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President’s Message: October 29, 2020

The High Holy Days arrived during the busy month of Tishrei when we celebrated Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot, Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah, almost without a break between them. We symbolically cast away our sins on Tashlich and spent days thinking about being more introspective with a focus of taking care of ourselves through Heshbon HaNefesh.

Tishrei is followed by the month of Heshvan (This year – October 19 – November 16, 2020) and is sometimes called empty because there are no holidays. For many in our sacred communities this is also a month to relax and take time away from the incessant rush of the holidays.

At KI however, we never seem to slow down. Some in our community have made their way back to jobs, and to school, either online or in some hybrid version of living life a little differently.

Here are a few of the activities that are taking place at KI that have continued and strengthened during the last eight months. You will see that Heshvan is not so quiet after all.

  • Adult Education attracts between 50-70 Zoomers weekly for such wonderful and varied topics as: The Art of Stillness, Presented by the Michener Art Museum & The Unknown Stories of Boathouse Row with Dotty Brown
  • Torah Study on Saturday morning averages between 25-30 Zoomers. We are currently making our way through Genesis and have survived the great flood. Do not be afraid to Zoom with us on Saturday morning from 9:00 a.m. – 10:00am.
  • Shabbat on Facebook – I try to attend Shabbat services every Friday evening on Facebook. Between 18 – 30 Zoomers attend weekly and we can message each other in real time. On Kol Nidre this number rose to over 100!
  • Shabbat on our KI Website attracts more congregants than Facebook and you have the option of watching more than one time. Did you ever think you could binge-watch the best parts of a Shabbat service?
  • Every Wednesday evening at 7:30 p.m. our Senior Rabbi Lance Sussman “Talks” on a wide variety of topics. His recent power point presentation series hosted and created with Joan Myerson Shrager, included Winston Churchill and the Jews (Attended by 95 Zoomers) LBJ and the Jews (55 Zoomers) and Ben Franklin and the Jews (78 Zoomers). More contemporary figures such as Paul Finkelman, Ph.D., President of Gratz College, and our own Dr. Arnold Meshkov who discussed his upcoming book, attracted over 80 Zoomers at each of their programs.
  • Zonegs (Our Friday evening Zoom + Oneg hosted by Rabbi Lance Sussman and Cantor Amy Levy) have included interviews with KI Artists, Musicians, and VIPS like Rita Poley and Lisa Marlowe. Cantor Amy recently had a live interview from her porch with Phil Kates, a congregant who has been a violinist with the Philadelphia Orchestra since 1980.

And that is not all that is happening at KI…Do not miss out on any of our wonderful programming! Read e-KI weekly, look for contact@kenesthisrael in your inbox and stay connected.

Sincerely, Janice

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