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BST End of Year Annual Appeal

12/05/2022 01:49:57 PM


Laraine Whitcomb & Jonathan Levin

Dear Members and Friends of Beth Sholom,

It’s that time of year again – sometime between the High Holidays and Chanukah – when presidents, finance chairs, and fundraising committees reach out to congregants in an annual appeal for donations to help offset the costs of operating their temple.  For some synagogues, it’s one of many efforts at outreach; for Beth Sholom, it’s the only time we make this request.

Next May, Beth Sholom will celebrate its 87th anniversary as a sacred house of worship for Jews in the Fredericksburg area.  While there have been many changes at Beth Sholom, in the Fredericksburg area, and in the world since the early days of BST, the overarching goal has remained the same - to provide a welcoming atmosphere that embraces and passes on Jewish traditions.    

The past few years have presented many challenges to our physical and emotional well-being; we are all trying to recover from the isolation we felt during the worst of the pandemic.  At BST, we’ve been carefully re-introducing opportunities to worship and socialize together while continuing to offer many activities with remote access.  

The leadership team at the temple has been working diligently to provide occasions to gather for religious and social events as well as maintain, and keep secure, our house of worship.  We recently celebrated lovely and meaningful High Holiday services – offered both in person and via Zoom – with Cantor Shermet and Student Rabbi Jacobsen.  When professionals are not available, we are fortunate to have excellent lay leaders for our Shabbat services who devote an enormous amount of time to prepare for, and lead, the services as well as offer many classes and lectures; we have a growing religious school with creative and dedicated leadership; we’ve introduced new activities for members with different interests (Active Adults, Families with Young Children, Mah Jongg) while keeping the classics going (MKS Book Club, Bagel Bar, VYBS coffee house).  We’ve continued our commitment to social action and outreach by collecting goods for food drives and Thanksgiving boxes, and by participating in the Panera Dough-Nation deliveries.  We’ve also offered events for new members and special author presentations followed by wine and cheese receptions.   

This is all accomplished due to the dedication and commitment of the members of Beth Sholom Temple.  But the dues we collect are not nearly enough to cover all the annual expenses.  And if we want to be able to have more professional leadership at our services, and not have to rely on the kindness and goodwill of our lay leaders, if we want to have funding to maintain our beautiful synagogue, if we want to develop and fund more opportunities to grow and nourish our Beth Sholom community, we need you to dig deep and contribute to this appeal.    

Caring for and ensuring the future of Beth Sholom Temple is our congregation’s goal and our responsibility.  We want to ensure that there is always a warm and welcoming place to practice our Judaism and engage with others.  We rely on our annual appeal as a major source of funds to fill the revenue gaps.  We are very grateful for the support you have given over the years and hope that you will help again in whatever way you can.  Remember, we stand together.

Yours with sincere appreciation,

Jonathan Levin

Laraine Whitcomb
VP, Finance

Mon, June 24 2024 18 Sivan 5784