Dearest Members -
L’Shana Tova! Let this new year be a good year. A year of health, peace, and justice.
We enter into this New Year, the Jewish year 5781, with a multitude of emotions. We embrace the newness and possibility of this new year and yet we are painfully aware of how different these days of awe will be from all years past. We are living through troubled times. Now more than ever is the time to come together for comfort and support, to increase our joy together and to wipe away each other's tears.
This will be a Jewish New Year, Days of Awe, unlike any in our lifetimes. Kol Ami is dedicated to meeting the challenge of this new year, this Yamim Noraim/Days of Awe, by creating accessible, relevant, beautiful and engaging prayer experiences and programs from Selichot all the way through Simchat Torah. We are walking through this unusual, and yes, stressful season in the life of our nation together. Let this be a season of renewal and return. Let it be a season of healing and possibility.
All of our celebrations and commemorations this year, with the exception of Tashlich, will be online gatherings. But as we have learned over the past many months, online does not mean flat or a one-direction experience. A virtual gathering can indeed be hamish (simple, warm, relaxed, cozy) and interactive. These services and programs will not be broadcast as if they are a television special. You will not be a spectator but rather a true participant at these special High Holy Day Services. Because of the unique nature of our services we will require registration for the High Holy Days. In exchange for registering for an ALL-ACCESS PASS to the High Holy Day Season, you will receive the links to pre-register for all of our online services and programs for the entire Season. Even when we meet online we are dedicated to security and ensuring that our virtual gatherings are free from unwanted disruption, and this two-step process helps ensure a secure experience for all who attend.
This is what we are doing to facilitate a different, but no less meaningful and important, celebration and commemoration from home.
Every member family who registers for High Holy Day Season will receive a special New Year Celebration Box, hand-delivered (unless you live out of town, then it will be mailed) by a Kol Ami member. These boxes will include a variety of items and exercises to facilitate your celebration and commemoration throughout the Holy Day Season: Rosh Hashanah through Sukkot, for both adults and kids! I will not reveal the exact content of the boxes, so it can be a surprise, but look for our New Year Celebration boxes to arrive on your doorstep the week of September 13-18.
Our Zoom services will include opportunities for discussion and learning through breakout rooms and using the chat feature. Your voices will be brought into the service.
Kol Ami members will be participating in the services, reading Torah and leading readings, from the comfort and safety of home.
Thank you dear members for registering to be a part of our celebration and commemorations of these High Holy Days of 5781. Thank you for opting in, not out, of this Holy Day Season. May we walk into a better future together. May God bless you and keep you.
Rabbi Yohanna Kinberg