By Michael Saxe-Taller
We are still in the midst of summer. Our days are warm. Young people are out of school, playing, exploring and learning. Many of us are taking weekend adventures or cleaning out our garages (happening at the Saxe—Taller home!).
Nevertheless, here at Kehilla, there is a buzz of activity. Preparations are underway for the High Holy Days – which are coming very early this year. Our education staff is also hard at work preparing for a new Kehilla school year. So, if I can grab your attention away from the sun and the beautiful flowers, I want to let you know about some of the things brewing at Kehilla.
Membership Renewal and School Registration
On July 1, 2018, we began our new synagogue’s new fiscal year. By now, you should have received two emails asking that you renew your Kehilla membership and register your school age children for Kehilla School. About a quarter of our 460 member households have already renewed (thank you!!) and because High Holy Days are coming early, I strongly encourage the rest of you to do so as soon as possible.
We have made some upgrades to our renewal process and are excited for how they are working. Amongst other things, our forms are now being pre-populated with your contact information, and we have moved the payment process onto the actual renewal form itself. Thank you to our own Maya Joshua for making these changes possible.
High Holy Days
The Kehilla staff is deep into the many details of planning for our always ambitious High Holy Day services and programs. This year’s theme is ‘Emet ~ Truth ~ אמת’, a theme appropriate to the times we live in. You will very soon receive more detailed information on services and our ticketing system will be live. As members (once you renew!), you receive High Holy Day tickets, though this year seems like a good time to invite friends to Kehilla’s services. Click here to learn more about Kehilla’s High Holy Days.
Staff and Clergy Changes
The most exciting news on the staff front is that there isn’t that much news. We have had an extraordinary number of staff transitions over the past couple of years. This year I am happy to say, we bring back our team almost fully intact though I do have a few changes to report:
• After many years directing our Bar/Bat Mitzvah Program including the last year in a limited role all the way from Hawaii, Sandra Razieli has left her position. Our Kehilla School Director Rabbi Gray Myrseth has now taken over responsibility for the Bar/Bat Mitzvah Program and has the new title of Director of Youth Education.
• Hazzan Shulamit is now working full time.
• We have a new Bookeeping Assistant, Rachel Allen, who will be working Monday and Wednesday afternoons. This means that along with Bookkeeper, Molly Melamed, we now have a financial staff person in the office Monday-Thursday afternoons.
Hopefully you have noticed that we have been paying more attention to our building. Over the past six months we have, among other things, redecorated and refurnished our lobby, painted all of our downstairs classroom and beautified the courtyard. We upgraded our accessible Fairview street, with new sidewalks, ramps, fencing and lighting. We are now in the process of replacing the decaying brick on the front of our building, as well as addressing issues with water drainage. We are also researching larger crucial issues related to the safety, sustainability and accessibility of our building. I will write more about this in the future.
As the summer winds down, don’t hesitate to give me a ring or drop by if you need anything. And I look forward to seeing you at High Holy Days, if not sooner.