in saying thanks to all the people instrumental in the massive task of moving our synagogue temporarily fro East 12th Street to Cooper Union, for the High Holy Days:

To Lisa Loren, who organizes this production, and has done so for more years than we can count.

To Sandy Albert and Sandy Gonzalez-Wilson, our wonderful office managers, and to Santiago and Ivette, as well as Chris and Julio, our kind and hard-working custodians, who keep the machinery running.

To all the ushers, greeters, and ticket takers—volunteers all, who make sure everyone is given a warm welcome.

To Alex Tansky, Anita Hollander, Holland Hamilton and Daniel Stein—and Rabbi Koster, of course– for children’s services that are edifying and entertaining!

Finally, on the first night of Rosh HaShana, Rabbi Koster talked about the importance of being connected not just to one another, but to the world at large. In the past year, The Village Temple has welcomed speakers seeking peace in Israel, groups working on behalf of immigrant rights, heard from our congregants who bring to the bimah an impressive assortment of experiences and wisdom—as recently as September 11, Holland Hamilton—VT religious school bat mitzvah/now occasional Shabbat soloist—spoke about what she learned at a conference in Berlin this summer, which brought young Jews and Muslims together from around the world to discuss better paths to the future.

L’Shana Tovah, with warm wishes for a healthy and hopeful New Year!!