Chairman's Rosh Hashana 5766 Message
5765 was momentous. Internationally, we saw the Tsunami which caused untold
misery to hundreds of thousands. In the United States, Hurricane Katrina, followed soon by Hurricane Rita, caused terrible
In Israel, the disengagement from Gaza left painful
rifts, which we must do our utmost to heal.
In our own corner of Israel, Congregation Bet
Yosef experienced a sea change with the election of the new vaad with a fresh approach and dynamic agenda. We also saw women
taking an active role in elections and shul meetings.
We were very sad to lose three distinguished members. The passing of Rabbi Solomon J Sharfman
זצ"ל, who acted as senior rabbi for over15 years, left us with a very big void. We miss his shiurim and his embracing warmth. We also lost
long-term member and founder Mr.Yitzhak Finkler ז"ל , whose son,
Koby, wrote a heartwarming appreciation to him in the shul magazine. Reb Noah Ben Horim ז"ל, founder and veteran
member who shared fresh Torah insights with one and all, led shiurim and was a great favorite with the children, is sorely
missed. We wish Rabanit Sharfman, Mrs. Finkler and Mrs. Ben Horim a long, healthy life with no more tsarot.
Over the last three months, the new vaad, together
with volunteers and a team of professionals, have worked industriously to prepare for the High Holidays. In this short period, we accomplished a great deal, including painting large sections of the shul; installing
new lighting, regulation-standard fire doors, and a beautiful new marble sink for the cohanim; cleaning the shul from
top to bottom; replacing the roof drainage system; and, rewiring the electric system.
At long last, the shul is computerized and we now have a secretary twice a week.
Thanks to Keren and Philippe Levy, we hosted a
spectacular Shabbat dinner for 100 singles. We have more such evenings planned. Our
hospitality committee is getting off the ground. We are planning a Bet Yosef
weekend retreat, children’s services, Friday morning breakfast, a Sunday evening forum and much more.
The volunteer spirit is strong. In July, at the
kiddush saluting the outgoing vaad, I mentioned all who have worked for the good of the congregation. For fear of leaving
someone out, I won’t repeat myself, but a big yasher koach to you all.
New subcommittees will start functioning immediately
after the chagim. The building committee, for example, will be exploring the installation of an elevator to allow elderly
and disabled members, as well as parents will children in strollers, to attend services.
Remember, the vaad is here to serve you and not
the other way around. If you have any queries, questions or requests please don’t hesitate to bring them to the vaad.
The best way is to write a letter/ email/ fax addressed to Vaad Secretary Yosi Herstik. We review these communications at
our twice-weekly board meetings.
On behalf of the vaad, I want to extend a warm
welcome to the 22 new families who joined Bet Yosef in Elul and wish all the worshippers a happy, healthy New Year, a year
of peace and progress as a community.
Congregation Bet Yosef