We are affiliated with the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, the association of Conservative congregations in North America.
I hope that each of you enjoyed a wonderful Passover. Now it’s time to put away the Matzah, and look ahead to the beautiful month of May. For Congregation Beth-El, this is a time oftransition.WeandBellmoreJewish Center have gotten the official authorization to merge our congregations to become CongregationBethOhr,andasofJuly 1, 2016, we will be moving to our new home in Bellmore.
Most of us are very excited about the consolidation, and eagerly looking forward to our future as a strong, vibrant, egalitarian Conservative Jewish congregation. A few of us may still be having some difficulties adjusting to the changes, and this is perfectly understandable. Change is challenging and can be quite stressful, while also being exciting and energizing. This is why it is so important for us as a new community to come together to support one another, get to know each other better, and share our thoughts, feelings, hopes, fears, and prayers with each other in a communal setting.
The first Saturday in May (May 7th) has been designated as Shabbat B’Yachad (Shabbat Together), an idea originated by Rabbi Dahlia Bernstein. Although we have already joined together with our Bellmore counterparts on several prior Shabbats
and on the first two days of Peach, Shabbat B’Yachad will be a special candidates have been in Bellmore celebration of our joining together as a new congregation. Members of both congregations have volunteered to lead the various parts of the Shabbat morning services, and we hope to have the active participation of the folks in the pews, to make this Shabbat’s services particularly joyful.
After services, during the Kiddush meal, we will meet in small groups made up of congregants from both Bellmore and Massapequa to talk about meaningful experiences we have had as Jews in the past, and what we are looking forward to experiencing as we join together to build a brand new Jewish community at Congregation Beth Ohr. Please make a commitment to coming to shul for this very special Shabbat; your participation is vital as we start the process of becoming a unified congregation,together.
We are also moving forward on a variety of other fronts. We have created our Transition Committee, under the leadership of Harold Lefkowitz and Michael Bigman (the co-Chairs of the Merger Committee) and the co-Presidents, Tina Baron and myself, and have established sub- committees with co-chairs to cover the various aspects of transitioning from two separate congregations to one new congregation. If anyone is interested in participating in this process, please feel free to contact Harold or me, and we will be happy to discuss where your interests and skills will be most valuably incorporated.
The Cantor Search Committee has also been busy vetting applicants, and we have shared Shabbats with several excellent candidates during March and April. I thank those of you who have attended services when those committee members has been extremely valuable to the decision- making process.
Looking ahead to June, there are a number of events being planned.
The first Shabbat of June, Friday June 3rd and Saturday June 4th, Congregation Beth-El will be celebrated with a special Friday night dinner, followed on Saturday by a special Kiddush after services. This is our time to remember our beloved Congregation Beth-El together, before moving on to our new home in Bellmore.
Sunday, June 5th is the annual Israel Day Parade, and we will be marching together with our Bellmore friends behind our new “Congregation Beth Ohr” banner. The bus ride into Manhattan will be free to all of Congregation Beth Ohr’s members who wish to come to the parade. Thank you, Iris, for all of your efforts in making this happen. I hope many of you will join us for this wonderful opportunity to show our solidarity with the State of Israel.
Later in June, on Sunday June 26th, we will assemble at Congregation Beth-El to transport our Torah scrolls from Massapequa to Bellmore, in a sacred ceremony commemorating our consolidation to form Congregation Beth Ohr. Please watch for details about the scheduling of activities for this very special event.
This will surely be a day of mixed emotions for all of us, and I think it’s really important that we all join together to share this important moment in our congregational history.
I look forward to providing leadership and support to all of our congregants, old and new, as we move forward into our new identity as Congregation Beth Ohr. Please feel free to reach out to me at any time (935-7711).
Thank you. Marc