My last letter to you was sent before Rosh Hashanah. Re-reading it now, makes me realise what an exceptionally busy period it’s been. I seem to be saying that almost every month, but it’s true because the shul and the community is so vibrant. I do hope you all enjoyed the Yomim Noraim, the High Holydays, and are feeling spiritually refreshed. I hope you will all agree with me that the effort which was put in by so many people into ensuring that things ran well over that period was not wasted. I would particularly like to thank the Rabbi & Nechama, along with Tamar F for their very hard work, and this was noticeable outwardly by the wonderful banners which were made to ensure that everyone knew what was happening, when, and where in the shul premises. Behind this, you will appreciate that many people had input – including all those who were involved with Youth activities. We were so much better organised in this regard, in that there were specific rooms allocated with specific activities for different children’s age groups. It is always a very busy period for Moishe and Martine in the shul office, getting ready for this period, and trying to do 5 days work in 3 (as working members do too!), so thank you to them as well.
I hope you enjoyed the Breakfast Kiddush on 2nd day Rosh Hashanah. our Catering Team along with Craig and his staff, did an amazing job. They were working from 6am to ensure it was all ready for 10.30. Thanks to everyone who was involved. I have only had positive feedback.
Thanks to our unsung heroes, the Security Team and of course all of you who are on the Security rota. If you are not on the rota – please join. Any able bodied person, (male or female) of any age group can take a session, inside if you prefer. We also need people to volunteer occasionally for additional security sessions for other events at shul. Problems could just as easily arise NOT on a Shabbat or Yomtov. Please don’t leave it to the ‘few’.
We had 250 people at the Simchat Torah lunch, and to the best of my knowledge everyone enjoyed it. Our Chatanim, Eshet Chayil & younger recipients all really felt very special, and as I told them, everyone likes to be made a fuss of, occasionally. The Rabbi ensured that everything ran to time, the service finished at 12.15pm, and we ensured that the lunch and speeches did not run late. I hope you agree it was a wonderful ‘simcha’.
Mazal Tov to those members who have been, or are about to celebrate something special – a special birthday or anniversary, or a simcha. We have continued to have so many simachot, and many beautiful kiddushim to enhance our Shabbatot. Thank you to members for wanting to share their special occasions with the community.
Condolences to those of you who have suffered a bereavement, and I take this opportunity also to send the community’s sincere condolences to Monika, the shul cleaner, known to all of you, as her father passed away very suddenly, in Poland. She was of course in Poland for a week, but then came straight back to work. We all wish her and her family only happier times in the future.
Following my announcement in last month’s newsletter regarding the planned appointment of students as youth madrichim, I’d like to publicly welcome the first two to be appointed – Izzy S and Alex D, who started working at the shul just before Rosh Hashanah. They organised a lot of activities and were very well received. We are hoping to appoint 2 more youth madrichim soon, so that the load can be shared; there can be diversity of activities, and also they can cover every weekend shared between them.
Our more mature members will have noted that we have recommenced the Monday afternoon Games Session initially on an irregular basis. This came on the back of a comment I received that whilst we were putting a lot of effort into providing youth and children’s activities, we must not neglect our older members. I do hope many of you will come along to support the games afternoon. In addition of course there is the regular Coffee and Bagel morning; the History and Book Clubs and if there is any activity you feel you’d like to see, please let me know and we will consider finding someone to run it. (Or maybe you’d like to organise something yourself!!).
As you know, my emphasis has always been on communication – I am very keen to be open and transparent, even when what I have to communicate is not positive. Sadly therefore, I have to say I am still concerned and disappointed that some parents are, at times, allowing their children to ‘run wild’ (literally) on the shul premises. This is happening moreso on a Shabbat. We aim to be a very child friendly shul, welcoming young families. We want to see the children in shul, and we do not want to be a ‘shushing’ shul.
However we do feel that parents need to ensure they take control and not leave their youngsters unattended. There is a children’s service, as you know, at 11am for 30 minutes every Shabbat. The youth leaders will be around, and hopefully will organise activities to entertain the children wherever possible. 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 both for him and for his ‘audience’. I hope you will take this comment in the spirit it is intended. We want the shul to be a happy place for everyone.
Upcoming events 2015/16
Many of you will have seen the ‘flyer’ with a list of upcoming events running right the way up to Shavuot 2016. It gives you an idea of how much is happening, as well as the opportunity to make a note of dates for your diaries, well in advance!
Please note that we are soon to announce the details of the Yeshurun trip to Poland – led by Rabbi Chanan, 1st – 3rd May 2016. Places will be limited – watch out for the information. This will involve a visit to Krakow and Auschwitz. The price will include flights, transportation, accommodation, all meals and guiding. Once it is announced, please book immediately to prevent disappointment.
The 2016 Yeshurun Camping Trip will be held at the end of May – if you didn’t come on the last one, I can highly recommend considering it – it was the most incredible experience – Shabbat under the Stars. Hopefully there will be accommodation, as last time, for those who do not wish to sleep under canvas. Watch out for the more detailed information to be announced.
Friday Night Services
Rabbi Chanan, as mentioned previously, is very keen to try and attract more members to come along on Friday nights to the Shabbat service, especially as we are now 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!
For some reason we have been struggling a little recently with our minyanim. Please consider joining our “Minyanairres Club”. You will always be made welcome. We are now having Mincha at lunchtime, currently 1.30pm but shortly reverting to 1pm & Maariv will remain at 7.30pm….through the winter months. Your support would be most appreciated, especially by those wishing to say Kaddish. If you never normally come midweek, attending a service once or twice a week would be so helpful.
I’m sure by now you MUST all be aware that this weekend is Shabbat UK – initiated by the Chief Rabbi. This is held worldwide, and last year at Yeshurun it was a great success. This year we have aimed even higher with the most amazing programme of events commencing Thursday (this) evening (22nd) with the Challah Bake at Event City for the Ladies. The YMCA – “Yeshurun Mens Cholent Association” – will be donning aprons to make Cholent for the Kiddunch on Shabbat – to ease this process, we are also having a whisky tasting session at the same time! From Friday night right through to Saturday night, Motzei Shabbat, we have activities for all age groups. There are special services, a cholent kiddunch, followed by ‘Yeshmud’ sessions; the ‘Trial of Abraham’, and an afternoon tea seudah, followed by Maariv and Havdalah. Then there is the Communal South Manchester Havdalah, with the Chief Rabbi, and Eli Tamir entertaining, at Hale shul.
A Yeshurun Shabbat UK Brochure has been printed which is spectacular, outlining everything that is going on. I really hope EVERYONE rises to the challenge to ‘Keep it Together’ and join in – even if it is not your regular habit. Come along, you won’t be disappointed. Thanks to Rabbi Chanan for leading and inspiring our Shabbat UK Sub Committee, and everyone involved. When you hear how good it was, don’t say we didn’t warn you!!
On a personal note, can I thank all of you for your concern during my recent indisposition. I was unwell for a few weeks, and unable to attend shul during Succot. I am feeling much better now.
To aid my recuperation (!) Lesley and I are going to be away for 5 weeks from the 8th November, until the 14th December, last day Chanukah. During my absence, my Vice Chairman, Gail T (email@example.com) will be available for any queries.
Meanwhile I wish all of you all the very best, a Happy Chanukah, and of course my next Chairman’s letter will not be until December/ January!
(please do try and contain your disappointment…..)