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Congregation Bet Yosef , Jerusalem

Chairman's Message Rosh Hashana 5766

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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 devastation.


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.


Jonathan Greenstein



Congregation Bet Yosef


Tishre 5766 

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