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Kol Ami's future...?

Updated: May 23, 2023

It is bright. This is what I can tell you. Our future is bright.

Sustainable. Energetic. Growing. Joyful. Thoughtful. Kind. Generous.

Kol Ami is lit from within.

We shine in our community. Glow even.

There are bunches and bunches of love and Jewish joy found in Kol Ami.

And we are slowing down and making some essential programming shifts this summer...for the sake of sustainability and continued thriving.

Nine years ago, I began my work with Kol Ami as your new senior rabbi. I had just come from serving as the assistant rabbi at a nearby congregation for eleven years; before that, I was in rabbinical school. Kol Ami is my second pulpit. Last year I signed a new contract through 2027!

When I signed my new contract last summer, I felt confident in the future of Kol Ami. We were heading in a good direction. We survived the pandemic as a community and built solid hybrid programs that have kept our community together beyond physical boundaries. Kol Ami has always been an inclusive community known for being open to people of various abilities, but the pandemic pushed us to go further. With few additional resources, we have worked diligently to transform our services and programs into a hybrid of Zoom and in-person.

Our ability as a community to be flexible, to learn new ways of doing things, to support each other during unprecedentedly hard times, to keep on keeping on, to be innovative and fun...these are the reasons why I signed on for another five years last summer. Since that time last summer, our community has stunned me in a good way. We have gone from good to something else...

We have gone from good to great.

Over the past year, Kol Ami has stunned me with the commitment of our board members and volunteers to building community and rebuilding community in our building, in-person. This past year our board members committed to reaching out regularly to our membership and showing up regularly to synagogue events and programs. This included a lot of schlepping, helping out with the physical plant. The board showed up for youth and family programs and showed up to greet and connect with our membership. This year they committed and then showed up to be seen and known by the community. Present. The board has been current. And therefore, so much more aware. Of what our community wants and needs.

The difference has been profound. I see our synagogue leadership and the members growing closer, knowing each other, and new people stepping into leadership! The community belongs to the community-not the rabbi. The reality of synagogues in America is that the rabbi is an employee who works in sacred partnership with a representative and elected board of directors. The board and staff partner to create and build a community. We have done this for 2000-years.

Our annual meeting this Thursday night is where you will get to meet the board and see a year in review and hear about the plans for Kol Ami's bright future. And get involved in building Jewish community. Register here. A special Shavuot Oneg and Bingo will follow the annual meeting.

This is all a sign of sustainability. Which is the most crucial goal for a Jewish community.

This year my feelings about the future of Kol Ami have gone from great. I am excited about the coming summer and the new Jewish year ahead. Our youth education programs, adult education, social justice programs, leadership, and our connection to our Kirkland community are all thriving. Now is the time to take the pedal off the metal. And slow down for a short while.

Which is what we are doing at Kol Ami this summer. We are taking a chance to slow down and to do things a little differently. More outside, less inside. More heart and soul work, less of being in our heads. More free time, less scheduled time.

Now is the time for a slowdown. We are taking some breaks and shifting gears to maintain this level of energy and engagement through the next year. High holiday planning, registration for youth programs, membership renewal, summer celebrations of weddings and bnai mitzvah, and special summer programs are STILL all ahead of us over the next few months. But we are giving ourselves a little more rest. We are slowing down and mixing up our Shabbat programming for the summer.

We will continue to offer Friday night services throughout the summer. Shabbat morning services will be limited to Bnai Mitzvah and special Shabbat programs. Torah study will conclude this year at the end of May--we will not be continuing through the summer this year. We will be rebooting our Shabbat Torah study program in the fall on Shabbat Shuva between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.

Here is a sneak peek of all the excellent programs and services that will be happening this summer.

Please look to our website and HaKol, our weekly e-news, for all of the details. Many details have been left off or are in the process of being confirmed.

6/2 Klezmer Shabbat with Shaun and Wendy and the Choir 7:30 pm

6/3 NAMI Walk, 8:30 am @ Marina Park, Bar Mitzvah of Jonny Medina10:30 am

6/9 Kol Ami Pride Shabbat 7:30 pm

6/10 Special Shabbat Healing Service: Peace for our Bodies, Minds, and Spirits 10:30am-Noon

6/16 Kabbalat Shabbat Lay-led 7:30 pm, off-site Supernova Shabbat in the Club @ 7:30 pm

6/17 Bat Mitzvah of Judy Stone Goldman 10:30 am, Bnai Mitzvah Maya and Eli Witriol offsite in the afternoon.

Rabbi Kinberg on Vacation 6/18 until 7/17 (I hope to come back a renewed woman)

6/23 Seattle Pride Shabbat--Zoom and in-person in Seattle at TDHS

6/30 Kabbalat Shabbat services 7:30 pm

7/7 Kabbalat Shabbat with the Choir 7:30 pm

7/14 Kabbalat Shabbat with David Leviten 7:30 pm

7/21Kabbalat Shabbat in the Woods: Potluck dinner, Service, and Sunset Walk: time and location TBA

7/22 Shabbat Morning in the Woods for Families: Songs, movement, walk, nature, and Torah learning, picnic: time and location TBA

7/27 Tisha B'Av-- Mental Health Recovery and Jewish Resilience 7:30 pm

7/28 Kabbalat Shabbat by Candle Light in the Court Yard 6 pm potluck, 7:30 pm service

7/29 Shabbat Morning in the Woods: Torah and Forest Bathing 10:30 am Saint Edwards State Park

In August, we will offer a follow-up to Kirkland Together: Recognizing Antisemitism symposium with an online Interrupting Antisemitism workshop. Date and time TBA

8/2 Tu B'Av "the Jewish Day of Love" Drinks and the Torah of Love with the Rabbi K 7:30 pm location TBA. For both those lucky and unlucky in love!

Celebrating Interfaith Engagement Shabbat

8/4 Choir Shabbat and special speaker on the topic of interfaith engagement

8/5 Interfaith Torah Study 10:30 am

Shabbat with Loolwa Khazzoom (wiki link)

8/11 Kabbalat Shabbat with Loolwa, exploring Iraqi Jewish Heritage

8/12 The Art of Jewish Healing with Loolwa 7:30 pm

8/18 Kabbalat Shabbat 7:30pm

8/19 Elul Shabbaton: Soul Work for the New Jewish Year (study, move, express, share, grow) 10:30 am -8 pm followed by All Community Potluck and Havdalah 6 pm at Retreat Center in Duvall

8/26 Shabbat on the Beach, 6 pm Picnic, 7 pm service location TBA

8/27 Bar Mitzvah of Daniel Zeitouni 10:30 am

9/1 Kabbalat Shabbat 7:30 pm

9/1-4 Camp Kesher, Vashon Island

This was a sneak peek. Details will be coming in and available on our website and our weekly newsletter ASAP.

This is a summer of renewal. A summer to appreciate our hard work and to revive ourselves for the work ahead. The synagogue is a 2000-year-old institution. Our synagogue is an example of Jewish life. We are alive and kicking and growing and changing and thriving. We are here for our ancestors and ourselves, building a Jewish future for those yet to come. Thank you, each of you, for being a part of Kol Ami.

It is bright. This is what I can tell you. Our future is bright.

Sustainable. Energetic. Growing. Joyful. Thoughtful. Kind. Generous.

Kol Ami is lit from within.

We shine in our community. Glow even.

Bringing goodness and love into our world through Judaism.

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