25 September 2009

Our Roof: The Statement

Congregation Beth Elohim
September 24, 2009
Dear Friends,

Something happened today that presents challenges for us on so many levels as we prepare for Shabbat and Yom Kippur. Sometime last night, a large section of our Main Sanctuary's balcony ceiling collapsed. The pieces of plaster are large and quite heavy. We are all so extremely lucky that no one was hurt. After House Committee Co-Chair Susan Doban called in a structural engineer for a full assessment and recommendations for next steps, we were advised that several other sections of the ceiling are compromised and that it is unsafe to sit in certain sections of the Sanctuary until repairs have been made. As it has been in other times of crisis, we have rallied and are fortified by the good work and tireless optimism of so many people. Chief among them to be named upfront is our friend Reverend Daniel Meeter of Old First Reformed Church, who has cleared his congregation's own sanctuary for us to use for Yom Kippur. So much can be said about the spiritual implications of the events of the day, but that is not for now. This moment, we focus on where and when we gather to celebrate together.

This week's Shabbat services and Yom Kippur services will be relocated as follows:

Saturday morning, September 26, 2009
9:15 AM - Bagels and Brachot will be take place in the Rotunda
9:30 AM - Shir L'Shabbat will take place in the Lower Gym
9:30 AM - Yachad will meet in the Rotunda
9:30 AM - Gan Shabbat will meet in the Social Hall
10:00 AM - Altshul SERVICE will take place in the Rabbi's Study
10:15 AM - Chertoff Bat Mitzvah and Eisen baby naming will take place in the Chapel
10:30 AM - Lay Led Minyan honoring the anniversary of Rabbi Weider's Bar Mitzvah
will take place in the Ballroom
12:30 PM - Community Kiddush will take place in the Social Hall

Sunday night, September 27, 2009 (Kol Nidre)
8:15 PM - Main Sanctuary Service will take place at Old First Reformed Church, 729
Carroll Street, entrance located on 7th Avenue
If you need to pick up tickets, they will be available starting at 7:30 PM at the Temple House at CBE by the Garfield entrance.
8:15 PM - Brooklyn Jews Service will take place in the Social Hall at CBE

Monday morning, September 28, 2009
9:00 AM - Tots Service will take place in the Rotunda
If you need to pick up tickets, they will be available starting at 8:30 AM at the Temple House at CBE by the Garfield entrance.
10:30 AM - Main Sanctuary Service will take place at Old First Reformed Church, 729
Carroll Street, entrance located on 7th Avenue
10:30 AM - Yachad (Youth & Family) Service will take place in the Ballroom
10:30 AM - Brooklyn Jews Service will take place in the Social Hall
10:30 AM - Childcare: 2.5-5 year olds will take place in the 3rd floor classrooms
10:30 AM - Child Activities for 5 - 7 year olds will take place in the 4th floor
classrooms
10:30 AM - Child and Parent Activities for 4 - 7 year olds will take place in the
Rotunda
1:00 PM - Members Hour, guest scholar, Rabbi Herbert Bronstein will take place at
Old First Reformed Church, 729 Carroll Street, entrance located on 7th Avenue
2:00 PM - Music and Poetry Hour will take place at Old First Reformed Church, 729
Carroll Street, entrance located on 7th Avenue
3:00 PM - Afternoon Service Old First Reformed Church, 729 Carroll Street, entrance
located on 7th Avenue
4:45 PM - Yizkor Memorial Service will take place Old First Reformed Church, 729
Carroll Street, entrance located on 7th Avenue
5:30 PM - N'ilah Concluding Service will take place at Old First Reformed Church, 729
Carroll Street, entrance located on 7th Avenue

At the conclusion of the N'ilah service CBE will host a Break-Fast at Old First Reformed Church, 729 Carroll Street, entrance located on 7th Avenue

If you have any questions, please contact Alix Fellman or Elana Paru at (718) 768-3814.

We thank you in advance for your cooperation, patience and understanding. May this New Year 5770 bring you good health, happiness and peace.

Sincerely,
Rabbi Andy Bachman
Elana Paru, Executive Director
David Kasakove, President

2 comments:

Joseph said...

Dear Rabbi ,
I'm sorry to hear about the ceiling collapsing. I understand that the congregation needs a place to hold the Yom kippur prayers. I see that you've chosen to take the churhcs offer , i love all Jews and eny way they choose to worship god , but to hold the services of the holiest Jewish day in a church a.k.a "a house of Avoda zara" , is a complete oxymoron , and is like dunking in a mikva while holding a pig in your hand. Please consider your options , in a city of two million Jews , I'm sure theres a Jewish establishment you can find where you can hold the ceremony's in with out eny idol worship surrounding your efforets of purifying the congregation.
I am awear that YK is tomorow , perhaps there is a school nearby you can hold the service in.

Andy Bachman said...

Hi Joseph

We are following the precept set forth since Rambam's time that Christianity is not a form of idol worship but a monotheistic tradition.

For us, the Torah commandment to "love thy neighbor as thyself" is enough reason alone to set aside theological differences and worship at Old First.

But equally important is that the church and our synagogue (including the pastor and the rabbi) are the closest of friends.

And in times of trouble or challenge, one relies on one's friends. We would--without hesitation--do the same for them.

May you have a meaningful fast and be inscribed for another year of well-being and peace.