A NEW YEAR MESSAGE / APPEAL FROM THE REV. YOSSI HOURI
Dear Valued Congregant,
iBelong so iSupport Campaign ‘62
For some 2,000 years, we were scattered all over the world. We learned the local language and frequently spoke it better than the natives. We adopted their mannerism and life-style. We developed as full members of every society in which we lived. No matter, we still endured Inquisition, pogroms, constant false accusations, public trials, endless attempts of forced assimilation and, of course, the calamitous Holocaust. Always envied, always disliked, always threatened, yet we remained, and emerged, a cohesive, viable, optimistic, life-loving and the happiest of peoples, the Jewish people.
How did we achieve this? Because, in more than one sense, we kept our faith. We kept our faith in G-d and his promises to us (“the Lord protects Israel” - Ps.121:4; - “ He will not weaken your resolve and will not abandon you” - Deut. 31:6). And we have also, despite harsh, hostile and forbidding decrees, kept and preserved our faith, the rich teachings of our Torah, which proved to be a formidable uniting force, our survival kit and our passport back into our land.
Looking forward, however, tenuous connection with Judaism, assimilation and rapid erosion of our sense of belonging, are of real concern and top our national agenda. This time the threat is real. Why? Because it is self-opted, our own choice, rather than imposed on us by anyone!
We are all justly proud of our history, our achievements and our little acknowledged contributions to humanity, and we all derive pleasure and gratification from belonging to our people. But to justify this pride and sense of belonging, we have to be genuinely concerned about our national survival, which, as history has shown, closely correlated to our religious survival. We have to honestly demonstrate by solid deeds that we do belong.
Every one of us has a duty to share this concern and to counter it. Joining our services on Shabbat and our Communal activities is a good example of feeling you belong. This congregation was founded in 1962. We are TODAY launching a campaign to increase our average Shabbat attendance from 30-40 at present to 62. Would you help us achieve this modest and noble aim? Would you be prepared to give just a couple of hours of your time and join our Shabbat services during the year? Apart from the opportunity to benefit from performing so many Mitsvot, it will give you the chance to ensure the revival, and indeed survival, not only of our community, but also of our people. Please help us to help you to help your next generation to help our people. Just 120 minutes a week - but what a reward!
“We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give” - Sir Winston Churchill
May we all be inscribed in the book of good life, and be granted a year of happiness, good health and success.