Message from our CPT President on Synagogue Life and the Importance of Your Donations.

I have given much thought of about what I wanted to write in this article.  The High Holidays are fast approaching as Rosh Hashanah begins in the evening of September 4, 2013.  Traditionally, throughout the thousands of synagogues, Presidents will reach out to their membership asking for donations during the annual Kol Nidre Appeal.  I decided to research Kol Nidre Appeals on the internet.  I was looking for some special, spiritual appeal but what I found was the standard format from the many Appeals that I read.  No matter how the message was written, the story line was the same- “we must rely on fundraising activities such as the Kol Nidre Appeal in order to maintain the programming and services on which all of us have come to depend.”  In some cases, the letters to the Congregational members addressing the importance of the Kol Nidre Appeal went into quite some detail as to the financial status of the Congregation. 

I could have easily substituted the name of our Congregation in any of these letters and speeches, asking our members to donate generously for the exact reasons- Kol Nidre Appeals do provide the extra funding that allows our Congregation to continue to provide the services to our members.

But for me, I wanted to say something more.  If we think about the High Holidays, it is about transitions, our past, present and future.  As individuals, it is a time for reflection of our past, our present and our future and so it is with our Congregation, where we have been, where are we now and where will our future take us.  We are at a turning point as your board of directors, your spiritual leaders, Rabbi Mintz and Cantor Goldberg continue to build upon the foundation of the past leadership of President Lieberman.  In order for P’nai Tikvah to take the next step into the future, we need our members to make a personal commitment, a personal investment as a home can only be as strong as the family that supports it.

According to Pirke Avot, “the world rests on three things, Torah, prayer and acts of loving kindness.”  In the Netaneh Tokef prayer, we exclaim, “repentance, prayer and charity shall… As we collectively prepare for the holidays, we appreciate your generous donations. Please join us to celebrate the High Holidays at the Texas Station.

In closing, I wanted to share the words of Rabbi Lawrence A. Hoffman as I finally found the spiritual words I was looking for in writing this article.  “  What attracts us to this strangely haunting ritual of Kol Nidre?  Is it the music?  Surely.  Is it also the high drama of the occasion?  Yes, it is that as well.  But it is more.  For a brief moment, as Kol Nidre is chanted, we are in touch with the sacred and with our finitude: with those we love and with the broader human universe; with our own better selves and with G-d….”

Barbara Holland, CPM