Congregation Sha'aray Israel

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A Conservative Jewish Congregation serving the spiritual needs of the Middle Georgia Jewish community since 1904

A Word from The President

August 2014
Av - Elul 5774

I hope everyone is continuing to enjoy the summer and has had the opportunity to take a break from everyday life and enjoy some vacation time. We all know it is healthy and important to take some time to rest (we designate it once a week with Shabbat) and summer just seems to lend itself to that "easy, breezy, kick back kind of time."

As I am writing this message, I am in the middle of a 4 weekend in a row absence from Macon and CSI. While I am so loving having the chance to reconnect with dear friends from childhood, and friends once from Macon, and family that lives all the way across the country, there is a part of me that steadily continues to drift back home. Many of you have been very patient with me upon receiving my (many) texts and emails and calls - just checking in! I know that Jennifer Bernstein and the Board of Education are moving our religious school plans along; Laura Ilan is coordinating dates for CSI Kadima and USY groups; Rabbi Rubinstein, Jeff Lehman and the Ritual Committee are making preparations for the High Holidays; Jan Lewis is pulling together the Adult Education Committee and plans for very interesting programs; Theresa Rosengart and her ad book committee are busy selling ads and getting everything in order for the new CSI Ad Book and Directory; Terri Frolich and Deborah Adler are adding new items to the gift shop; David Frolich and Laurel Robinson have made sure that a BEAUTIFUL gate has been completed as part of the Cohen Garden. Thank you Stephanie for your help with all of these things. Best of all, Donnell is recuperating nicely and getting stronger and stronger! Bottom line is, in the midst of wonderful and meaningful travel, there is quite a bit going on at home.

We can have many places in which we call home, and I think we can claim them simultaneously or individually. There is where we have grown up, where we have raised our families, where we engage with communities through friends, and then there is our Jewish homeland, Israel. The commonalities all these homes have is that they live in our hearts. I know we are reading and listening and watching everything we can to keep informed about the situation in Israel. The hope and prayer is that the violence will end soon and peace will come out of all of this. In the meantime, we should not feel helpless. I am sure many of you are hearing from the same organizations I am hearing from, suggesting ways to be proactive and do what we can. I urge you to consider checking with Hadassah, The American Jewish Committee, United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, AIPAC, Neve Michael Children's Home, and Macon and Middle Georgia Federation (just to name a few) to understand how we can make a difference. Prayers, donations, letters, and education help to create change, and we can all be part of that change.

I wish you a wonderful rest of the summer and looking forward to seeing you back home.

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