As our spinning planet weaves its way around the sun, one year passes, and another starts. On Erev Rosh Hashanah, we start the year 5778, commemorating another turn of the wheel in the long history of our ancient people.
On this glimmering orb, on a landmass in the northern hemisphere in the Americas, tucked into a small town in the foothills of the Rockies, we find a small thriving congregation of mountain Jews, sharing an open and welcoming Jewish home of worship, community, refuge and learning.
As your new president, I am pleased and honored to share these Days of Awe with you. We have so much to be thankful for in our beautiful mountain community, and we always seem to find our truest selves during the High Holy Days. We daven together as we joyously welcome the New Year. We find deep enveloping community as we savor the mysteries of Kol Nidre. We gather once more on the Day of Atonement to seek forgiveness for our shortcomings and transgressions. We share Teshuvah, as we return to our truest selves—as individuals and as a congregation.
Our congregation is inclusive, warm, open and diverse, with a large proportion of interfaith families alongside Jews of all backgrounds and beliefs. We have a gifted and inspirational religious leader in Rabbi Jamie, who brings wisdom, joy and music to our beautiful sanctuary. We have dedicated volunteer board leadership and committee members, giving of their time and talents to breathe life into ideas, to create and sustain a plentitude of programs and experiences to match the needs and wishes of our diverse community. We have a network of involved members who give and share in ways big and small. We have a small dedicated paid administrative staff working with our board and our membership to keep the lights on, the power running, the building safe and the place humming.
We have a longstanding innovative well-run religious school for students from preschool age, through B’nei Mitzvah and up to high school age. We have a variety of adult education activities, including our well-attended inspirational Mussar classes, Tuesday with Morim, Adult Hebrew classes, and outside speakers of interest. We have a close affiliation with a new and exciting preschool, The Learning Center Preschool of Evergreen, coming to life before our eyes in the downstairs of our synagogue. We are constantly exploring creative services with our Mostly Music Shabbat services and a variety of other musical events, drinking deeply of the creative musical talents of Rabbi Jamie and a large number of talented musicians. We are exploring outreach joint programs with other synagogues, nurturing a blossoming interfaith effort, and we are part of a community-wide multi-congregational effort to help the homeless in the Evergreen Emergency Shelter Program (ESP), now beginning its second season as summer turns to fall.
We may be a small Jewish congregation tucked into the foothills of the Rockies, but we are bursting with creative activity in the service of our membership and the surrounding community.
As we commemorate another turning of the wheel in our long history as a people, we invite you to join us in our endeavors in our small Jewish mountain community. Take from us what you might need and wish, from what we have to offer. Give to us what you might have to share with us, in whatever way you wish, to keep our creative fires burning bright.
Be part of our ongoing efforts at Congregation Beth Evergreen to explore what it means to be a vibrant Jewish home in the foothills, as we continue to strive to find our truest self.
L’Shana Tova, and L’Shalom,