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President's Message Jan./Feb. 2019

January 22, 2019 1:06 PM | Lance Strate (Administrator)

A Message from the President

Michael Fishbein, President

As Rabbi Schwartz often explains, Adas Emuno is a house of worship, a house of learning and a house of gathering. But there is something special about Adas Emuno—it is also a house of joy. For members who limit their participation to the High Holy Days, Adas Emuno is a house of spiritual renewal and a house of remembrance. These devoted members take inspiration from the wisdom of Rabbi Schwartz reflected in his service, leadership and sermons; their spirits are uplifted by High Holy Day melodies chanted so beautifully by Cantor Horowitz. What they are missing, however, is the joyful occasions that are part of Adas Emuno’s year-round observances.

Consider our annual Sukkot celebration that begins with “pizza in the hut” and continues with singing in a packed social hall. What a fun evening that is! Songs from Woody Guthrie to the Rolling Stones fill the room, brought together with the musical accompaniment of accomplished guitarist Peter Hays. Thank you Cantor Horowitz, Elka Oliver, Skyler Oliver, and Stella Borelli for sharing your lovely voices with us.

I’m pretty sure everyone who attended that evening is looking forward to next year’s Sukkot celebration. What is more lively than our monthly Family Services? These Shabbat evenings feature one of our Religious School grades leading us during the service. It is a delight to see these young students demonstrate their knowledge and enthusiasm. The students, their teachers, and the Cantor always lead us in robust songs of Shabbat. The joy is real—and contagious.

How about our Hanukkah party? It begins with the lighting of the menorah in front of our temple, a couple of songs and a joke or two courtesy of the Rabbi. Later, we kindle our 118-year-old menorah. This year, we feasted on delicious latkes made by several of our members and Debby Schwartz. Back by popular demand, Elana Fishbein led improv games with the participation of both young and old.

On Friday, January 18, we will hold our Tu B’Shevat Seder, a fun occasion on which we celebrate the “New Year of Trees.” We eat various types of fruit and nuts, and drink both red and white wine (or grape juice)—all in a specific order. This seder is based on Kabbalistic ideas and was developed during the 16th century in what is now Safed, Israel.

Coming up in March is the celebration of Purim, highlighted by our annual Purim Shpiel. Previous shpiels featured creative scripts and songs written by Lance Strate, our immediate past president. Who knows what the next shpiel will bring? I know one thing—it will be fun. Consider joining as a cast member and you, too, can become an instant Adas Emuno star.

Now that the dark days of winter are here, it’s a good time to introduce extra light into every week. Come to Friday night Shabbat services; attend the Rabbi’s popular Saturday morning Torah study group; be inspired at Family Services; enjoy the Tu B’Shevat Seder; laugh and make noise during the Purim merriment. Don’t wait for the next High Holy Days to come to your house of worship, your house of learning, your house of gathering—and, yes, your house of joy.

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Student Cantor

Joseph Flaxman

Religious School Director

Shira Friedman

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