Shining a Light, Making an Impact

Rabbi's Message - December 7, 2021

Rabbi Tina Sobo

Dear Friends,

As I clean the wax from the crevices of my menorah where just two nights ago the candles shone in all their brilliance, I realize that December is upon us, and I can’t help but wonder where 2021 went.  Last year, at about this time, we so readily prepared to say ‘good riddance’ to the notorious year 2020, with its uncharted territory and held dear the hope that the COVID vaccines were our ticket to normalcy.  Yet, here we are, a year later, and it feels like this past year has been nearly as uncharted as the one before it.  Our environment is ever-changing as always, but it has been a comfort to navigate the storm together as a congregation.

Our success in continuing to fulfill our mission to serve our congregants and the Jewish community, is possible because of you.  Over the pandemic, many have been able to continue to participate and give as much or more than you previously had.  These contributions always support the work of our clergy and staff, and enable us to provide the programs and services that impact you - all our members, friends, neighbors, and the community at large.  We’ve continued our outreach efforts to foster connection between congregants, as isolation and loneliness remain heightened.  We’ve been able to begin coming back together in-person at Temple, while also providing connections through Zoom and YouTube streaming for those who are unable to join us in person.  Things still look different than “normal”, but we’ve learned so much about what it means (and how) to connect. We know that the pandemic has impacted everyone and we are truly grateful for your time, creativity, and generosity.

As the year comes to a close, the path forward still remains uncertain.  What remains true is our commitment to overcome those obstacles together and provide financial, religious, social and emotional support and services to all our families and the community.  I invite you to make a year-end contribution to Temple Israel so that we may continue to be beacon of Torah (teaching),  Avodah (service), and G’milut Chasadim (kind actions).

Jewish ethics teaches that even the smallest of actions is integral to the success of the whole.  Each and every act of giving makes an impact, no matter how small.  From one tiny flame of the shamash, the entire Hanukkah menorah is lit.  Be that light.  Make an impact.  

Thank you for considering a contribution to Temple.  May we all move forward in strength, health, and holiness.


Rabbi Tina Sobo

Giving Tuesday

Giving Tuesday

Rabbi’s Message – December 1, 2020

Rabbi Karen Bodney-Halasz

This year has sent us into such unchartered territory, but fortunately, we have been able to weather this storm together as a congregation.   As we continue to navigate these waves of challenges, we can reflect on the ways we have adapted to our new environment.  
Our caring committee spearheaded outreach efforts to help alleviate feelings of isolation and loneliness.  We also developed new methods to continue meaningful Jewish living as a community.  It was a year of firsts: our first online annual congregational meeting, a “Zoom-Mitzvah,” virtual High Holiday services, and even holiday drive-thru experiences.  Our regular, ongoing programs such as Shabbat worship services, Torah study, and religious school look different, but still evoke the essence of Temple Israel.  While we may be physically separated, we are finding creative ways to lift one another up, increase our connectedness, and grow in our knowledge of Torah.
All of these things have only been possible because of members like you who have stepped up your participation and giving.  Your donations directly support the work of our rabbis and staff, and the programs and services that directly impact you, our friends, and our neighbors.  Thank you for your continued generosity even as you, too, have experienced the impact of this pandemic. 
Today has been designated as “Giving Tuesday,” which reminds us that we all have gifts to give and every act of generosity, big or small, makes a significant impact.  Please consider lending a helping hand to those most impacted by this pandemic by making a year-end donation to Temple Israel in honor of Giving Tuesday.  Your support will enable us to remain connected through kindness even without physical proximity.  Together we can continue to provide the financial, emotional and social supports that nurture our families and communities. 
Every act of giving, big or small, moves us closer in our quest of tikkun olam, repairing the world.  One day the storm will be over, but until then we must walk together in the rain.  Thank you for considering a year-end donation to Temple Israel.
May we all go forward in strength and good health.