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145 Broadway, Newark, NJ 07104  (973) 485 - 2609  Fax: (973) 485 - 2609

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Text Box: August 15, 2013

Dear Members and Friends:

    As we begin to prepare for the High Holidays, let’s look back at year 5723.   The Congregation continued to grow in members old and young: 188 individuals and families contributed financially and 200 individuals attended last year’s High Holiday services.  We made strides toward being a complete synagogue by making strenuous efforts to hold services on holiday days when we had previously not held services regularly, particularly the second and seventh days of Sukkot and Pesach and the first day of Shavuot.  For those services we worked the phones, we took head counts and begged, beseeched and implored people.  Some of us can remember two decades ago when those tactics were necessary for an ordinary Shabbat--Ben Arons’ telephone calls couldn’t be ducked since there was no caller ID.  (By the way Ciel Arons, G-d willing, will celebrate her 103rd birthday in September).

    Last fall we were saddened with the loss of Jacqueline Rockaway of Belleville.  Jackie, and her late husband Harold, were married in the Synagogue in the early 1950’s, and in later years, she was a stalwart member of the annual mailing crew for this letter.  While we didn’t have any b’nai mitzvot during the year, we did gain congregant David Smith, a student from Richmond, Virginia, who attends Seton Hall’s school of international relations, and who culminated a six-year quest that started with a trip to Israel and has now climaxed with his conversion to Judaism.

     The Jewish Museum of New Jersey under Max Herman’s leadership housed the program, “Assisi and the Jews 1943-44,” an exhibition focused on righteous gentiles and curated by St. Bonaventure University.  On Sunday, October 6, the Museum will open the exhibition, “Berlin—Shanghai—Newark: the Odyssey & Art of John H. Less,” which will be part of the Newark Arts Council’s “Open Doors 2013” program of two weeks of arts events and exhibits in the City.  This autumn the Congregation is sponsoring a juried skylight design competition run by the Newark Arts Council.  We’ll put up a purse for local artists to submit designs for stained glass to be inserted in our skylight with the theme of “light, peace and diversity.”  The stained glass represents an excellent naming opportunity for a major gift.

     Our renovation proceeded with the realignment of our bathrooms to pave the way for the installation of “three phase electric,” a new electrical conduit into the building to replace the 90-year- old cable.  That project will take place within months and is preparatory to our next renovation project—air conditioning.  Can you imagine our stalwart minyan who brave the summer heat with jerry-rigged fans to keep our services going throughout the summer?  They deserve a break—as do all of us who might find the High Holidays or spring shabbatot rather warm.  Congregant Alan Zwiebel is tweaking the blueprints, but this $200,000 project requires some major gifts from those in the Congregation who can afford to do so.  If that might be you, please talk to Eric and think about a major gift over and above the categories that we solicit in this letter.
	     Services will be led by Rabbi Simon Rosenbach with cantorial portions provided by Fred Grabiner, Dubra Shenker, Hooshmand Delshad,  Bernie Beck and Eliyahu Lotzar, and Eric will blow the shofar.  Even if you attend another synagogue, consider joining us for one or more of our services.  Selihot will begin the season on Saturday, August 31, at 8:00 p.m.  Services for Rosh Hashanah start on Wednesday, September 4 at 7:30 p.m., with dinner to follow.  If you are interested in dinner, please sign up ($25 per person) on the enclosed form.  Morning services on Thursday and Friday, September 5 and 6, begin at 8:30 a.m, with Taschlich following services on the first day.  Kol Nidre will start at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, September 13.  Yom Kippur services begin at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday, with Yizkor at about noon and then resume at 5:45 p.m.  Following Neilah, all congregants are invited to the renowned annual break fast hosted by Ciel Arons and her daughter, Susan.  

    Our increased High Holiday attendance has presented a pleasant problem—we need to institute formal ushering to make sure that all available seats and prayer books are utilized.  If you are willing to work as an usher for a portion of the services, please contact Sherry Kellner at 908.884.3414 or e-mail sgkellner@gmail.com.
    Each adult is responsible for purchasing a High Holiday ticket, which is $100 for a member and $150 for a non-member (students free).  That’s the same member’s price as last year, but our Board voted to raise membership dues by $25, the first increase in several years.  Since our annual membership dues remain low--$275 for a family or $175 for an individual (plus an additional recommended building maintenance fund contribution of $100)--it makes sense to join as a member to achieve the High Holiday ticket savings.  We are reverting to our former practice of enclosing two tickets with this mailing, rather than having our administrator, Clara Macedo, send tickets when your payment is received.  Please fill out the entire form with contact information, including e-mail, so that we may put together a first-time synagogue directory in print or on-line.

    As you contemplate the New Year, it is a good time to think about your own life cycle.  We can offer the good counsel of the Metrowest Jewish Community Foundation (which now invests the lion’s share of the Congregation’s capital funds) to assist you with planned giving appropriate to your situation.  Or think about adding Ahavas Sholom to your will.  The Congregation also has a block of reasonably-priced burial plots at King Solomon Memorial Park in Clifton.  

	    This vibrant congregation depends upon the support of the individual members of the larger Jewish community.  We appreciate every gift.  If you can afford as much as $1,000, including tickets, dues and other contributions (as did 16 families last year), we will inscribe your name on the plaque in the sanctuary.  Please use the enclosed form to make your contribution. PRINT FORM

					L'shanah tovah,

					Robert S. Steinbaum
                                                            Vice President

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