Thanks to everyone who participated in our High Holy Day services—with special thanks to all of those who volunteered. Rabbi Hirsch brought wisdom, kindness and intellectual force to the Days of Awe. You can read her sermons by clicking here. And when our cantorial soloist Gerard Edery had to go undergo emergency back surgery in Poland, where he is still recovering, Rabbi Hirsch on very short notice arranged for two wonderful substitutes—Cantor Nancy Ginsberg for Rosh Hashanah and soloist Ellen Allard for Yom Kippur. Here is an excerpt from our Kol Nidre co-presidents speech, which we offer here as a reflection on the place of The Village Temple in the lives of many people:
When Jerry and I tell people we are co-presidents of our shul we usually get one of two responses.
Or abject pity.
But tonight, on this night of self-examination, we can honestly say you shouldn’t feel sorry for us at all!
I’m not saying there haven’t been very tough moments over this past year, as we began a transition.
It was a difficult process, to be sure. Passions were aroused. Feelings were hurt. Throughout it all, Jerry and I were impressed by how much people cared.
We have been gratified to see how many of you were willing to engage in conversations with Rabbi Hirsch about what the synagogue means to you. It has been a privilege to hear what the Village Temple has meant for you—at times of celebration and at times of stress and sorrow.
When I first became co-president more than three years ago, I paid a visit to Harriet Zimmer. Harriet is one of the founding mothers of The Village Temple and is now our oldest congregant—97 years old. I asked her what I needed to know about our congregation.
She didn’t hesitate.
“The temple is the temple,” she said.
I was taken aback at this Yoda like response. The temple is the temple?
Then she explained. “the Village Temple has been around since 1948,” she said. “Rabbis change, cantors change, people come and go. But The Village Temple is always there for all of us.”
So here we are, on this Kol Nidre evening, here for one another, so we don’t have to reach inside by ourselves.
And the Village Temple is here for all of us, as it always has been, for generations before us.
Wishing you an easy fast, and a hopeful New Year.