The Jewish month of Chesvan, the so called quiet month, seemed to go by so quickly… now Kislev, the month of Chanukah, is here. After the High Holidays we have a whole month to recoup, or so it seems. In reality, the board is making plans for the rest of the year and committees are planning their year’s activities.
This year I observed a lot more attendance at all High Holiday services. People were careful, did socially distance and wore masks if they needed to. What I saw more than anything was that those who attended were joyfully present. The Break-Fast meal was well attended, too. People were greeting each other and it felt like community.
Your board of directors are meeting November 13th for a mini retreat to discuss the results of the High Holiday survey, make plans for the campus and see what fundraising efforts are needed this year. Most importantly, we are looking for ways for all of us to connect. We realize not everyone can or wants to attend services. Connection comes in many forms: like community events, talks, simchas, etc.
As of today, the good news is we are still in green status according to the CDC. The reality is people will be getting sick during the winter months as we meet inside and ventilation decreases. Please, this is the time to make sure your vaccinations and boosters are up to date, and to take seriously safe practices for you and your loved ones.
Because there are still communicable diseases and health issues, a new Committee named the Wellness Committee will be taking the place of the Reopening committee. It is probably something we should have always had and there is no time like the present to address these issues. This new committee will meet quarterly or on an as needed basis. If you are interested in being on the committee, please contact me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone.
Another recent area of concern is the rise of anti-semitism nationally and locally. I am not going to get into details regarding a local Santa Rosa incident as there are many in the community already addressing this. But I am going to ask you to support our local community by attending a community wide meeting on November 9th at 7 pm with the Chief of Police, John Cregan. The meeting will be live at Shomrei Torah or you can sign up to be remote on Zoom. There is a link in cybershul to RSVP whether you attend in person or on Zoom. Call the office if you do not receive the link or need to RSVP by phone.
On a lighter note, Wednesdays are becoming busy days in the social hall with a new Exercise class for older adults in the morning and Folk dancing every other Wednesday night. We are looking for more community use of our space; please let any board member know if you have ideas.
And on a younger note, starting in January, the Nursery school will be offering a new program for 2-year-olds. Please spread the word and give Caren, the director, a call at 707-360-3030 for more information.
And finally, there is our Beth Ami Community Chanukah party scheduled for Sunday December 18th, the first night. It starts at 4:30 p.m in the social hall. Please watch for more information in cybershul. There will be latkes, salads and desserts. The Social Action committee will be collecting toiletries and small warm items like scarves, hats, gloves and socks for adults as well. We’ll have games and a sing-a-long for the young at heart. Hope to see you there.
Wishing you a safe, peaceful and healthy fall season. Barb