As our fiscal year draws to a close, we wanted to highlight all of the incredible things that we did this year – in person and across the digital divide. Our members were incredibly busy with events in the congregation and out in the community. Our Sisterhood came together on several occasions to learn with the Rabbis. The Men’s Club as well continued its tradition of offering interesting and thought-provoking lectures. For the first time ever, we had our own booth at Reno Pride. Members helped staff the table, along with the Rabbis and we continued to share our message of inclusiveness and welcome to the entire Reno community.
Our efforts were not limited to only our congregation. As we have done in years past, we partnered with other Reno congregations for Tisha b’Av and Purim. Our Purim Spiel: South Pur(im)cific was a huge success. And if you missed Rabbi Benjamin in his Purim spiel outfit, well, just wait until next year!
Sinai School was a tremendous success – we premiered our newly-written Holocaust and Jewish History curriculum with our 6th and 7th graders, learned lots of prayers, and leveled up on our Hebrew skills. We are also hoping to continue some programming into the summer, praying together via Zoom (and maybe eventually in person again), and hopefully gathering to celebrate Havdalah and holidays together in congregants’ homes as we did in the fall.
In the early spring, we had our “Breaking the Stained Glass Ceiling” event and our Women of the Wall Shabbat, hosted by our Library Committee. They drew wonderfully large crowds, connected us to our own history and to the community, and were a wonderful interfaith outreach. The number of people who worked to make all of the events and happenings a success demonstrates what an incredibly committed and dedicated community we have.
And such efforts continued a few days later when we closed down the building and began sacred distancing. Volunteers emerged to help others with groceries and tasks. Crafters, sewers, and mask-makers of all kinds came forward, providing safe masks for us and people throughout the community.
Since we have closed the Temple and opened up our home for virtual worship, we have Zoomed and gone on Facebook Live more times than we can count, but in doing so, we have spent Shabbat together and ushered in the new week with havdalah. Many of you, and many friends from all across the globe (really, we had someone log in from Spain!) “sat” us at the ends of your tables and we celebrated Pesach together. The Small Congregations Tikkun Leil Shavuot drew in hundreds of people from all over the world to study and learn together and celebrate our gift of Torah.
We had our first virtual congregational meeting via Zoom webinar. Not only did it allow for a historic number of people to join us, everyone who joined was able to learn about how the congregation is doing, and we successfully put a slate of new board members to the vote! Yasher koach to our board, who have had to make so many difficult decisions and learn so many new things in the last couple of months.
As we continue to plan for the upcoming year, we are so proud of all we have done last year and the number of successes we have had despite the trying circumstances of this spring. We are so happy to be a part of this congregation and will continue to work with everyone in the community to keep providing activities, services, and other ways to engage with one another. Please keep joining us in spirit, online, and in every way you can as we continue until we can all meet in person again.
Rabbi Benjamin Zober
Rabbi Sara Zober