President´s message


What a difference one year makes! It is hard to believe that the summer is coming to an end and the High Holy Days are coming upon us! Camp Daisy and Harry Stein was able to open this summer and it was so amazing to see so many familiar and new faces. To see our campers and staff back in action, after having to make the very difficult decision to cancel camp last summer, was truly awesome. We are already making plans for next summer to make the experience even better and cannot wait to share another summer with our campers and staff.

The Centennial Celebration will begin, kicking off at our High Holy Days. I am very excited to be your President during our Centennial and we have so many wonderful events planned. There will be several volunteer opportunities and I look forward to seeing familiar and new faces as we celebrate together.

We have been fortunate to start holding services in our sanctuary in person and it has truly been most uplifting to be able to pray together. Last year, we were able to have a limited number of members share services in person during our High Holy Days while livestreaming for all others. After the holidays passed, and after close to 18 months of having our Shabbat services via livestream, the need for us to all be together, for one service for each day of the High Holy Days, became a priority.

For years, we have been grateful for our partnership with Chaparral Christian Church. In recent years, the cost for renting this space has increased significantly, making it truly cost prohibitive, particularly in light of the recent pandemic. If we were to rent space from Chaparral Christian this year, we would have to continue to have an early and late service, and it would not be a fiscally prudent decision for the Board to approve the incredibly high costs of such during a pandemic budget year. We looked at many large spaces closer to our synagogue as well as downtown and were unsuccessful in finding a venue that would both welcome us and be cost conscious during these uncertain times. This is how Pilgrim Rest was chosen as our prayer space for the High Holy Days. Without hesitation, they invited us into their space and are charging us a very small fee, which is simply to assist with security and utilities for the time we are in their space.

I would like to take a moment to reflect and remember our Congregation’s ecumenical roots. Rabbi Albert Plotkin, of blessed memory, was regarded as one of the Valley’s premier leaders in the Jewish and Interfaith communities. For 25 years, he volunteered as a Chaplain at Phoenix Veteran’s Hospital. In 1972, he received the National Award for Brotherhood from the National Conference of Christians and Jews. Additionally, our beloved and dearly departed Rabbi Plotkin taught for decades at All Saint’s Episcopal Church about the Jewish Roots of Christianity. I would like to think that he would be extremely proud of us for coming together on the High Holy Days to pray at Pilgrim Rest, where we are being welcomed with open arms because they value our relationship and value the importance of these Holiest of our Holidays. I look forward to worshiping with my Congregation Beth Israel family under one roof, with one service, altogether, after 18 months of viewing one another through a computer screen. I invite each and every one of you to join me.

As I personally reflect on this last year, it has certainly been filled with many challenges, both within our synagogue and personally. Thank you for your support during my recent difficult loss of my Aunt Barbara, with whom I was extremely close. My husband, Steven and I are now looking forward to celebrating our youngest’s Bar Mitzvah on August 7, 2021. I hope you will join us virtually.

As always, I am here to listen to your joys, concerns, or just to say hello. I wish you all Shanah Tova.

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