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Letter to the Membership 2023

August 2023

As I write this, we are six weeks from the historic floods that swamped large portions of Montpelier, Barre, and neighboring communities.

Two images will stay with me forever: the massive piles of sodden trash lining the roads, and the many muddy volunteers who stepped in to help. Yasher Koach!

Thankfully, our synagogue building is dry but our collective hearts are broken. Now we must wrestle with all the challenges, inequities, and opportunities of this emerging era.

In this difficult moment, what can Beth Jacob offer? For me, it comes down to one word: community.

We create community by:

● Exploring Jewish values of justice and Tikkun Olam: repairing the world. Sharing those values with our neighbors as we work together to build equity and resilience.

● Through our care committee, supporting Beth Jacob members with flood recovery and other needs.

● Sharing our space. While their building is being repaired, we’re hosting the Unitarian Church for Sunday meditation group.

While responding to this moment, we also provide many benefits of a traditional synagogue – religious services, holiday and lifecycle celebrations, educational and cultural programs – in an informal, haimish, community-led way.

What about you? Are you looking for a Jewish community – a place where you can explore and live YOUR Jewish values? We welcome you!

As we approach the new year, I invite you to become a new member of the Beth Jacob family – or renew your membership. Our High Holiday schedule is enclosed.

Things you should know: As in recent years, most services will be hybrid. You can join us in person or on Zoom. Registration required; please go to our website, bethjacobvt.org. (Note: to protect the most vulnerable members of our community, masks are encouraged but not required.)

Click here for the full text of the board president's 2023 Letter to the Membership.

Sun, February 25 2024 16 Adar I 5784