Chairman’s Letter – September 2015

Dear Members,

I trust you have all had an enjoyable (if somewhat wet) August. The Rabbi and Nechama and the children have now returned from their camping holiday. For those of you who have also been away on holiday, I hope you feel refreshed and are ready to embark on the “spiritual refresher course” which is once again upon us so quickly.

Mazal Tov to those who have been celebrating in August – we have in the community shared quite a few special birthdays and anniversaries, and we must also wish hearty congratulations and ‘well done’ to our teenagers who are celebrating examination results.

I hope those of you who went on the trip to Buckingham Palace enjoyed your day out. I know the Rabbi did!

We are now in the month of Ellul of course, and Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur and Succot are almost here so the Gabbaim and the Shul Office team have been working hard to get everything together for the Yomim Noraim, trying our best to ensure all runs smoothly.

Service times have already been sent out, but of course are included with this month’s Newsletter. We are once again welcoming Chazan Newman who will be leading the services in the main shul, and Josh Caplan, who will be in the Shacter Hall on Rosh Hashanah. I am sure you will, as always, make them both very welcome. Please note the second service, for the youth, and anyone else who wishes to join in, will be in the Shacter Hall on Rosh Hashanah, and in the Beth Hamedrash on Yom Kippur.

The Rabbi has decided to hold a ‘Breakfast Kiddush’ on 2nd day Rosh Hashanah, which will take place at 10.30am, before the blowing of the shofar at 11am. This is quite an organisational feat, so we say a big thank you to our catering team, and Craig for pulling this together. We do hope to see many of you there! The service will commence earlier on that morning, aiming not to finish later than usual.

We have tried to make sure that children’s services are suitably organised, and this information will be circulated separately. The Rabbi & Nechama, along with the Youth Parents Committee, the Gabbaim and the Board have all been involved. Rotas have been arranged to ensure all the age groups have supervision at the designated times, and rooms specified for the various age groups. Notices will be displayed in shul to make this clear.

However, as mentioned before, we would ask that parents do take responsibility for ensuring they know where their children are at all times. Safety and Security are important, and of course we would prefer not to have children running around as we need to consider the comfort of other members who wish to have uninterrupted prayer. It would be appreciated if children are not allowed to walk in and out of shul during the Rabbi’s sermons as this is very distracting.

Simchat Torah is not until October, so there is plenty to do before then. However, please do give thought to coming along to those celebrations, on Monday evening 5th, & Tuesday morning 6th October. We will again be serving a L’Chaim, hot soup and a roll after the service on the Monday evening, and there will of course be a lunch on Tuesday after the service. As we did last year, we will be requesting that members notify us in advance if they wish to come to the lunch, for catering purposes. It is extremely difficult to cater when we have no idea how many people will be attending, as I am sure you can appreciate. As this is funded from your subscriptions, we want to ensure that it is managed cost effectively! We have considered at Board level, whether to make a small charge for this event, as many other shuls do, but we all feel it is not part of the ethos of our community to do so, so we have discounted this idea.

Hopefully you have all notified the shul office if you wish to offer or receive hospitality over the Yom Tov period. If not, please email or phone the office before Friday 11th September.

The new term for the Bar and Bat Mitzvah classes is now beginning, and I know the Rabbi and Nechama have put a lot of effort into the programmes, to make them valuable for the youngsters who are participating. Whilst it is not compulsory, we really would like all children who are in the preceding year to their Bar or Bat Mitzvah to take part. It must be worthwhile, and I would hope all parents will encourage their children to come along.

I would inform the community that a lot of thought and action has been taking place behind the scenes, to revitalise youth activity within the community. We have been considering each of four different age groups and how best to provide activities for them. Once again, the Rabbi and Nechama, along with the Youth Parents Committee have been working closely together on this, with the full support of the Board and Council. We are in the process of recruiting students from Manchester University to assist us. We will be announcing more about youth activities shortly.

We are also hoping to shortly recommence the Monday afternoon ‘senior’ games afternoon which was very popular in the past. This is to complement the activities in South Manchester for the ‘more mature’ members – Coffee, Bagel and Chat at Yeshurun, (which is very successful and attracts around 80 – 100 people every time), as well as Club Thursday which meets every Thursday afternoon at the Manchester Bridge Club on Palatine Road, in Didsbury – they also have very interesting speakers, and a sumptuous afternoon tea for a very modest cost.

The Rabbi has some ‘plans up his sleeve’ as he is very keen to try and attract more members to come along on Friday nights to the Shabbat service, especially as we are now moving into the autumn period when the service times are more acceptable. Friday night is, as you know, a short service of approximately 45 minutes, with lovely tunes and a unique atmosphere. It would be very special to have more of our young families come along with their children….watch this space, but feel free to come along anyway in the meanwhile – it happens every week, without fail!

Of course, don’t forget, and please note in your diaries, we are making lots of plans for Shabbat UK which is Shabbat 23rd / 24th October. See the flyers regarding this, including the Challah Bake at Event City which will be a massive event this year. There is something special for the men, on the Thursday night, 22nd October too. Please keep your diaries free for Shabbat UK @ Yeshurun. We want you to come along and be part of this very special communal Shabbat.

If you live outside the immediate area, consider staying over with a local family on that Friday night….I am sure many families will be happy to offer accommodation. The idea is to have a truly Shomer Shabbat, which will be inspirational and spiritually uplifting.

Thanks to everyone for their support of the minyanim during the summer period – we really do appreciate people making the effort to come along. I hope you will continue to do so, and become part of the regular ‘minyan club’ (that is how it feels). You will always be made welcome.

Please do donate generously, as you always do, to the Rosh Hashanah Yeshurun appeal, which supports national and local, Jewish and Non Jewish charities; as well as supporting the UJIA Kol Nidrei Appeal.

Finally, on behalf of Lesley and myself along with the Board and Council, I wish everyone a Shana Tovah, a happy and enjoyable Rosh Hashanah, with good health in the year ahead, and of course I hope everyone has an easy fast on Yom Kippur.

Kindest regards

Tony Kaye