This is a season of welcoming. We greet a new moon, a new month, a season of introspection and many visitors to our community who are hoping that Congregation Beth Israel of Media will be the right place for them. It is my pleasure to engage in meetings and conversations with people and families who are searching for the right community. People seem drawn to us for a variety of reasons - the warmth, the culture of learning, the commitment to tikkun olam, the possibilities for spiritual and cultural growth, the sweetness of the Hebrew School. I believe that one key ingredient to our success is the culture of participation that defines Beth Israel (BI).
Our High Holiday services are filled with opportunities for anyone who so desires a role: Hebrew prayers; English readings; Instrumental or vocal music; Original words; Torah Honors; Ushering. BI takes it further. Our Selihot program - the program to help us prepare for Rosh Hashanah - includes a component on Teshuvah Through Art with an accomplished artist from our community. Our Tashlich program - casting out our sins symbolically by throwing crumbs into running water - will include a kayaking component. We manage to combine the Hamish with the avant-garde
As we prepare to welcome the new year we invite all comers to jump into the magic that is Beth Israel. Repentance is serious business - too difficult to undertake alone. Join us for classes, programs or services. Undertake the sacred work of Heshbon HaNefesh - the accounting of the soul and evaluation of one's deeds and misdeeds of the past year - with a supportive, interesting group of people.
The Hebrew for "welcome" is Baruchim Habaim, which translates - Blessed Are Those Who Come. May you be blessed as you enter the traditions of this season and the doors of Beth Israel. Welcome to a sacred season, a new year and the glorious possibilities of community.